Hot Mess

Hot Mess

February 25, 2015

“Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision.  Visions don’t change, they are only refined.  Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed.  Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.”  – John C. Maxwell

Ever have one of those days?  You planned for months.  All the important details were tended to.  You orchestrated a well-choreographed schedule, leaving nothing to chance.  It’s the day of the big launch.  And, suddenly, from out of nowhere, BAM!  A serious obstacle rears its ugly head!  You’re crushed because your plans are not as solid now as they were just moments before…

Messy Designer's Table with Notes and ToolsSound familiar?  Whatever the situation, whatever the case, at some point in your career it’s likely you’ve been in some kind of scenario that felt just like that.  Though you had dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, everything has turned into one hot mess!

Breathe.  The way you handle the situation and your ability to see clear through the mess will determine the ultimate outcome of your project.

Here’s the thing:  Personally, I love it when things are well organized.  I strive to ensure everything is in its proper place.  I live and breathe by my calendar and make sure it is always well-maintained and constantly groomed.  Things feel good when they are nicely ordered.  All that said, it turns out I’m not as tidy as I seek to be.  For example, I’ve heard it said a messy desk is an indicator of a messy mind.  Perhaps, but with many, many things going on at once and competing projects taking place simultaneously, things are often messy.  Just take a look at my desk or my home or my car… I can straighten things up in order to make the place presentable for company, but the truth is there are piles all over the place and, as soon as company leaves, everything shifts back to its high-piled glory!

Turns out, life is messy.  Despite our best laid plans, things don’t always play out precisely as we had planned.  Items don’t always stay in their proper place.  And, we all know, once humans are involved (and they are always involved), everything gets more complicated.  However, even with a hot mess, business proceeds, things get done – the ordered chaos actually plays itself out, often in our favor.

So, I implore you, embrace the mess!  Sure, make an effort to keep your desk, your home, your car, your mind tidy, but the cleanliness may not last.  Work through it.  Don’t let unexpected interruptions or interference get in the way of your end goal.  Rather than ruminate over the fact that things are not exactly as you would like them, focus on your target and go after it – even knowing that your plans may not pan out exactly as you had anticipated.  When obstacles pop up – move beyond them.  If these obstacles are poised to derail your work, you may need to stop and address them on the spot.  Do so if you must, then center yourself and get back to achieving your objectives.

And, if the mess is just too much to handle, bring on helpers to assist you with tidying up.  By taking things in stride, by not completely freaking out when it doesn’t all go exactly your way, you will be able to continue to pursue your goals despite the hot mess in which you find yourself.