When you are searching for the “perfect” person to fill a vacancy in your organization, or that “perfect” position for yourself, going with the flow can be difficult. We are taught to plan carefully, and stick to the plan at all costs. You might be afraid to let go of control of many of the details, fearing that if you delegate meaningful tasks, redirect the process, or change your mind partway through, the entire situation will be lost.

However, in many cases, maintaining flexibility within your overall plan can allow you to take advantage of new opportunities or perspectives you might have dismissed otherwise. You may find that the ideal person to lead your organization comes from a different field of study than you imagined, but brings a fresh view to your organization’s future. Or that contracting with a specialist to manage details of an overwhelming task gives you the time and energy to establish a new partnership, instead of being bogged down in internal administrative responsibilities. Or that your dream job is part of a vibrant team, in an organization not originally on your “short list” of targets.

As a reminder that your “perfect” candidate or job may evolve as you move forward in your search, we are reprinting an article by Sherry Essig, originally printed in 2007, and still relevant in 2011. Read on to find out how she learned about “finding the balance between thinking ahead and being fully present in the moment.”


Sherry Heuser

Losing Control Isn't All Bad

by Sherry Essig

For the last few years, words of wisdom have been leaping out at me from the most unusual places: my ten year old nephew, a line from a silly movie, and most recently, during a presentation on professional speaking. Not exactly the place I expected to find a perfect metaphor for life, but that's exactly what happened when the speaker said, "Prepare, prepare, prepare, then throw away your notes."

Of course he was talking about knowing your stuff so cold you're flowing with whatever shows up - a half empty or too-full room, malfunctioning equipment, or a church revival going on in the room next door (yes, that really happened at a conference I attended).

But the more significant point is that planning is good, but ultimately you don't control what actually happens. And isn't that true for everything in life?

I'm a planner. Big time. Which can be a strength, except when I cross the line from planning to control. (I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one this happens to :-) .)

A few weeks after that presentation I was in the Miami airport, waiting for a very delayed flight. Walking to the counter to ask, again, if any new information was available, it hit me ... this was a good time to "throw away my notes." As soon as I let go of wanting to control the situation (as if I could anyway!), I realized there were lots of ways to use, and even enjoy, that time - to be present to what was.

I found a coffee kiosk, leaned up against a wall, and proceeded to read half a book that had been on my list for months. It seems obvious in retrospect, but at the time I was so focused on trying to keep my plans intact that I almost gave away the chance to enjoy the opportunity that the delay was offering to me.

Too often when you're hanging onto your plans, working like crazy to make them happen, the real opportunity passes right by and you've missed something good - maybe even something incredible.

Bottom Line: Don't stop your planning and preparation; it's undoubtedly contributed to your success. But next time you find yourself on the control side of the line, take a deep breath, toss your notes, and work with what's really there. You might just find that's the exact moment you live your day the way you want to live your life.

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."
~The Dalai Lama

Sherry Essig is a business-life coach with over 10 years experience helping professionals live inspired, energized and unstuck. She can be reached at Sherry@Flow-Dynamix.com and you can subscribe to her free newsletter by visiting www.Flow-Dynamix.com.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]