The Plan is, there is no plan…..

That’s the lesson I’ve learnt this week, month, year. The uncertainty of our world is something we should embrace, but as humans yearning for programming and for the most part, not wanting the burden of having to think for ourselves in complex situations, being happy about the unknown is a task we find unbelievably hard to do. 

I was a programmer, of my life. I used to be a great planner. My to do lists for my to do lists were superb. I achieved a lot in the day, and I had at least the next 2-5 years planned out. It was brilliant for business vision, but also restricted my thinking and creativity.

What is ironic, is the fact that I left my planned safe world that I lived for a good few years in my mid twenties, for a life that was all uncertain and unplanned. The life that I’ve built for myself now, and continue to live, is far more on the edge, and in line with what coaches and psychotherapists identify as ‘present thinking mentality’. It’s just taken me awhile to truly appreciate it, rather than control it.

The best teachers in our society, of how to live in the moment is our wonderful neurodiverse population. No two days are the same, or transitions from morning to afternoon are the same either. Those of us who remain in the middle who are not able to embrace the unknown, actually miss living. It’s the uncertainty, that in the moment problem solving, tears and laughter that is what we as humans, are actually meant to be doing.

I am in the fortunate position to work in the field of neurodiversity. I advocate, liaise and  strategise in communities to educate about inclusion. I’ve worked with the most amazing minds, since I was 17. I’m attracted to quirky traits, humor and diversity. What I’m not attracted to is this hierarchy and need to conform to what is believed to be the norm in so many social and community settings. We squeeze present thinking out of them, in order to add anxiety about what should be in the eyes of the mainstream. We lose sight of the beauty of unpredictability, for order and control.

My observations and experience demonstrate that our mainstream society is able to make our edge thinkers feel so terrible about living life as it was intended for them, that we need to conform, shun, medicate, put them in a box. To live predictably.

Why has this hierarchy been allowed to still exist in 2014?

I see my role and yours, is to challenge ourselves and our peers. How much are you truly embracing neurodiversity, being in the moment, or trying to control it?

To understand our inclusive ruler, how do you refer to people? Is it by name, or name followed by label? How regulated are you to be able to use 360 degrees perspectives and contextual thinking to understand the behaviours you witness by those around you?  Authentic inclusion recognizes a person first. That is, regardless of can or cannot do, that as a human, we share this wonderful world and we are all equals.

It’s the present thinking, non planning lessons I’ve learnt from my mum, who at age 56, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and cognitive damage, turns to me to say, “I guess we have to be medicated so we don’t say anything out of place or do something wrong”. Now, if that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will. How can we as a society sleep knowing that we have created a one size fits all system, and if you don’t fit, we will make you fit, or shun you until you feel miserable.

This issue is worldwide, and unless we are the change makers on the ground, these trends of segregation, muting our edge thinkers will continue.

So, what does it take? For all of us to take risks. To believe and embrace the unknown. When we do this, we allow ourselves to be inquiry learners, and active citizen participants. It’s realising that there are so many unknowns, and that’s ok, that is life. The journey to finding the answer of our quest is the important process, that’s the part we are living, and the ‘ah ha’ moment at the end is ever so much more rewarding than developing a context and controlling people for what one person wants or perceives is necessary. If we do the latter, we are no better than a Hitler mentality.

What I love about present thinking, edge thinkers, is there is an element of play, fun, quirk and deep level thinking. Edge thinkers ask why? They provide brilliant solutions. Because they are using the acumen free of prejudice that allows them to do so. Isn’t it a terrible waste to quash that with medication and systems which says you don’t belong in our community? That’s the unfortunate trend I am seeing when I talk to the numerous disaffected people.

The sooner we recognize we are all humans, with perspectives to provide and attributes to show off. It’s the culmination of our diversity that will be the flagship in authentic inclusion.

Education and awareness is our starting point.

Learning from our edge thinkers, for us to let go of plans and live in the moment is a gift we all benefit from ….

Until next time,

Em x


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