Life Has a Way of Stepping In to Change Your Mind and to Change Your Plans

By Niki Lanter
 

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

This quote is credited to the filmmaker Woody Allen. Regardless of your spiritual belief or religious affiliation, the quote, I believe, is a lesson in humility. It means that no matter how tightly we grip the steering wheel of life, to drive at full speed toward some desired future, we are not always in full control.

Plan B

A few weeks ago, I wrote the incoming HESA executive board to let them know of my desire and intention to serve during this academic year. I had mentioned in a previous post that one could still be actively involved in the student community without the need for an official title. But, we all know that having the title is always a nice thing.

In the letter, I laid out a few ideas and preliminary project plans for the year. I even picked a tentative job title, core functions, and gave a rough outline of the chain-of-command relative to the new position. You could say that I showed great ambition and initiative, or you could argue that I was a bit presumptuous and maybe even arrogant.

As it turns out, when you make plans—and despite a full tank of motivation fueling your ambition to push forward and accomplish many things—sometimes, you are forced to hit the breaks hard to make a graceful U-turn. As much as I would love to go through with my plans to get involved in student government this year, I now have to shift my focus and priorities.

Life has abruptly stepped in to cause a dramatic change in my trajectory.