I am one of life’s planners – given free rein, I would project manage every aspect of my life, right down to weekly meal planners and which underwear to wear next Thursday!
I also do my best to anticipate and cross every bridge before I come to it by asking myself ‘what would happen if…’. I can have multiple options ready, depending on what might happen next and I always do my best to consider how my actions, decisions and ideas could impact on those around me (in NLP, we would call that an ecology check).
And despite all of that, I am discovering more and more about ‘unintended consequences’…in other words, those things that may happen as a result of our actions and which we didn’t anticipate or plan for.
The unintended consequence of showing up at a lunch party was that I met my soulmate partner. The unintended consequence of a training in Italy was a deep connection and continuing friendship with my soul sister, who lives in the States!
However, ‘unintended consequences’ implies some sort of negativity and they are usually perceived as such. Sometimes people don’t think about the consequences of their actions and how they might effect others as well as themselves.
We have been challenged by severe delays in an important work project and the consequences of that have included a lot of stress, lost business and increased costs. However, the unintended consequence of this has been the opportunity to take some space and reflect on ANLP, its core offer and the people we serve…and want to serve.
On a personal front, joining 2 choirs and signing up for a third, short term charity choir event (taking place next Tuesday – do come!!) has meant massive song overload and much worry this month…I didn’t think that one through properly! Again though, the unintended consequence is the dog is getting very long walks at the moment, whilst I rehearse my long song playlist!
And isn’t that the point – every cloud does have a silver lining, it is just about reframing things and spinning it in such a way that we can see the positive in there somewhere, however deeply it might be hidden.