This could be a sister post to one on how you shouldn’t spend so much time analysing, you should just write now and revise after: Use the Force – and Edit Later (27 February 2014). There is an argument that when we plan too much, too specifically, that we are also limiting ourselves. It’s fine and even good to have goals, but lighten up.
…of all the disappointments in life, there is hardly a kind more hazardous to happiness and more toxic to the soul than disappointing ourselves as we fail to live up to our own ideals and expectations.
The solution, however, might not be to further tighten the grip with which we cling to our plans — rather, it’s to let go of plans altogether. So argues British journalist Oliver Burkeman in The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking (public library) — a fascinating look at how our conventional approaches to happiness and success tend to backfire as our very efforts to grasp after such rewards generate a kind of anti-force that pushes us further away from them.
Read the full Brain Pickings article for more on it and details of Burkeman’s book. The summary of the article and the book must surely be that there’s got to be a middle ground, though.