Some people like the predictability and safety of following a plan. Some people spend hours or days creating a well-crafted plan and feel disregarding it to be wasteful. I can be one of those people. Luckily, I also like adventure and discovery. It’s a treat when both of those needs come together, and often my goal is reached in a far more interesting way. Yesterday we had such a convergence, and it was definitely a treat. We found ourselves at the Benini Outdoor Sculpture Ranch. We expected to see a couple dozen sculptures while tromping around the grounds playing the hide-and-seek game of geocaching. (This game has nothing to do with outdoor sculptures, but Benini’s ranch has ideal hiding spots, and he had given permission for game players to use it.)
That’s how our predictable plan met up with new adventure. I had spent hours making notes and downloading hiding places into my GPS device in order to play the game. Then we headed out to the Sculpture Ranch to start, where this unusual exhibit of more than one hundred outdoor sculptures is set up in the middle of nowhere. (Seriously, this place is several miles down a dirt road and an hour drive to the nearest city.) I had heard of the Sculpture Ranch and seen a few sculptures placed near the highway several miles from the ranch, but we had never been there. Benini is an internationally known artist; he is the kind of artist so successful he can be miles from anywhere and still be sought out by museums and other well-heeled clients. His clients run in different circles from me….
We thought we would look at a few pieces of art, quickly find the geocaches (which are various sized hidden containers found by using satellite coordinates) and leave within the hour. In fact, our goal was to find geocaches as quickly as possible so we could find more on the way home and set a new record of “finds” in the day. By the time we signed the register at the gallery – which we didn’t know was also a part of the sculpture ranch – we scrapped the plan in favor of a treat. The artistic works were magnificent and Benini is an excellent host. We were in the gallery an hour before we even went outside to see sculptures and look for geocaches.
We stayed so long looking at those giant pieces of art that Benini closed the gallery and locked the ranch gate, not realizing we were still on the property! We found a way out and headed into the darkness to go home. It turned out we didn’t find a record number of geocaches. We didn’t even make it past the first step in our plan, but we were very successful in finding adventure and reaching our true goal of having a good time together. Looking at those sculptures reminded you of all the possibility in the world. The pieces were inspiring and stunning. Being surrounded by them as we ran around looking for geocaches was fun!
We began the day with a good plan, and it was useful in starting us on our journey. We could have stuck with it and had an enjoyable afternoon together, but it was so much more fun to ditch the plan and take advantage of this unexpected treat.
“Be sure to stay focused on your goals instead of a plan you worked so hard to create.”
There are usually many ways to reach our life goals. A plan is a good place to start; it’s an excellent way of thinking through what you want to do, identifying barriers that might present themselves, and defining resources you need to be successful. A plan is a tool or a guide, but it isn’t the goal itself. Sometimes I’m one of those people that try to stay committed to the plan instead of keeping my eye on the goal. Yesterday I let go of the plan and found myself in the middle of an artist’s canvas laughing and playing with my kids, each of us enjoying the taste of an unexpected treat.
Treats like this don’t come around often, but when they do I hope you drop your plans and revel in the treat. You can bet I will!
P.S. I didn’t take any photos while there, so go to www.sculptureranch.com and look at the streaming photos if you are curious. Imagine seeing them in person at full-scale and you will begin to feel the “Wow” that we did.