God Laughs When You Make Plans: How to Stop Trying to Control Everything

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Do you try to plan every area of your life? Do you project your schedule onto the future and do everything in your power to make sure things turn out the way you want?

If so, we have a lot in common. I’m a recovering over-planner. I used to try to plan everything. I tried to plan every professional goal. I tried to plan exactly when and how I’d get married. And guess what? Exactly zero of my plans happened the way I projected!

But now I know that’s a good thing. Instead, my life has unfolded in ways far better than I ever could have imagined. When we loosen our grip and strengthen our faith, miracles present themselves. The truth is, God laughs when you make plans!

Tweet: God laughs when you make plans… @gabbybernstein

There is a wise and loving force working on our behalf at all times. Call it God, call it the Universe, call it angels, call it intuition. Whatever you call it, just know that there is a power greater than you working on your behalf. And this power has a better plan than you do!

When we stop trying to control everything, God comes through!

In this video I share a story, plus tips about how to let go of the need to plan and control the course of your life. If you’re trying to live on a schedule, this video is for you!

Watch the video:

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  1. After three years trying to conceive, a failed IVF cycle AND my brother and his wife announcing their pregnancy just as my treatment failed (ouch – but just a detour, right?) I SURRENDER! Thank you universe for taking this weight off of my shoulders. It feels good. I have complete faith in your plan and I can’t wait to meet my baby x

  2. I surrender my plan from trying to control getting pregnant. I am so fixated every month on trying to conceive. I surrender my plan to the universe and know the universe will give me my blessing when the time is right

  3. I get so mixed up with “surrendering” and manifesting…because when I want something, I manifest it. I hyper focus and visualize and dream about it and talk about it and VOILA it happens … so if I’m doing that, how do I surrender?!

  4. I surrender from trying to decide wether what career path to choose from either being a Dietician or a Preschool Teacher. I also surrender to planning my dream house.

  5. I surrender my deep sadness and anxiety about the choices I have made in the past and how to figure out the best choices for the future. I also surrender my worries and frustration over my work and my anxiety and sadness about how to communicate with T and my stress about controlling communication and outcomes. Sat nam and peace and blessings to all who write . Peace

  6. I surrender my intense sadness and anxiety and confusion and shame regarding T, I also release and surrender the stress of worrying about it and what people think, peace and blessings to all who post sat nam

  7. I surrender the shame and guilt from the interaction, I surrender and release in peace, I surrender the feelings of hurt, confusion, and sorrow around decisions, and I surrender my sadness and anxiety over communicating with T,
    and I know the universe has my back, peace and blessings to all who post, sat nam

  8. I surrender ALL of it. Particularly my money issues and stress about what the future will bring. And the corruption we are dealing with and all the uncertainty and lack of faith that brings. I surrender it ALL!

  9. I surrender my anger and sadness and confusion and fears and hurt feelings and disappointment and abandonment over the situation with T, and know the universe has my back, blessings to all

  10. Love this! Totally spoke to me-thank you!!
    I would love to hear more about baby’s and Soul Contracts you briefly mention at the end of your video 🙂

  11. I surrender all of my fear but I specifically surrender my fear of and surrounding the man that God told me, and continues to tell me, will be my husband.

  12. I surrender my plan of controlling how much weight to lose by certain dates. I will let universe do its thing and guide me. Xoxo

  13. Thank you… This really touched me. I deeply, and whole heartedly surrender the need to find my partner/soulmate right now. I know God has an amazing plan for me, and it will be when the time is right for both of us. Xoxo

  14. I surrender my plan of controlling every detail in my life, including my husbands behavior towards me! I can be super uptight and want things to be like in the movies.

  15. This video is so appropriate. I’m the type of person who loves to be analytical and plan things out, but for all the times I have been successful in reaching my goals, such as going to the college of my choice, I have failed in many other situations, such as trying to chase whatever get rich quick scheme to make money. Interestingly enough, I was rather awkward in high school with regard to dating, and I prayed for a girlfriend very much; preferably one who was sort of loose sexually and would allow me to lose my virginity. The universe, in its infinite wisdom, sent me a bible thumper. Obviously I had a lot to learn about relationships, but I fell totally in love with personal would not trade my life experiences with her for anything on this earth.

    Having said that, I think the hard part for me is trying to let go and let God, the universe, etc., take over after I set my intention on what I want to manifest in my life. I would love to have multiple streams of passive income right now, as well as a meaningful romantic relationship with a beautiful woman, the opportunity to travel across the country , to Europe and Brazil, and a new loft condo in Chicago, but how do I recognize the signs after I surrender my desire to the universe? I watched you video about seeing signs of manifestation, but I can’t think of anything other than a giraffe riding a motorcycle. More importantly, how do I recognize the universe having my back and not my ego steering me that wrong way?

