Typically, most people either make plans or simply prefer to improvise. I guess I have always done a bit of both, trying to find a balance in how much I plan and how much I let things naturally evolve.

Ultimately, most plans fail, because we don’t know what the future looks like and sometimes big changes make plans obsolete or even foolish.

At the same time, living a life without reflection and goals may provide us interesting experiences and open up a world we never considered. Yet, it makes it hard to consciously achieve anything of real significance. More importantly, as we look back upon our lives, we have let our life be lived rather than proactively shaping life and living life.

I don’t think I ever found the right balance between planning and improvisation, but something that helps guide me through this and shape the balance is to define ‘principles’ that we believe in and live by.

Despite turbulent change or conflicting goals, principles help us ask the right questions and consciously consider which path is the right one to take, at any one point in your life.

Each person needs to define the principles they believe in. It may take time to uncover, and sometimes our experience can redefine the principles we believe in. However, ultimately they are deeply rooted beliefs that tend to stay the same over long periods of time, and this is what guides us on our path through turbulent ups and downs.

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Coaching teams and individuals on digital product leadership, user centred strategy and agility @Ustwo Tokyo, Japan.

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