Hold your plans with an open hand

open hand

As a communicator entering a new job right as a pandemic wallops the world, I had to bid a quick good-bye to my newly laid plans.

By nature, I’m a planner. I’m the Type-A who never goes anywhere without all the essentials, organizes everything within 10 feet, and feels hopelessly lost without a calendar.

My level of detail and meticulous planning is really a blessing in my job as a communications director. I’d worked tirelessly to fine-tune a spreadsheet detailing the plan of action for the next month and a half. All I had to do was execute it.

Then COVID-19 came rampaging around the world, leaving nothing untouched.

Including my plan.

Turns out a global pandemic doesn’t just make it difficult to find toilet paper at the grocery store and hand sanitizer at the pharmacy. It also forces you confront your “needs,” what makes you feel secure.

I confess that I oftentimes fall back on plans—courses of action, Plan A and Plan B—to feel prepared, to feel secure. Seeing the spreadsheet that I’d spent days laboring over go straight out the metaphorical window…was difficult.

But it helped me confront the reality of my position as a communicator:

It’s precisely in times like this—when people are home, disconnected, and scared of getting sick—that communication is vitally important.

It must be flexible to bridge the gap. So my plans must be flexible, too.

I’m learning to hold them with an open hand, ready to surrender my Plan A for the infinitely more valuable: the ability to address people’s fear and loneliness, to provide the connectivity they need now more than ever.

What are you holding on to that you may need to let go?

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