  16. Gabby,

    I am reading spirit babies now and really like it! Thanks for the recommendation it is just what I needed. I have a question for you…I wish I can surrender more but am kind of lost. Is there an aspect of surrender but also hope? I have always wanted to be a mom but after many fertility treatments I’m losing hope. To have a child I will need to plan it more than most people and am requiring a lot of modern medicines help. I am happily married and am genuinely grateful for so much in my life but I can’t seem to give up on this baby thing. I can’t seem to let go. I guess what I’m trying to ask is where is the balance between hope and asking the universe for what my heart desires and when do you let your dream go? Sometimes I feel like a two year old child myself and want to stomp my feet and cry until I get my way. Not proud of it but it is how I feel. Thanks Gabby 🙂

    1. Pam, please know you’re not alone in your fertility journey, your post said everything I’m feeling & going through. I too am reading Spirit Babies. I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks for your courage to share.

  17. For more than 1 1/2 year, I have been dealing with a Chondral defect. Today, I want to release the fear of not healing from my Chondral defect and emotional eating. Praying that God will provide me a sign to healing of knee pain and overeating. Show me a sign in a form of a person.

  18. Thank you! I just picked up planning again after giving up for nearly a year. I was seeing that no matter what I planned, it just didn’t happen. Now, my happy medium is to set an intention the night before and make a list. And then wake up and see what happens. I have been head aching over a lot of things lately…so it is nice to be reminded to let go and let god. Thanks again, Gabby 🙂

  19. I surrender my plans of moving abroad again! I surrender the desire of spending some more time with “that guy”! I surrender the pressure and need to always look perfect and fit!! I surrender all! God, you guide it!

  20. I surrender my plans to self publish, get great sales for my book and being financially and legally free and independent from my current guardian by December 2015.

    AH!!!! that felt good! THANK YOU

  21. What a great post, and so relevant to me this week. Started a plan to take control of my life, looked at a move, and then God brought me a wonderful man that is moving here! I couldn’t be more elated. But that said I am telling myself that even with all this happiness “This too shall pass”. enjoy the moment

  22. I surrender to God and the divine spirit the fulfillment of my life long passions and creative dreams. Your video reminder could not have come at a more divinely aligned moment, I JUST said to myself today, “do you really think you would have this dream and heart’s desire if it wasn’t meant to come true?” I reminded myself hours ago how God wants the dream in our heart to come true, it just might not be on MY timeline. It’s on order and WILL be delivered in divine time and I am sure way more magical than I am trying to figure out! Ha ha My soulmate was sent to me after I searched the world over and with me all along and I was blessed with my bucket list dream wedding in Tahiti, I have to remind myself that DREAMS DO COME TRUE and I need to shift from fear to love.

    Thank you Gabs for the validating video so I could laugh at the absurdity some more and surrender to the divine order.

    Pure light from my heart to yours!

    Love xo

  23. I surrender my need to control the grieving process. I let go of what I think grief should be; what it should look and feel like and I accept it for what it is.

    I surrender all judgement of myself and of my body.

    I surrender and I trust.

  24. My 84 year old mother has used the expression “we make plans and God laughs” for my entire life and it is always at the most appropriate times. Gabby…you are amazing and you are now reminding me to let go of finding that “perfect relationship” and that somehow, after dating for almost 14 years post divorce, that ‘he” is somehow out there and will find me 🙂 (lets hope so because on your advice I am “letting go”……

  25. I surrender my plan to get the job at the place I want to work for TODAY and for that matter, tomorrow, the next day, or at all. I surrender my plan to get the job. I also surrender my plan to get a perfect studio apartment by December 1st.


  27. I surrender trying to plan ahead and worrying about what is going to happen when i resign from my job and change countries. I believe one door will close and another will open. I let go and I let God.

    Thank you x

  28. Thanks Gaby, so timely! My dad died last monday after an operation that happened three weeks ago, and that was meant to make his life better. Cherish the present moment, you cannot know which circumstances in the universe come together at which point in time .

  29. I surrender my need to over think my future since my recent engagement. It will be my second marriage and a blending of 5 beautiful children. I want so much to do it right this time – I surrender the relationship and wedding to God and trust our union will be blessed – just need to let Go

  30. I surrender my desire to be free of illness and my desire to have a healthy and loving relationship with a man who loves and accepts me unconditionally.

  31. I surrender my need to control my career and vocation so that it fits my desired outcome. I release my need to find a soulmate and get married. ????????

  32. Hi Beauty,

    I want to be filled with faith that God and the angels are helping to me to live a life beyond my wildest dreams and peacefully moving on from the way I wanted my life to look like by a certain time in all aspects of my life. I seek outcomes and situations that only bring my health, joy, beauty, creativity and prosperity. I want to trust that my hubby and our marriage is so far better that I ever could’ve imagined. And that this man brings out my more compassionate, delicate, receptive, silly, pretty, feminine nature rather my ego.

    Thank you for holding space for me!

    May you be at peace and filled with joy!
    *Much Love*
    Marita Veronica

  33. This video made me smile!

    I surrender the negativity, spite, and control my boss loves to have on her staff. I’m happy to know that I’m not her.

