On Passion and Planning


I was perusing through a book my dad has been reading
called , which basically explores the potential impact of the highly improbable. I didn’t have to read much to get the drift of what he is saying – which is essentially that long-term planning is futile, since the truly treacherous events are those over which we have no control whatsoever, and whose very occurrence is inconceivable. I should warn you at this point that I only read the introduction, so I may well have missed the point entirely. I wonder what he wrote about in the next 305 pages because it seemed to me that he wrapped it all up in that introduction – we are powerless against the unpredictable.
When I have read the rest of the book, I will be sure to tell you about it.
There are people on this earth who plan. And there are people that simply don’t. I am a planner. But I am also very likely to disregard my plans in a second if something else seems more interesting. I call it flexibility, I’m sure true planners call it whimsy, or flightiness. One of my friends told me a while ago that impulsiveness is for the weak. I was a little bit hurt by this because I had been telling grand tales of an amazing few weeks I had had in which I had disregarded all the things that I was meant to have done. She told me later that she had said what she did out of some spite, because she felt that she too often restrains herself by telling herself that there is a way that things are ‘supposed to be done’.
The truth is that your environment influences you immensely – the people you are around, the work that you do etc, and I have found that working as an accountant has made me lose part of that ability to bend with the wind. I now believe a lot more in ‘structure’, and it is a good and bad thing. I have learnt that, especially for large and long term tasks, structure is the backbone of sustainability. At some point, it is highly likely that the passion will die, and the structure is the fallback position that will save the day. But I have also learnt that if you give in to structure too much, you lose a basic sense of individuality, and of freedom.
I have taken the lesson in structure to heart. I have become a ‘professional’ and I seek to always have good working processes – in my life and work. It gives a certain peace of mind. At the same time, I am trying my utmost to restore the freedom and passion in my way of thinking, so that I can merge the two schools of thought, because I believe that each is vital. I could tell you that each is as important as the other, but that wouldn’t ring true from where I sit. I can say with certainty that structure with no passion is monotonous, unfulfilling and just plain boring, which is why I have found myself in the rut that I am in. Passion on the other hand… one can truly live and breathe on it, for as long as it lasts. A life without passion is just not worth it.
Have a passionate, unplanned festive season. You won’t regret it.



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