David Brooks has an interesting column comparing the "well-planned life" with the "summoned life." In the former, people figure out what their priorities are and adjust their plans to reach those priorities. In the latter, people make large commitments without a life plan, then adapt to what each new context requires.
Brooks' point is that the well-planned life is very American, whereas the summoned life is more common in other nations.
It seems to me clear that the well-planned life is a more characteristically male way of thinking about life, whereas the summoned life is more characteristically female.
Brooks concludes "they are both probably useful for a person trying to live a well-considered life." It is hard for me to see how he envisions one person living by both standards, but I can sort of discern it. It is easier for me to see how a family might give full justice to the wisdom of both views, especially if the married couple at the core of the family embrace each in a complementary way.