I was having a drink with a couple of friends the other night. We went to a pretty popular bar downtown. It’s kind of a small “warm up” bar that you go to on the way to someplace else. Or sometimes you just go there and hang out for the whole night, because you can get involved in some pretty decent conversations. It is pretty small, and many nights it fills up, so if you are planning on going to a place like this for the night, it’s best to get there a bit early, otherwise you’ll have to find an interesting experience somewhere else. Which isn’t really hard to do, since you can create an interesting experience pretty much anywhere you go. But this particular evening, we were lucky enough to get a table to sit all three of us. We had planned only to have a maximum of two drinks, as we each had other plans we had to be getting to.
Plans are an interesting thing. You never really know if you are in charge of your plans, or if your plans are in charge of you. And when you involve other people, everyone’s plans can merge together into one super plan that is bigger than everyone. And before you know it, you are all collectively submitting yourselves to some nefarious “plan” that has overtaken all your conscious reason. You begin to make sacrifices in the name of the “plan.” It’s like you voluntarily give up your capacity to think for yourself, and choose your own direction. And even when there isn’t a “plan” to submit your higher intelligence to as an offering in exchange for imagined safety, you pretend there is one anyways.
I’m sure you’ve had this experience. You are with a few friends, sitting there, on a Friday or Saturday evening, or whatever evening is your night to relax. You sit around looking at each other, and keep asking yourselves “So, what’s the plan?” Your lack of a plan keeps you from making the most of your time so that you can enjoy yourself. Sometimes you’ll go out and have a fantastic night, all planned by somebody else. Or sometimes not planned by somebody else. Sometimes events are just random strings of overlapping coincidence, which when strung together seem to serendipitously give you a night of fortuitousness enjoyment. What is the difference between luck and chance?
Of course, when you do make a plan, and it comes off without any major hitches, you feel really good. Because you have given yourself a strong message. You can plan and choose your reality. You can choose to live your life however you want. And if you are really bold, you can ask yourself after your plans have flawlessly come out, “Aw, geeze, why didn’t I plan something even better?” I’m sure you know what that is like, right?
So we sat there in the bar, hanging on to our self imposed two-drink minimum. The place filled rather soon after we luckily got our favorite table. So naturally, we were reluctant to leave our seats. If so many people wanted to sit where we were sitting, our seats must be pretty important right? More important than anything else we could do by going out and creating something new, right? Or maybe not. Maybe we were just fooled that because other people wanted what we had, we thought it must be important. And here we were thinking that we were following our own plans. Funny when that happens.