  34. What a GREAT topic! I tend to be a lot better at letting go of big life plans. I have my intentions but am willing to be re-directed. It’s the day-to-day stuff I find challenging. I know what needs to get done and I’d like to let go a bit more but if I do, it would be at the expense of say not having prepared food. I wish I could just buy out but I’m on a hypoallergenic diet. Not sure how to let go of this kind of stuff when the result of not getting something done is so impactful and yet the amount of time required is at the expense of sleep.

  35. Thank you Gabby, so timely for me right now (and everyone else it seems). I surrender my plans to find the next right permanent job and I trust that the temp work that’s coming in will be OK and enough. I trust that I will be guided to the next job for me. I surrender my fears about manifesting a relationship with a man that I like, I trust in the universe that my energies and confidence will build back up and that I’ll be back to full health (had the flu recently and changes with leaving my job). I trust in a loving universe and that I’ll be back in the flow. Thank you to everyone and to Gabby. XX

  36. I surrender my fears and insecurities about not being good enough, not knowing what to do, worrying about what others think , all my anger and sadness at past situations related to love and work, and feelings of deep sadness, I surrender all of these and I know the universe has my back. Sat nam , amen and blessings to all who post

  37. My mail box had a mal from a friend from the past who I wish to meet to overcome my lack of faith in myself, he said: take care. I’ll make a plan. N my eyes went to Gaby’s : God laughs when you make a plan n couldn’t help bursting into laughter. God has such a sense of humour! So I surrender to God whatever I am hoping to achieve, he will surprise me by blessing me beyond my wildest dreams.

  38. “….let everyone off the hook!” I love it! Thank you so much. This came as always about the right time. Love, Diana

  39. So perfect for right now. I am writing a guidebook and, while I know the “thing in front of me” is to finish it and make it the best it can possibly be, I’ve been getting caught up in all the stuff that’s required around launching the project (in Spring 2016)… marketing, social media strat, etc. Ridiculous, right? If I don’t finish the dang book, there will be nothing to launch. I have to release all those future plans for now and trust that everything will fall into place once I have done my very best research and writing. Thanks for helping me put my feet on the ground Gabby! x

  40. I surrender my pessimistic thoughts about my fertility journey (long story) and my tendency to believe God forgot about me, or is mad at me for my past. I surrender the negativity and replace them with loving self acceptance and the deep understanding To let Go and Let God reveal his plan, I open my heart and soul to receive those plans in the time set by God. Thank you Gabby!

  41. I surrender my dream house and my dream job to God and the Angels. Thank You i know it will be Amazing and Beautiful.

  42. I let go of the need to control when I have a baby and when I get married again. When the universe answers my desire, ill know which step to take.

  43. I surrender my plan to stop working in corporate finance and earn a comparable (or better) living by owning my own bookstore. I surrender my plan to move out of suburbia and into a quant town just like Stars Hollow of Gilmore Girls fame. 🙂

    1. This posted before I was ready!!
      It should read:
      This is perfect timing of course. This morning I pulled a card from your Mircles Now cards and it said “I don’t need to find my purpose it will find me” 🙂

  44. God Laughs when you make plans, but God always sends a message just when you need it! Thanks for this awesome video and message! I surrender my plans of wanting that promotion that I know I deserve, but worried sick on whether or not I will get it! I’m letting it go!

  45. I surrender my plan to keep becoming a super successful inspired coach in the next 6 months. All I can do is stay present and open to what wants to happen. A wink & nod to the universe x

  46. I’m letting go of when and who I’m in a juicy relationship with. It’s in your hands Universe …

    Thanks for this reminder Gabby!

  47. I surrender my plan to have a successful career. When the timing is right everything will fall into place. I feel grateful for all the love I have in my life. Loving husband and children. I focus on what I have to do today and not worry about the future. Thank you Gabby.

  48. Four years ago, me and my fiancé were planning to get married (we had the date and the place), I was leaving my job to go back to study and I got pregnant. It was the biggest shock of my life. Finally, my life took a very different direction than what I had thought. When we were ready to have a second kid, we tried once and I got pregnant. A few weeks later, I had a miscarriage and I was devastated. I got pregnant a month later (I didn’t even know it was possible), a few weeks later I started to bleed a lot during many days. I was sure I had a miscarriage again but they told me the baby was okay… I was in shock one more time. My due date is in a week ( November 2nd) and I’m surrending the birth ( the date, how long it will take, which midwife will be on call, etc).. because I know the baby will come when he’s ready.

  49. I surrender my timeline for moving to San Diego.
    I surrender my hunt for my Beloved to revel himself to me.
    I let go, let God, and find amusement in all that is unfolding.

  50. I surrender my plan for the upcoming 21 day video series on happy relationships which starts on the 1st of Nov. So excited and so scared. First time I’m really putting myself out there. Let your will be done.

  51. I surrender my plans on where and when to move! God! I’ve been struggling with this decision since temporarily moving ‘home’ two years ago and every time I attempt to make plans, things fall through. Every freakin’ time – friends in that particular city all move out, money issues come up, grrr…..always something. So you are absolutely right, Gabby, God has been laughing me for (at least) two years and now I just kind of let it go, see what happens and take it from there. Thanks for this awesome blog. I’m going to bookmark it. I may need to hear it again;-)

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