Saturday, September 4, 2010

Is being spontaneous overrated?

I am a planner.  I plan things.  I think about what is coming in life, at home, at work, for school, at church ... and then I plan things.  When do we do this or when can we fit that in.  This usually works just fine for me, but I know many around me probably view me as very anal-retentive.  That's probably pretty true.

Here's my argument though, based on the "spontaneous" side of life in general.  If you don't plan then:
 - you will almost always pay more
 - it will almost always take longer
 - guaranteed you will forget something important
 - you won't be able to get as many things done
 - and what I believe to be worst of all ... people around you that plan will begin to resent your perpetual spontaneity

Don't mistake me on this ... I am a fan of surprises.  But think about it ... most surprises are well-planned events.  Not planned by the surprisee, but the person doing the surprising usually has put in lots of time and effort to make thing go off without a hitch.

I am also open to being spontaneous every once in a while.  The problem is that non-planners LIVE spontaneously.  Planning is the exception, not the rule.  I am probably just a stick in the mud, but I am not talking about planning EVERY detail ... but is it too much to ask for 80-90% of the BIG details to be planned?

My current role at work absolutely requires me to plan hours, days, weeks, even months in advance.  I could be mediocre at what I do ... or I could present myself poorly in most interactions by not planning ahead.  I choose not to look the fool and think ahead.  I doubt we were given our brains to just creatively solve problems that we likely created for ourselves by not planning ahead.  I think we were entrusted with this gift of predetermined thoughts so that we can eventually be more like Him.  After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness and isn't order cleaner than chaos?  Isn't it more God-like to think eternally instead of waiting until the moment has passed and then realizing you really wanted to do whatever passed you by?

At the very least ... the VERY least ... people who don't plan for their future will forever remain held back by their past.

So I apologize for all non-planners that are forced to interact with me at work, at church, in my large extended family, etc.  I am not trying to be holier-than-thou ... but don't expect me to be all smiles when you fail to plan and then get a less-than-excited reaction from me when you ask for my support or help in throwing something together last minute.  I'll still help, but if you mistakenly ask me if something is wrong prepare to be redirected to this Blog Post before you get to ask me any more stupid questions.


  1. Can I redirect to your post as well? It will save me all the planning of a quick and thoughtful response to this very issue that I too struggle with! Well put Josh.

  2. Wow! You totally amaze me with your wise, witty and wry posts, and this one hit the nail right on the head. I completely agree with your points about planning vs. being spontaneous!

  3. My favorite part... "people who don't plan for their future will forever remain held back by their past." AWESOME! I love you, big brother, and your anal retentive ways!

  4. Josh, Love your blogs buddy!

    I think that being spontaneous can be different from being irresponsible. In fact, some of the most responsible people I know have that spontaneous trait (which I belive to be a good one) because of the exceptional way they plan life.

  5. AMEN brother!

    I totally agree with everything you have posted here.