Especially in the second half of life. Many in their 40s and above would relate. For many younger folks this would be a blasphemous statement because life as we are starting out is all planned and without a plan then failure is certain. So if you are in your 20s and maybe 30s and disagree with the title above, I wouldn’t blame you. It would be like going with my teenager to the recent Boyz to Men concert and expecting her to have a blast like her father hehe. She’d probably seat nyuma ya tent with her phone recording her dad with his ‘old’ pals hypnotized by the music and sharing with her friends as they laugh at us.

One reason why I advocate for people to attempt a second half of passion, meaning, and enjoyment is that it fits much better than the first half of life. In golf, we wear a glove on the hand that grips the club so that we can have better control of our swing and execute a good shot. Though the outcome from many of my shots doesn’t reflect that. When we leap in an attempt to live a life that is more authentic and meaningful then life does fit as a glove. That ensures a better grip on what we value and we can take a good shot at what we love. Chances are that at the end of that round (of life) we will end up with a good score.

That’s what spending some time in transition, seeking a life of significance has revealed to me and I’m so glad I explored it despite all the uncertainties. I have never been a very good planner. I have a level of planning that was necessary for running a business but it didn’t come naturally. I prefer looking at things big picture and being spontaneous. But too much of that may not advance one’s career or goals when starting out in life.

Management Guru Peter Drucker set me free by saying,” People who plan are the unhappiest people in the world. Opportunity is unpredictable.” He qualifies it further saying, “Opportunity doesn’t stay long. if you don’t respond to an opportunity it moves on”. While that may be true at any stage of life I find it more real and frequent in my 40s. Or has it been the case all along but I just wasn’t as aware then as I am now? Whichever the case I’m enjoying this life of what I call God-incidences. Random positive happenings.

So then how do we grab an opportunity when it shows up? Shakespeare puts it simply, “readiness is all”. Readiness followed by reaction completes the picture. Opportunity finds the prepared. Practically speaking I feel that we have to be in a certain frame of mind to catch the random opportunities that come away. Part of that is being at the right place at the right time even though unknowingly sometimes. That means we are already moving in the right direction for the season we are in. I remember when it was clear for me to exit my business, nothing much happened. The longer I overstayed my welcome in that season when I should have left, the more frustrated I became. “If you don’t change plans and react, your problems just get worse”, Bob Buford said.

So I changed plans by leaving my business even when I wasn’t sure how to maneuver the next phase. But until I made the jump that’s when ideas and opportunities started showing up. Or that’s when I started noticing them. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t as busy anymore. So clearly there is a pre-requisite to unplanned living. Start heading in the right direction as your heart, mind, or gut guides you. Then you will be in a better position to recognize and maximize opportunities that come your way.

Bob Buford adds that “ life in the second half is disordered, surprising, and only occasionally as you plan it”. I just love the sound of that. Folks if you are resisting making a transition that is due, allow me to entice you to a freedom that comes with less planning and one that frees you from the drive to succeed. Trusting the unknown and being comfortable with discomfort is what the second half of life looks like. That may not look as promising when viewed through the eyes of our first half which was target driven and overly planned.

I dare say there are opportunities and life-changing breaks that can only come through in that environment of disorder and befriending the unknown. Some of the connections I have made through coaching are a result of abandoning the need to control the outcome of my engagements. It is unfolding beautifully so far and I feel this is just the beginning.

This blog is another result of unplanned moves. The need to document my mid-life transition was impressed on my heart and mind seven years ago and I just started to write. It was never part of the plan but here we are seven years later. If I were a pastor then this would be my pulpit and I hope to have helped some folks along the way of their own trasnsitions. The second half of life does have beautiful chaos.

Folks if you were given a FREE day tomorrow, what would you do?



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8 thoughts on “Planning Is Overrated.”

  1. Benter says:

    I would live life. Go out and make those beautiful mistakes

  2. Mike Eldon says:

    I have always been an intuitive opportunist, with no masterplan

  3. John Mwige says:

    Great read and insights Lucas.

  4. Peter Mbugua says:

    I always look forward to your weekly summons. Very edifying.

  5. Kirigo says:

    7 years already?

    Keep doing it Lucas.

    We learn alot.

  6. Chris K. says:

    Allergic to planning… I will stop beating myself too hard….

  7. Tom Thiong'o says:

    Yes, many things happen outside the set plans. Opportunities show up and they usually clash with the plans. I am learning how to embrace the fluidity of this phase and take the opportunities that show up. Thank you for shedding light to my path.

  8. Isaac Jabali says:

    To a season of organized chaos!

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