Long Term Plans.

Yay or Nay?

I think they’re a crock of shit. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t imagine our futures.

I found myself (at age 41) bantering with younger women on a Facebook group for women in tech about long term plans. Many of them believed plans were crucial for guiding transitions and decision-making. Work at a startup or push for the bigger corporate gig? Stay at home with a newborn for the first couple years?

According to them, depends on your long term plans.

I don’t buy it. I think life is much more capricious than our careful plan-making would have us believe. Too often, focusing on illusory long-term plans leads to a bigger fall down the line. Or, in the words of a wise friend of mine, “Why would my 40-year-old self want to listen to my 28-year-old self? He was an idiot.”

Instead, what if we hone in on the feeling of the life we want to grow into? This feeling, when we hold it within ourselves, can be the guiding star to help us through unclear transitions.

“Would the start-up move me closer to my guiding feeling? Could I still fulfill my responsibilities while growing closer to the person I want to be from the inside out?”

It’s similar to how this writer approaches New Year’s resolutions: as overarching themes rather than a list of tasks.

Feelings, not to-do lists.

One more thing. The 2017 letter from Institute of Paramahansa Yogananda (who wrote Autobiography of a Yogi, bringing yoga to the West) says,

The valiant soul (aka you, voyager) knows no defeat, only different stages of victory. Even if there are times when outwardly you do not see results, never be discouraged. If you have done everything you can, that infused mental power will remain with your soul.

When I experience total failure in my writing — no clicks! no likes! no reads! — the valiant soul is who I channel. She’s doesn’t care about the clicks at all.

3 Questions To Help Hone in on Your Guiding Feeling

  1. Draw up an image in your mind of yourself in 15 years. Try to create a snapshot of yourself having fun.
  2. What are you doing?
  3. What are you feeling?
Love, Meredith

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