by Bill Knell
Most people live their lives, but are not in control of them. We’re all affected by circumstances that go beyond what we can anticipate, but most of us fail to plan ahead or take the time to think about what’s next. If you don’t have a daily plan that considers what is best for you, then you’re allowing other people to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your destiny.
Having a daily plan for your life is different then preparing for a career or lifestyle. It’s being ready for life’s little surprises and deciding, in advance, how you will deal with them. More then a few people have had their entire lives ruined by making just one mistake when presented with a choice. Most mistakes are made with the help or even encouragement of peer pressure.
We’ve become a society where peer pressure and group associations appear to be more important then individuality or personal well-being. This sets the stage for a ’follower’ mentality that will lead more then a few down the merry road to self-destructive behavior. The solution to this problem is a simple philosophy. Your cooperation within any group should always be limited to what benefits you. While this may sound selfish, it’s actually a self-protective measure that is essential to good decision making.
Having a daily plan for your life means always being willing to put yourself first in situations that involve your well-being. This will not make you the most popular person in town, but it might make you the most successful. It will certainly keep you out of the kinds of trouble others will fall into just because they wanted to be a part of something that never mattered anyway.
Knowing what matters and what doesn’t is another key to your daily life plan. Taking the time to decide what matters to you in advance will help you avoid being side-tracked by impulsive decisions or swayed by emotional situations. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, it just means that everything you do must be judged by the bigger picture. Having fun is an important part of living your life to the fullest and should always be included in your daily plan. But like everything else, you should act within pre-set parameters that protect you from situations that can interfere with or destroy your overall goals.
The biggest mistakes made by people usually occur when they’re confronted with what appears to be an appealing opportunity. That stock tip. The guy or gal who suddenly asks you out. The deal that appears out of nowhere and looks like a slam dunk. If you have to make a quick decision on anything, it’s probably going to limit your choices. Limited choices are never a good opportunity, especially when pressure becomes a part of the process. Pressure comes from the fear of missing out on something that will benefit you. But one missed opportunity is often better then making a quick decision that can have lasting negative consequences.
Learning to manipulate life means never letting choices or pressure manipulate you. By setting goals and knowing what you want out of life, you set the stage for your own ability to intelligently accept or decline any opportunities that come along each day. Setting goals and creating a plan for your daily life creates a safe zone. By working and playing within that zone, you limit the ability of life and people to pressure you into bad decisions that can lead you into situations that may destroy your life.