Does this mean we don't set goals or make plans? Of course not, but there is availability for the unexpected to be part of that plan. Allowing for the unexpected gives us more freedom, more possibility for our goals to happen in a way we didn't even consider or perhaps even know was possible. Weight loss, for example, is often looked at as sacrifice, misery, restriction and a lot of painful exercise. You may set a goal of losing 20 pounds by your vacation, and set upon strict calorie restriction, hours of intense exercise and even avoiding going out with friends in order to stick to your plan. After one week and only half a pound lost, you may give up or turn to even more misery through cutting out major food groups and resorting to exercise practices you detest. Still, the weight doesn't seem to be coming off.
What if, instead, you set the goal of 20 pounds by your vacation (hopefully you have a few months if this is your goal) and you plan to practice mindful eating, staying hydrated and finding activities you enjoy with the possibility that the weight will come off easier than you expected, or that you can be grateful to yourself for taking steps to be healthy and trust that whatever amount of weight is ready to be released will do so easily. This or something better. Learning to detach from the outcome, learning to let go of the rigidity of your plan and allowing for your idea (weight loss in this scenario) to happen in ways you didn't even consider.
Rigidity sets us up for failure, creates friction and more force. What is forced into being will not last long and it will not last with ease. Eventually, the system will break down. It may be a loss of relationships, a loss of finances, a loss of health, sometimes a loss of all three. If we can welcome the unexpected, we set the space for flexibility and as the circumstances develop, new possibilities show up that would have been missed if we stayed rigid in our plan. The new possibilities, new people or relationships that appear might make your plan more fluid, more successful, with ease and fun, and it may become even bigger or better than you could even imagine when your first set the plan or goal.
You don't have to make this a difficult process, you don't have to do anything extra. As you set your goals and plans write into it "this or something better" to make room for the unexpected. As the plan unfolds and things seem to take a twist or turn, take a step back and remember, "this or something better". The second step is to recognize when something good happens, something in alignment with the end goal, even if it doesn't look the way you expected. Thirdly, give gratitude every time you have that recognition. Gratitude that even though it looks different than you thought it would, it is still in service of you.
Make space for the unexpected.