The problem with Plan B

I know that I’ve referred in the past to the need for a Plan B. In most situations, I believe, whether for work or personal life, having a Plan B is pretty much essential. A Plan B ensures that you have, at minimum, two plans. It means that you’ve organised and that you’ve thought through possibilities.  At best, you have a set of responses at the ready. At worst, you’ve terrified yourself into a few worst case scenarios.

I think the beauty in having a Plan B is not so much in having a plan but in thinking through the situation and coming to terms with it. Sometimes, when things get hard or uncomfortable, the last thing you want to do is consider how you feel or will react in a given situation. So, having a plan means, at the very least, that you’ve worked that out.

The terrifying part is rarely in the doing but in confronting the issues you don’t want to deal with. It lies in the emotional turmoil presented.

However, like any good well-established rule, there are exceptions. I believe that while it is good in most situations to have a plan B, there are times when it’s best not to have one. Especially when you need to be driven.

When you are motivated by a singular goal, a Plan B only gets in the way. If you are trying to lose ten pounds, you don’t need options. You need drive, determination and good habits you can form and stick to.

If you want to launch a product or service, I’ve seen that a Plan B only means you are presented with options, which somehow detract from the goal you’ve set out to achieve.

Think of it this way. When you are in a restaurant, you usually are presented with a menu. From this, you make a selection. While there are those who go to restaurants and proceed to modify any dish they order, and in so doing, drive the chef mad, most are content with making a selection from the list of choices presented.

Well, when you are motivated or need to be motivated by a singular goal, options get in the way. They cloud your judgement, make you rethink what you want to do and how you want to do it and in essence, cause you to waver in your journey.

When you are trying to reach a goal or destination, you are best assisted when you ensure that, within your sphere of control, you do everything you can possibly do, to make your goal a reality. You don’t set out to create obstacles for yourself. Having or considering the need for a Plan B takes away from that.

Your mind is driven by the need for simplicity, as evidenced by how fatigued we get with the increasing number of decisions that we decide to make or that are thrust upon us.

We crave what is simple to do and simple to live by. If that be the case, make it easy on yourself by making it clear where you intend to stand. There is something clear, strong and beautiful also in a mind unfettered by doubt, too much choice and one driven by a singular desire/goal. There is purpose and clarity and it is for visible for all to see.

When your way is not muddied with the infinite possibilities of choice, the path is clearer and the decision making quicker.

Don’t let this be confused with the journey to clarify your thoughts before you make a decision and before you establish your goal. The journey is one that is bound to be impacted by options and choices, and rightly so.

But once this is done, and when you know what you want, why would you need options?

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About rowena morais

Media Communications and Editorial Specialist. With my strong professional network of contacts, I help individuals and organisations, particularly those within Human Resource and Technology, strengthen their skill-base and brand through compelling writing, beautiful design, content marketing and publishing. Let's talk.

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