according to plan


Tell me, when does anything go according to plan?

I planned to be married by the year I’m 28; I didn’t meet the person I wanted to marry until I was 28 – and I’m way happier now with him than anyone else.

I planned to graduate with an MBA in one of the top 5 graduate programs in the world; I turned down offers to move to Beijing for my job – and I finally realized I didn’t actually want to do an MBA, it just sounded cool to be Harvard alum.

I planned to be a writer when I was 15 years old; I spent the next 15 bumming around the world, forgetting my passion to write and create – after all these turns and detours, these 15 years actually became content for my writing, and look what I’m doing now!

I planned to stay in a corporate job only for 3 years and then go back into international law and development; I stayed 7 years and got sick and nearly killed myself – suddenly I realized all this experience reaped from being an international executive is highly transferable to any industry, including international development.

I planned to go to the US for undergraduate studies; I ended up staying in Hong Kong with a year in Paris – which eventually gave me a posting with work in Paris again and I’m now fluent in French.

I planned to go to live in Argentina; I went and had a good time seeing my friends – but realized that all I want is a home and to stop moving around the world every 2 years.

I planned to work in an NGO after quitting my corporate job; I volunteered for NGOs in the last 7 years as I worked a corporate job – and eventually discovered I don’t actually want to work in a NGO setting.

I planned to study psychology in university; I studied international law and politics instead – and enjoyed it so much I wanted to pursue a career in this field eventually. Plus, I’m getting a dose of applied psychology during my sessions with my shrink.

I hate it when people mess up my plans and systems, with a vengeance. However, as you can see with my plans and mishaps above, maybe having plans messed up isn’t so bad, is it?

Go with the flow, make plans, follow them as well as you can, but allow for things to change – and embrace the mess up.

12 Responses

  1. Kevin Lee says:

    Ha – my life has been summarised (and hopefully justified) by your 100-word blog post! Thank you!

  2. Dev says:

    By default, life is unplanned.
    It is only in the rear view mirror that you can see patterns in life’s major incidents. 🙂

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Dev, thanks for visiting. You’re right, it’s always in retrospect we grow wiser… in the hope that we learn for the future that it will all be ok
      hope you are well!

  3. Hi noch, so true!
    I like the saying “life is what’s happening while we’re making other plans”. And often, we don’t have a clue about what is in our best interests until much later. I try to look to the higher power for my guidance, and accept what comes. Peace to you! 🙂

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Vlad again 🙂
      I like that quote!!!! so often we forget to live planning for the future, thinking “once that’s done I’ll be happy”… but you’re right, life unfolds around us everyday and we need to be aware of it and absorb it before it passes us by!
      Take care!

  4. Hi NochNoch,
    You sound like you have a good attitude when it comes to going with the flow. It’s better to be adventurous and have fun than to stagnate and go no where.

    • nochnoch says:

      hi Justin, thanks for dropping by. you are so right. better an adventure. sometimes i get scared, but then again, no surprises if we don’t at least try!
      hope you will visit again
      noch 🙂

  5. well my dear. as a girl who has recently broken off her second engagement at the age of 29 and changed my career path about 8 times… i can tell you that rarely does life go according to plan.

    but, happier now than i’ve ever been.

    • nochnoch says:

      @bluntdelivery – heya thanks for coming by, i really like your website too and have been reading it for a while… indeed, seems like planning is overrated 🙂

  6. Marijn says:

    I can see you would be a good writer, I had been looking around on your blog to see whether you had published a book, I think your blogposts would form the basis for a great one!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Marjin, THANKS for the comment and encouragement. Actually I do want to be a writer and have a book published about my experience. Am working on it as I type – any tips / advice / suggestions welcomed 🙂
      Thanks for coming by

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.