Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you planned.

Honestly, I think plans are overrated. I feel like the best memories are made when you just pick the starting point and leave the ending point up to the journey.

Just let it happen. That can be hard for a lot of people to do, including me. We like to be prepared for every contingency. We don’t like unexpected and unwelcome surprises.

If you have made plans and they down the drain, you can handle it in two ways.

That’s it. Accept defeat and retreat, suggesting to yourself that your plan was perfect and without it, you can’t have a good time. Sometimes “Going Home” is just characterized by being a grump for the rest of the night, or sitting by yourself in a corner, listening to “The Sound of Silence” as you contemplate the meaning of your existence in this unfair world. Don’t be

Let me just say; you’re not gonna make many memories this way, no one is going to want to be around you, and you’re not going to react very well to change.

Wow, good for you! I feel like you chose the right road here. You are able to admit that your plan was just one way to do things and that yours may not have even been the best.

The cool thing now is that the sky is the limit. Your plan is in shreds but the night is still young. Instead of getting hung up on what could have or should have been, do what is right in front of you.

Your plan sounded great, but you forgot to make a reservation at the restaurant you were planning on going to and they’re full so what do you do now? You check out the arcade that you saw just around the corner! While playing Space Invaders, you strike up a conversation with a local street surfer, who tells you about a food cart with amazing tacos about a half-mile down the way.

While talking toward the cart, you take in the city skyline and the beautiful sunset, and before long, you’re eating some stellar tacos. That dude was not lying, these are the best tacos you’ve ever had. Or maybe they're terrible, so you go looking for something to drink to wash them down. Another plan busted!

As you’re looking for some relief from the terrible tacos, you hear 80s inspired music and find it’s coming from a music club down the street. You walk over and decide to take a look, but you left your ID in the car and they’re not letting just anyone in. Plan: destroyed.

You sidle back down the sidewalk and notice that the stage is outside and you can still see and hear the band quite well. You sit down and listen to the fusion of the different sounds, and forget about the dry meat and stale tortillas that you consumed not that long ago.

One of the waitresses feels bad that you got turned away and asks if you want anything to drink, on the house. She lists off the options. The whole night has already been a creative expression, so why not get creative here too?

You ask for lemonade mixed with ginger ale. She brings it out, and as you sip, you think about how boring this night would have been if everything had gone according to plan.

Maybe you wouldn't have had any bad tacos, but this also wouldn’t have been a night to remember. It would have been packaged up neatly and placed on the shelf, along with all the other perfectly planned nights that mostly aren’t worth remembering.

Instead, this was a time unlike any other, and it just happened. That’s how you make a memory.

So make your plans, and if they work out, great! But if they don’t, don’t forego an opportunity for something even better.

Product Development @ RoleModel Software and a myriad of other things // John 14:6