Build the Plane as We Fly It

This phrase has become quite common for my team over the last week here in Namibia. Basically this phrase means that we don’t really have a definite plan or any major expectations for the day. This might be challenging for some people who need to have a plan and need to know what to expect. But the problem with plans and expectations is that we often get so caught up in that original idea that we get frustrated when things don’t go as planned. This is known as the happiness equation. It’s pretty simple: happiness = reality - expectations. If we have high expectations and the reality of the day falls short of that, then we aren’t going to be happy with the outcome (negative happiness). But if we have minimal expectations, we’re much more likely to be happy by the end of the day (positive happiness).

Over the past week in Africa, I’ve learned not to have an agenda or any expectations. I’ve learned to actually and truly live in the moment and to take each day as it comes. We’re volunteering at a local high school this week and next week. Sunday night, I had no idea what we would be doing the following day and that was okay with me. So we arrived at the school in the morning and some of my team, including myself, ended up talking to students about our educational journey, offered some advice, and then opened the floor up for the students to ask questions about America.

Today, we were able to attend an assembly at the school and the principal gave a speech to motivate the students to strive to perform better this trimester (they just finished their first trimester of the year and received their report cards). So we spent the remainder of the day in a classroom, talking about goals and planning towards meeting those goals and the hard work and determination needed to be successful.

I didn’t have any expectations for the past two days and honestly, I’m so glad that I didn’t. I was able to engage with the students and focus on the current topics. I was able to be completely present, without being frustrated or disappointed. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow or the next day, but I know that I’m going to be right where God needs me to be.