What Do You Do When Things Don’t Go as Planned?

by Yen Uy


[photo credits] Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels

Close your eyes and think about your life right now. Is your life what you pictured it would be? If you answered “yes”--you have reason to rejoice! If you answered “no”, but life turned out better than what you had pictured--then pat yourself on the back! Now, if you’re scratching your head thinking how things turned out the way they did, that’s okay. You’re not alone.

Don’t you wish life turned out the way we want it to? I say “yes” to that, but the reality, as we all know, is that life rarely turns out the way we want – well, at first. As Mina Deanna said: “You can’t plan life. Because no matter how perfect your plan is, life has a way to rearrange it.”

I like that quote because it talks about how our lives are rearranged. When we make our plans, we see one way things will turn out. So when things turn out better than the way we had planned, we experience it as life dealing us a better rearrangement. But what if things are going badly for you? Think of it this way – you’re in the middle of a rearrangement that is yet to complete.

It’s all a matter of perspective. When things don’t go as planned and you look at it as something that’s in progress, then it puts you in a better position to respond to life. The next question is: How do you respond? Think in terms of what you can and cannot control.

When things are in your control, you can do something to change the status quo... you just need to do better. Do you need to be a better communicator or a better partner? Is there a skillset that you are missing? Is there something you need to learn? Is there a different way that you can do things? Many times, when things don’t go our way, we might blame it on someone or something outside of us. But the question you need to answer is: How can you show up better?

When it comes to things that are beyond your control, you need to learn how to accept them. When we are dealing with something that is really outside of ourselves, there is an uncomfortable, seemingly endless waiting period. The question is: How can you wait better?

I once heard this from a meditation teacher: The universe is making the best calculation for you at any moment. That’s a comforting thought for me because the phrase “best calculation for you” is a combination of the things I can and cannot control. I show up the best way I possibly can and the universe responds to what I am ready for.

The important thing to take away here is knowing your best response to life’s rearrangement of your life. Whether you are being passive, active, or peacefully waiting, you are responding to life. The better you recognize what is required of you, the more effective you will be at creating something truly better than what you started with.