Planning or Preparation? Which Works Better?

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Change – it pushed me in directions I did not want to go.  The diagnosis of my daughter’s disability, divorce and the death of my sister took me down the dark and scary alley of life. Surely, you’ve found yourself in your own dark alleys.
In the darkness, I developed good skills perfect for unpredictable situations. Searching for anything to scare away my fear, I found that I can be flexible and adaptable. Cultivating this ability prepared me for the unexpected and set into motion a new direction for my life.
I am a change expert because of all I have been through.  Here are valuable power strategies I want to share with you.

<strong>Know the Difference between Planning and Preparing.</strong>

Searching for answers in the darkness I found myself in a blind alley—seemingly without options.

What could I do in this immediate situation? The urgency of unanswered moment forced me to see resources I didn’t see before. I learned to focus on ability than disability…hers and mine.

Being prepared is more about being creative than having a plan. Planning assumes it will go as you thought it would, rather than it actually does. Linking unrelated resources towards a clear goal is where our creative inventiveness emerges.

Unless, your creativity leads you to have multiple plans, which, in reality, is being prepared. Plan A can be replaced by Plan B.  If that fails, you have Plan C or D.  The key is to have options.

Preparedness allows for quick thinking.  Immediately, we can engage the energy of the moment to focus clearly on a desired outcome.  Questions like, “What do I need?” “Who do I need?”  “What resources can help me right now?  Whatever comes up, you have what you need.

<strong>Where does Flexibility and Adaptability Come From? </strong>

Fear makes us rigid, often paralyzing us.  Fear can cripple more than any disability.

One night as I held my infant daughter tenderly sleeping in my arms, fear griped me as I wondered if I had what it would take to give Mikelle what she needed to  live a rich and meaningful life despite her physical limitations.  I didn’t know what to do. How was I going to care for her, my son, my marriage? How would I care for myself?

Fear loosens its grip as we let go and learn to trust. In trust, we become flexible and begin to adapt.

These things don’t come naturally.  Our instincts tell us—hold on. Our minds deny what is real. Learning how takes practice.  It can be done. The hardest part of change is letting go the expected moment and embracing the unexpected opportunity.

Let go. Become flexible. Stretch. Loosen up. Move.  Unleash your ability to respond—be responsAble for setting off on your new journey.

Surprisingly, your new life can be more satisfying than your old one.

Challenge helps us stare down the meaning of life to see its value.

At first when I am thrown into the craziness of life, I tend to focus on survival. But then, I notice a presence about me; I feel the calmness of choice and certainty.  In the stillness of uncertain moment, I find my strength and the support of community.

When Mikelle arrived from Korea, my expectations of having a little toddler running around the house chasing her big brother changed in an instant. What did happen is she chased him in her wheelchair.  They adapted and came up with their own version of tag.

Change took me to places I didn’t think I wanted to go—and I love the place I am in.

About Katherine Carol

Special needs & community expert, speaker, co-author of The Tango of Publishing and Shining Beautiful, with Mikelle Learned, book coach, mom, and community builder.

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