Many students think that they've got it all figured out - what they want to be after they graduate, how their lives will be 10 years from now. Some may even have detailed plans complete with timelines and milestones they need to tick off. Surprisingly, some of them find the need to follow these plans religiously.
There's nothing wrong about having an ideal plan. In fact, it is a good practice and will serve as a guide along the journey towards success. But the truth is, life is unpredictable, and it's impossible to control whatever happens in our lives. We might need to rework our plan when it doesn't go our way. Oftentimes, there will be plenty of opportunities we did not foresee that can actually be good for our career.
The best thing we can do is to be flexible and to take things as they come. Having a plan is great, but it shouldn't limit you from bigger opportunities. Sometimes, we need to stray away from the current path because life isn't about putting yourself in a box.
Take the case of Maria Konnikova as an example. She has a Ph.D. in psychology under her belt and she is also on the regular column of The New York Times. In addition to this, she has also authored a couple of bestselling books as well. It seems that Maria Konnikova dedicated herself towards to success of her career plan.
But did you know that Maria Konnikova is more than just your regular esteemed academic? She is also a professional poker player. While researching about poker for a book project, she became so good at the game that she began participating in tournaments. Some of which she has won $100,000 in prizes. Obviously, she needed to rework her book launch schedule to make time for the poker tournaments.
"The great thing about books is you don't need to have an ending in mind," says Maria Konnikova. "The book could work even if I ended up sucking as a poker player."
"But, I hope I can do better than that. I hope my story can inspire people. I want them to think, ‘I can do this, too.'" she adds.
Imagine how much Konnikova could have missed if she strictly followed her plan? She might not have discovered her talent for the game of poker. This proves that every student needs to follow their heart and to try new things continuously. A plan exists as a guide, but it does not make the last decision. Ultimately, it is still up to us to decide our future. How else can we discover our potential if we don't give it a shot?