Detailing plans for future can rob you from living in your present

Recently as I was cleaning out my desk drawer, I found a letter I wrote myself a few years back before I began my freshman year of college. Of course, as the planner I am, the letter included a 10-year plan of where I see myself going in the future.

According to this particular plan, by age 23, I am supposed to have graduated from Baylor with degrees in journalism and political science, have a broadcast job at a news station and “be happy.” By age 28, I am supposed to for sure be married, have a great job in a big city, be financially stable and have made a difference in someone’s life.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It sounds ridiculous, and to an extent it is. You can’t possibly plan out whether you are going to be happy or when you fall in love or even when you land your dream job. But the act of planning is something I have always done, regardless of how ridiculous it may sound. In actuality, this act of over planning is relaxing and offers me a sense of comfort in the chaotic world around me.

However, the older I get, the more I realize that making intense and detailed plans for the future is actually hindering my ability to live in the present. I have noticed that when I spend my days solely making plans for tomorrow, for law school or even for when I am 30, I miss out on enjoying the life I have created for myself right now.

Even though most people don’t plan quite as much as I do, this is still something I have noticed among many of my peers. I mean, we are in college with the intent to prepare and plan for our futures, so it’s hard not to get wrapped up into what’s coming next semester, what internship you will have the following summer or what you will do when you graduate.

But it’s important to shift our focus.

If we are always focused on the next chapter of our lives, we miss out on the wonderful moments in the chapter we are currently in.

One of my favorite devotionals from “Jesus Calling” says it perfectly. “Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.”

God’s has a plan for each one of us and it is important not to rush His plan because He is the only one that understands the perfect timing to our lives.

At the end of the letter, I wrote a note to myself to “remember to be happy and enjoy life,” but, ironically, making too many plans and not living in the present makes it hard to enjoy the things in life you have already been granted. So instead of planning out every moment, think about letting go of control and remembering that you can’t rush the plan God has for you.

Jessica Babb is a junior journalism and political science major from Harker Heights. She is broadcast managing editor for the Lariat.