Some people are natural born planners. They prefer to have everything planned out months in advance. Last minute changes drive them crazy. I have a few people like that in my circle of friends.
Some people plan ahead for certain things, but are also open to spur of the moment changes to those plans. Probably the majority of us fall in this category.
Then there are the people who like to fly by the seat of their pants. They are natural born adventurers and turn life into a great adventure for everyone around them. My husband happens to be one of those. Since he rarely plans ahead (notice I didn't say never) the story I'm going to tell may seem quite out of character. But it's because of his "character" that I am anxious to share it.
Every school has its bullies and the junior high school my husband attended was no exception. One day the class bullies cornered him in the restroom. He certainly had not planned out this scene in his head and did not know ahead of time what he would do if confronted by the bullies. But motivated by a higher desire to do what was right and stand against them he did what he did. These particular bullies had planned out what they were going to do and they were united in their purpose. They were determined to bring my husband down to their level that day.
They backed him into a corner, crammed a cigarette into his hand and said, "You’re gonna smoke this, or else!"
The young man who is now my husband held that cigarette for a moment and then pulverized it into the commode saying, "No I’m not!" He then shoved his way through the group of bullies and left the restroom.
I have a feeling that their reaction was one of shock and disbelief as they stared at my husband's back and watched him grow another inch in character. And in case you're wondering, they never bothered him again.
Planning ahead - although it may not involve absolute specifics, if we want to maintain our integrity and act according to the principles we have chosen for ourselves, there must be some planning ahead. We must know where our personal limits are and how we plan to uphold them.
For me, long before I started dating, I already had determined my limits and absolutely nothing was going to make me change them. I had planned ahead, not necessarily HOW I was going to enforce the limits, but knowing where my limits were.
I know my son John had that same kind of mentality. He had often heard his dad's story of the bullies in the restroom and each time he heard it I'm sure it reinforced his determination to be a man of integrity himself.
Have you planned ahead in a similar way? Would you mind sharing your experiences?