THE PLAN B LIFESTYLE
Has this ever happened to you: You memorized your presentation word for word, rehearsing it over and over. Then halfway through the actual presentation, the next sentence slipped your mind—and with the mental chain broken, you also forgot everything that came after.
Or: You had your day perfectly planned, leaving the exact right amount of time between appointments. Then a crucial participant had difficulty logging into the meeting, or road blockage created a major traffic backup—and you spent the rest of the day racing frantically to catch up.
The problem with perfect plans is the world isn’t perfect. You may be a champion Law of Attraction thinker, but no one person can generate adequate positive energy to make everything always go “right”—and if you hang too much hope on that, feelings of betrayal (and the resulting negative energy) when things go “wrong” will make it all the harder to recover.
I’m definitely not saying you should give up planning and positive thinking. But part of being positive is being able to see beyond one’s personal desires for quick gratification. Another part is knowing your real long-term goals (succeed as a “writing mom,” lose forty pounds and stay fit from then on) and understanding that there are many paths to most destinations—so one detour doesn’t mean you’re permanently out of the marathon.
Speaking of detours: when you encounter one on a public road, it comes with the alternate route already marked out. You can prepare for life’s inevitable detours in a similar way. Make a habit of knowing in advance what you will do if you find your first choice cut off: what alternate path you will immediately shift to, to keep the momentum going with minimum loss of time or efficiency. With a Plan B in easy reach, you can continue moving forward instead of beating your head against the wall trying to salvage Plan A.
We’re all born with an instinct for it. If you have small children, observe how they learn: trying and trying again, making constant progress through instinctive, almost imperceptible readjustments. Concentrate on rediscovering your own “Plan B” instincts.
Other hints for creating a “Plan B lifestyle”:
- Learn to scan the big picture (the overview of the whole area) as well as the first recommended route. (Even e-maps are programmed for this.)
- Take recommended precautions for hurricane season, widespread health concerns, common home emergencies, etc. Don’t be among the mob who “don’t have time” to buy just-in-case items until an emergency is certain and everyone wants everything at once.
- Help your whole family understand the Plan B concept. When everyone is clear on when and why plans might need to change, there’ll be fewer hard feelings due to unpleasant surprises.
- Instead of resenting the need for B plans, embrace them as character-development and learning opportunities. Backup plans are actually a very important aspect of building a broad-minded approach to life—and that is key to becoming not only a successful individual, but an invaluable contributor to human society.