A while back, I wrote about how to find your best possible life. Now, I’d like to dig deeper into it by discussing two things that you need to balance along the way.
You see, finding your best life is a journey. It’s not something that just happens to you. In particular, there are two things you need to balance to find your best life: planning and randomness. You need both of them and you need to balance them.
You need planning because your resources are limited. You can’t just do everything you want. For that reason, you need to plan how you are going to use your limited resources.
On the other hand, you need randomness because opportunities often come unexpectedly. If you are too fixated on your plan, you might miss those opportunities.
The discovery of penicillin is a good example. In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming was doing an experiment for another goal. But when he examined the result, he discovered something unexpected: he discovered the world’s first antibiotic! If he was fixated on his plan and had no place for randomness, he would just discard the result. He would just try another experiment for his original goal. But thankfully, he was open to randomness.
Another example is how Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft. One day Paul Allen saw the magazine cover announcing the world’s first microcomputer when he was on campus. Sensing the opportunity, Bill Gates then dropped out of Harvard and both of them built Microsoft.
Being open to randomness is essential because it may give you life-altering opportunities. Keep your eyes open and be prepared to change your plan if necessary.
In Creativity, Inc, Ed Catmull of Pixar wrote that as long as you hold on to your intentions and values, you should be willing to shift your goals as needed. That’s how creativity works. Why? Because creative inspiration often comes unexpectedly.
But then to execute the idea given your limited resources, you need planning. You need to plan how to use your limited resources to make the idea a reality.
Balancing planning and randomness is key. If you lean toward planning, your creativity would suffer; you would just stay on the same path and could be trapped in a local maxima. But if you lean toward randomness, you wouldn’t get anything done. So you need to balance them.
Any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments!