Mayhem Monday: No Need to Plan?

It’s New Year’s Eve–so, how did you fare?  How did you score on the scale of success this year? Did you rack up? Achieve big dreams in 2018? Or, as you tally up your points, do you find that, like me, some of your plans are still “loading”?

I don’t know what it is, but it seems to me that the more plans I make, the more those plans fall apart! I wonder if it’s better not to plan. Perhaps I should just fly by the seat of my pants and see what happens! But, ancient wisdom says “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” As I flip through old notebooks and scribbled notes, I see great ideas that have fallen by the wayside.  I sigh as slips of paper slip off of my night stand, symbolic of dreams deferred.  Who can deny the rough realities, ideals that intersect with conflicting interests and desires that drag on but don’t deliver?  I have yet to discover the secret to seeing them through—how to push plans from ideation to three dimension. I get close, but no cigar…

Nicole Walters, entrepreneur

Or, at least, that’s been my mantra. Then a friend sent me a link to Nicole Walters talking about her new podcast. I love Nicole Walters. I’ve been following her off and on for a while now. Some call her “ScOprah”–the successful entrepreneur who quit her 6-figure corporate job live on Periscope and launched her own (now) 7-figure company. She’s a force to be reckoned with, let me tell you! She’s such an amazing, confident, fearless woman who doesn’t waste too much time planning. I mean, she plans, but she doesn’t. What I love about Nicole is that she’s successful because she doesn’t allow planning to keep her stuck in one place. She moves forward with her plans and lets God do the rest. And you know what? She’s found AMAZING success as a result.  Her story is not new, though. 

What I realize is that what God is doing in Nicole’s life He’s been doing for ages.  You see, He has this habit of showing up in ways that can’t be explained in human terms.  Throughout the Bible there are examples of Him demonstrating His power in just the opposite way and at just the opposite time than people expected. In Genesis, he gave Joseph a dream, then sent him into exile. In Exodus, the Hebrews endured oppression for 400 years only to be dragged into the desert by an 80 year old shepherd! During the time of the Judges, he chose a woman, rather than a king, to defeat the Canaanites and a boy, Samuel, to be his prophet! Over and over again God turned the plans the people had upside down, then did something completely unbelievable just to show them who was really in charge. Yet, in every situation, he also turned what looked like defeat into amazing success!

So, as I think about the many plans that I’ve begun, then abandoned, and the many ideas that I’ve been too afraid to pursue, I realize that it’s because I’ve been relying on my own abilities. I’ve been waiting until the perfect time, until I had the perfect resources, and until everything was perfect in my estimation. But I think I’ve been looking at it all wrong. The better question is what do I need to be doing, regardless of whether my planning is perfect?

Plans or no plans, 2019 may be the year to move ahead in faith and see what amazing thing God wants to show us that you and I could have never imagined!

What do you think?

Proverbs 19:21

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Monday Mayhem: Rewrite Your Story!

Well we’ve crossed over the threshold into another year! We often use this flip of the calendar page as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our personal story as well. So, what new plot will be worked out this year? What twists and turns are in store? Are there cliffhangers yet to be resolved?

What’s exciting is each of has the power of the pen in our hands. We get to write, or rewrite our story, and with each new year we’re presented with a fresh new page on which to publish whatever twist or turn we think our story needs.

Too often, though, we relinquish that power to others, allowing others to define us. We let others tell us who we are then find ourselves like Alice in Wonderland sailing headlong into someone else’s storybook adventure.

If you’ve been trapped in the vortex of someone else’s story, I invite you to take up the sword, that is your pen, literal and/or metaphorical. Determine what it is that you, the protagonist, want.

Make a plan for how you will move towards that goal or purpose and begin revising your story. It’s a new year, you have a fresh page!

Check back tomorrow for Tanzy Chandler’s New Year’s story!

Happy Monday 2018!

Photo credit:

Happy New Year! Writer Goals for 2017

Wow! 2017! Can you believe it?

So, now it begins…the journey that is Books & Coffee. (Check out my “Welcome” post if you’re visiting for the first time.) Today begins my journey towards more –and hopefully better–writing. So, to kick things off, I’ve made a list of goals to keep me on track, because what else are you supposed to do on the first day of the year, if not make a list of resolutions? But even as I do so, I am keenly aware of the reality that resolutions are usually only good for the first month of the year. Everybody gets the gym membership, launches the business plan, commits to dropping that bad habit, then somewhere around February 1st, goes right back to where we started, right?

Then, how do we avoid falling into that trap of waning post-New Year’s enthusiasm? I wish I had an answer to that question! All I know is that we just have to try and keep trying! Ben Huberman has some suggestions and  Ira Shor’s advice is a great way to begin:

So, with this in mind, here’s my list for 2017:

  1. Write daily.  This is a tough one, but I’m not talking about daily philosophical treatises, I’m just talking about writing something every day–even if it’s just a few paragraphs.
  2. Allow yourself to write poorly. Don’t misunderstand. The goal here is NOT to write poorly, but rather to allow yourself the space to write even if it isn’t your best work. This is what Ira Shor is talking about, and he’s right, this is tough! I know what good writing looks like, so when I’m not producing it, my natural inclination is to stop.  But I must push past this temptation and just keep writing. The assumption here is that the bad writing will get better. (*fingers crossed*)
  3. Build a community of writers. I think humans, for the most part, are naturally social beings. Although there are times when I want to shut out the world, more often than not, I thrive when surrounded by like-minded people with whom I can share and from whom I can learn . That’s where you come in! You, the community of writers and aspiring writers who share in this passion to give voice to our ideas that have the potential to change the world!

So, now it begins…Happy writing & Happy 2017!