plan b

Life. We think we’re in control of it, understand it and can will things to go our way, and sometimes they do. Other times, life shows us who’s really in control and throws curveballs at us that often seem impossible to see coming and avoid. The reality is no matter how much we plan and pray things are going to happen and even though we may have had a specific vision for how life is supposed to go, sometimes we’re forced to switch to our Plan B life instead. In discussing these thoughts with a coworker friend of mine, I thought I would find a relating ally.

Instead, I was told that having and planning for a Plan B amounted to giving up before I started. According to my coworker, if Plan A is what you want then you work towards that no matter what happens, that even thinking of a Plan B, C or D is simply planning to fail and shows that I never wanted Plan A that bad to begin with.

Now I’m not one to give up on a dream, especially not one that is attainable, but following my coworker’s logic 37-year-old Tyrone, who has wanted to be the next Jay-Z since the 90s should keep on pouring time and money into his Plan A dream even though he has a family to take care of and bills to pay. To hell with Plan B of just rapping at a hobby and choosing a different career so that he can live comfortably and take care of his kids. To me, that’s just a recipe for disaster.

While they went full speed in the direction of their dreams, all successful business people had and have a Plan B. Not because they think their first plan will fail, but because failing to plan for the many ‘what if?’ scenarios out there is just as bad as not having any plan at all. We see what happens to people who don’t have a Plan B all the time.

NBA and NFL stars living for today, happy they achieved Plan A, until an unforeseen injury scraps their dreams and now they’re broke because they didn’t plan on the good times ending so soon. Entertainers who are riding high on that sitcom or blockbuster film series, but when it’s over they fade into oblivion until TMZ finds them auctioning their possessions or worse.

Having a Plan A is great and you should definitely put all you have into achieving your main dream, but have a backup plan. Who knows, if you play your cards right and life is kind, you can end up having your Plan A and B, which would make life so much sweeter.

Is it wrong to have a Plan B? Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you had a Plan B?

  • Mademoiselle

    As dynamic and complex as we are as human beings, it amazes me that anyone would be satisfied with accomplishing ONE dream as a testament of how s/he spent her/his life. I don’t look at plan B as a zero-sum option. To me, plan B means you’re awesome enough to turn more than one dream into reality. Sure, if plan A doesn’t work out you may be “forced” into plan B, but even if plan A is going well, plan B can still be worth chasing (alone or in tandem with plan A).

    P.S. Failure is a part of life. The notion that having a contingency in case of failure somehow dooms you to failure makes me roll my eyes. Just like when you prepare for a debate, you try to think of all the rebuttals you may face so you can come up with strong counterarguments, it’s wise to think of what you’ll do when your first plan takes a wrong turn. And if doing something else is what you decide to do given a certain situation, then at least you have all your bases covered in regards to plan A.