On a Whim

“Plans are made in the short term. You cannot live worrying about what you’re going to do next year. That stuck with me because life plays games with you. It takes you and discards you when it wants to. On a whim.”
— Inspector Pelayo Gayol

This made me pause.

Inspector Pelayo Gayol trains and selects candidates for the Special Group of Operations (G.E.O), Spain’s elite police force/commandos.

(This is from the documentary series, Spain’s Elite Police: Beyond Limits).

Pelayo is deeply intimate with life and death.

His line of work has taught him it doesn’t make sense to plan/look too far ahead.


I’ve (humbly) come to the same conclusion.

Life can be unpredictable (elite commando or not). That’s one reason to not plan feverishly ahead.

But there’s more to it.

Life has a flow. In each moment, you can choose to go with or against that flow.

You have a big say in the direction of that flow. It’s your life after all.

You have a vision, aspirations, goals, desires for your life/business/career/whatever you do. You make plans and take action.

Here’s where most of us trip up - we refuse to let go.

Refuse to let go of how it should unfold. Refuse to cede (the illusion of) control. Refuse to let life take over.

We resist when it doesn’t go as we planned or envisioned it.

This is how you go against the flow. You’ll know it when everything feels harder, when everything annoys you, when nothing is going “your way”.


Make plans in the now. Take action in the now.

Then let go.

Let go.
Let go.
Let go.

(This is really, really hard but let go anyway).

Give life room to breathe. Give yourself room to breathe.

There’s no need to dictate exactly how the next minute, hour, week, month, year should go.

It’s a subtle shift from resisting to allowing.

This frees up precious space and energy.

Space and energy now available to respond more intelligently when/if things don’t go to plan. To quickly recognize new/better opportunities as they arise. To pivot, go back to the drawing board to create better ideas/plans. To learn the deeper lesson from not (immediately) getting what you want.

Life is lived. Life is experienced.

Life is mystery. Life is surprise.

You can only experience and enjoy this fully when you let go and let life.

Life will still play games. It can still turn on a whim.

But we flow with it all.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
— Woody Allen


Have a wonderful weekend,
-Amit