"Visions don't change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan."
-John C. Maxwell-
I don’t know how many times I have made plans that do not come together. If I had to draw a chart of how I thought my life was going to unfold as oppose to how it did unfold, it would be a completely different picture. If my life had gone according to plan, right now, I would be retired, driving across the country in my luxurious RV with well-behaved dogs. Away from all people and immersed in nature with a very expensive, gas-guzzling vehicle. Yes, I would be burning cash because I would have made millions as an academic. How?! Well, its my fantasy. But everyone knows that most academics live just above the poverty level like nonprofit workers. Most likely, if I had continued my academic career, I would be a poor teacher stuck in the ivory-towers, cut off from all reality.
Instead, I am barely making ends meet, trying to publish my writings, taking care of my mother, figuring out the landscape of my new business, and organizing a new nonprofit organization. I am completely immersed in reality with really misbehaved dogs. None of these ever figured into my plans. It is not just a detour; it is a different life altogether. Now, famous people try to glorify the detours (namely Oprah and company) but I personally love when plans come together. You take methodical steps to get to your goal and voila, it happens. But everyone knows, life has a mind of its own and could care less about anyone’s plans. So you adjust or become very bitter. I thought about becoming bitter but I had a difficult time laughing about it. I guess I chose to adjust, not voluntarily but because I needed to laugh at the absurdity of life. Eventually, they say that I will end up at some road that I was destined for … No. I am only adjusting because I need to survive, not willingly. Stubborn is stubborn does (Forest Gump).
When I first envisioned this event, I wanted all the participants in one space, learning, growing, and connecting with the facilitators. Everyone would have the time and money to get away for a few days to explore themselves and their visions. This cannot be further from reality. So we went back to the drawing board and modified our plan for the event. For the residents of Colorado, we decided to offer them the option to just attend the workshop ($250 - includes breakfast/lunch), take day-trips with the facilitators ($500 - includes workshops, transportation, meals), or lodge with everyone ($750). This is not exactly what we planned but we wanted to make sure everyone who wants to can and will attend the workshops.
And the fundraising. It is again not going as we had planned. So we will have to figure out creative ways to raise funds or for participants to get funding for the event. We are reaching out to universities in Colorado to see if they can connect their students to scholarships. And we would like non-residents of Colorado to see if they can get their organizations or schools to fund them. And of course, if we raise enough funds, we will be creating scholarships so that most participants can attend for free.
Is this what we planned? No. Are we adjusting to meet the new challenges? Yes. And this is the spirit we would like to enter this New Year: To face the detours and changes that life brings us with laughter. Not because we want to but because we need to. Otherwise, we will become bitter and no one really enjoys the company of a bitter person :)
To a new year in which we come to refine our visions for the powerless.
Happy New Year!
Founder. Executive Director
Jan. 1, 2017