I'm feeling extra preachy today.
"I wish I had done that," the more senior of citizens would say, as they teeter the Flatline, putting life in mental review.
What should be mulled over in the sunset years of life is now burdening quarter lifers wanting to ram a lifetime of experiences in just a few years shy from university.
I've recently come back from a road trip in America with three girlfriends whom I met in the bathrooms of Ministry of Sound during Freshers' Fortnight at university. During that boozy cab ride back to campus on that fateful night, we were live bodies toasting the fleeting glory of our "no responsibility" youth; pedestrians bore unwilling witness to our psychedelic show and the cab floor suffered sticky consequences. Thereafter we came to know where our calling lay, we studied, we did it, boom. We were so full of hot ambition.
In the harsh realisation of five years later, on a stretch of unending nothingness in the car, girlfriend A puffs: "I haven't done all the things I planned to do so far," followed by a sisterhood sigh from girlfriend B. Girlfriend C continued to head bang to the road trip's soundtrack. And I could relate to girlfriend A.
Almost every millennial will say we've entered one of the worst job markets ever; flattening plans and veering predetermined paths. But here's why you should abandon that 10-year plan of yours.
1. Events determine the future
Things happen and things change. So many variables and game changers will drop into your life and force you to re-route. There are only two certainties in this world: life and death. Until something happens, forget the future. The now can be wonderful too, enjoy it.
2. Mobility is the name of the game
When you plan you render yourself rigid. There will be instances where you have to adapt and move on- our parents' generation have documentary worthy backstories to their success. Because we're creatures of habit, change throws us off. Change can be such a refreshing remedy even when you don't think you need it.
3. You will always be disappointed
The cause of your life's unhappiness is planning. I've largely lived in my head since I learned to use it and have filled it with big ideas for myself only to be crushed when I didn't get what I wanted. Many of us have all that we could want for now, and as a result disappointment is hardwired in our brains. We've all got a touch of affluenza.
4. Spontaneity is opportunity
It's those unlikely moments in the park, cafe or airplane that stir the beginnings of new adventures. I'm not saying don't have dreams or goals- that pot at the end of the rainbow- but plans destroy all the lovely possibilities that could be. Don't plan your way out of opportunity.
5. Fate will sort you out
Sometimes you just have to resign to your fate. Get your harbouring hippy to go with the flow of the universe and believe me, life will sort itself out. So many have achieved their dreams without planning. You know the phrase, when it rains it pours?
You will be a happier person when you stop planning. The 'now' is so hard to enjoy when your head is entrenched in the future. Don't panic-for those of you with your precious checklists for your checklists, turn the page and grocery jot to your heart's content, but keep life out of it.