The Dangerous Assumption You Could Be Making About Your Life

Tom Kuegler
Jul 9, 2018 · 6 min read
Photo by Joe Roberts on Unsplash

“Tom, we’re getting an RV and selling the house.”

Ice ran down my arm.

I couldn’t believe my Mom just said that.

This woman, for the longest time, wanted to sell our house in Maryland to live in Florida. That’s all I heard about. That was her freakin’ dream, people!

Now she wanted to trade our childhood home in for a.. *GULP* .. RV?!

Because of the sheer shock I couldn’t help but laugh.

Such. is. life.


Lebron James Says You’re Wrong About Everything

I’ve been a Lebron James fan for a while.

I know — half of you now hate me and the other half are nodding their heads like, “Okay, Tom, I got you!”

Obviously Lebron is now a member of the Lakers, and since I’m borderline obsessed with him, I’ve watched every NBA talkshow on Youtube the last two weeks.

I just wanted to know where he was going to go.

As I watched one of these talkshows, an NBA insider named Brian Windhorst came on and said it was unthinkable 16–17 years ago to think that Lebron James would ever WANT to play in Cleveland.

Like, no chance.

Yet here we are 16 years later talking about how he not only WON that city a championship, but went BACK there after his time with the Miami Heat just to bring a title to Akron.

Keep in mind, if you would’ve told 17-year-old Lebron this was going to happen, he would’ve told you you’re crazy..

But it happened..

It happened.


Your 5-Year Plans Are Stupid

Mine are, too.

I’m 25 and I see a whole lot of traveling in my future.

But what if I get married? What if I have a child? What if I’m involved in a horrible accident and can’t walk again?

I know this is drastic, but haven’t crazier things happened?

The other day my cousin sent her resume over for me to look at because she wanted to change careers completely.

She’s married, has a house, has an awesome kid, and is a great role model.

Yet here she was wanting to change careers completely?

What’s crazy is, at many points in our lives we WANT something so bad and couldn’t imagine ever wanting anything else. We’re CER-TAIN.

C.E.R.T.A.I.N.

“No, Mom, I’m sure.”

But then something catches our eye. Somebody else. Some other place. Some other job. Some Facebook video of somebody making millions from their laptop drop-shipping diapers.

Why am I telling you this right now?

Because we change. Our life’s path isn’t a highway that never changes. There’s road work. There’s diversions. Sometimes the road leads to the edge of a cliff then we have to turn around and go somewhere else.


For Some Reason I Always Thought My Life Would Follow A Certain Path

Five years ago I thought I’d be married by now. I thought I’d be working in Marketing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I thought I’d stay in the Northeast United States for the rest of my life and wear Vineyard Vines all the time.

Wanna know where I am now?

Vietnam.

Still not married.

Wearing old white t-shirts every day because I honestly don’t give a single fuck about what I wear anymore.

I used to think I’d be a writer/blogger for the rest of my days. Now I spend more time making videos.

I used to think Florida was THE end destination for me, but after I went to San Francisco two years ago I wanted to live there.

Now after spending time in the Philippines and Ho Chi Minh, Southeast Asia is my top destination.

I have a feeling this merry-go-round is never going to stop. I’m always going to want different things — I suppose that’s human nature — and I also know that somewhere God is probably laughing at all the grand plans I have.

I have to face this simple fact: “Plans” are just targets that keep getting farther and farther away. Then they get replaced with new targets that are much closer.

I think I’ve arrived at a new way of looking at planning our lives/destiny in general.

There is none. At least none that we can see.

Both of my parents could die tomorrow. My brother could get into a horrible crash and become paralyzed.

What I’m saying is, responsibilities always factor into planning. If we have a lot of responsibilities, we can’t really plan all that much because we owe things to other people..

But if we don’t have responsibilities, we have more FREEDOM to plan and can actually implement those plans rather well.

But tomorrow a brand new responsibility could plop onto your lap.

Then your plans must change. There’s so many ways things that can go different, we as humans can only do one thing..


The Benefits Of Keeping Your Options O.P.E.N.

People are scared to death of uncertainty. I am, too.

So we plan to make sure we know what’s going to happen in our lives. But my friends, this takes all the zest out of the salad.

If you knew exactly how your life was going to go for the next 30, 40, or even 50 years, how would this be exciting?

It’s like walking into Star Wars 9 knowing where Rey, Finn, and Kylo are going to end up. It takes all the drama out of it. It minimizes our emotional response. It minimizes enjoyment.

That’s why I never understood people who read spoilers. I digress..

You see, human beings love plans because it makes us comfortable, but there’s also a side of us that loves being surprised. Some have surpressed this trait more than others, but it’s there — it’ll always be there. It’s human!

We need short-term plans to keep us assured, but we need long-term openness to keep us excited.

And my friends, this isn’t even up for debate. Even if you say “No, Tom, I don’t want uncertainty — I’ll take one order of the 20-year plan with a coke, please,” it still wouldn’t matter.

Because life doesn’t like plans. Life shakes plans off like a wet dog.

We are not in control of our lives. Your plans are stupid. They don’t matter. I’m not telling you this because I believe it to be true, I’m telling you this because it IS true.

Me in Bali, not the Northeast US. ^

And what if something horrible does happen, hmm? What if your Mom gets hurt and needs someone to take care of her?

Sure, it’ll be an adjustment, and it may throw your plans off-kilter, but I think you’ll get used to the new way of life quicker than you think.

When you look at uncertainty this way — as something to welcome, not something to fear — it’ll make you feel a little more assured.

Accept it, and you’ll live a much more fulfilling, exciting, and, oddly enough, comfortable life.

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Tom Kuegler

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Vlogger. Travel blogger. 26 years old. Currently in Southeast Asia. Get my free 5-day Medium course via email → http://bit.ly/2olDN4V

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