Don’t plan your life in Excel

Do you have plans how your life should look like. Laid out all nicely step-by-step in a huge-ass Excel spreadsheet? This is not how life works, or how it should work.

Remember back, a year, ten years or all the way back to your childhood. How do your memories look like? Are they in a clear this-happened-after-that timeline? Do the decisions, you did take to take you where you are today, follow a path?

Or are your memories more of a big canvas of exciting, sad, joyful moments? Little bubbles in time, starting and stopping as abrupt as a dream does? Some more vivid than others, but none of them actually following a path? Be honest to yourself.

If you are only slightly like me, then you feel yourself nodding along the second paragraph. My life following a plan? Bullshit. Yes, I had – and still have – dreams and a vision. But this vision can’t be laid out in an Excel spreadsheet. It shouldn’t.

This is what most people get wrong about their life vision. They put up a goal, a number, or an income level in their Spreadsheet. And then – as they learned from so many gurus – work backwards from there: If I want to have 1 million income in 10 years, after one year I should be here, after 5 there, yada yada. Bullshit! Same as your past life didn’t follow a clear path, your future won’t.

Let’s even step one more step back: Should life be plannable in an Excel Spreadsheet? If you ask me: Hell no. 

Yes, I often state to my friends that I would love to already know what the next steps are, when I have kids, if my current boyfriend is the “the one” and so on…but deep down I know: If I would know all of that life would be super boring.

Now, parts of you are already screaming: You have to make a plan! What does this one essay know? If you don’t plan, you will get nowhere.

And I partly agree with you. Having a vision for life is a great thing. Something that gets you up in the morning and also helps you to go through hard times – and those will come. But the key word here is vision. A vision is NOT planned out in a Spreadsheet, a vision has no concrete next steps, you can’t check a vision off your list. A vision is bigger than that, more fulfilling, and it will change throughout your life.

A vision should be as bubbly, as vivid, as much of a dream as your memories. You should be seeing it, feeling it, tasting it.

This is actually also what the word vision originates from: visio is Latin for seeing. But enough of this Latin small-boy stuff.

Plan out your vision more like a movie. If you wanna use tech references: Build your vision in iMovie instead of an Excel Spreadsheet. Make your vision as visual as possible, let your mind be free and dream away. Let go and find yourself in that little bubble that brings you joy and that you actually want to work towards. You still can plan next steps towards it, but make sure the vision comes first. Otherwise, you are loosing yourself so much in concrete next steps, things to check off your list, that you miss out on life.

The goal of your vision should be creating more of those bubbly, happy, sad, exciting memories that you enjoy looking back on.

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