I’ll bet when you first look at this title you’re thinking: “This guy is off his gourd!” What type of fool doesn’t have a plan b? My kind of fool. I admit the “plan b” concept has been a part of my life on many an occasion, but I’ve been pondering this particular paradigm periodically in the present (too much alliteration?).
Some occasions of life call for a “plan b”, don’t they? What if the restaurant I’m at is out of the food I had my heart set on? What if the furniture liquidator sold the livingroom suite I was planning on purchasing just before I got there? Shouldn’t I have a “plan b” if my vacation destination lost my reservation?
Thankfully we live in America, and there is no reason why you can’t have a “plan b” if you want one. However, I’m writing this post for the purpose of communicating the obvious: Having a plan b is choosing to settle for second best.
There may be a few times in your life where “plan b” seems like the only option, but what irks me is that some people start their lives as adults (or at least college students–and yes, there is a difference in my opinion!) with “plan A” as a pipe dream and “plan b” as the reality they must settle for. I’ll never really get the chance to be a [insert dream job here], so I’ll just have to be a [erronenously conceived ‘normal’ job].
Okay, first of all you’re a quitter. If you want to have your dream job–go for it! Get that dream job and do whatever it takes to get yourself to the point where you can have it. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT just up and launch into a job you have not financially and vocationally prepared for–give yourself the gift of a properly funded, adequately trained life–then, go get your dream job (See ‘Quitter’ by Jon Acuff for more details).
Secondly, no one said you have to be a trained professional before you launch into your dream job. When I was a kid (and preteen, and teenager) I made the mistake of thinking that I had to be good at something before I could actually do it. If that’s what you are waiting for then you are going to be waiting a long, long, long time. Get some knowledge from books, other people who have your dream job, and any other sources you can scrounge up, get your safety net (fully funded emergency fund of 3-6 months) in place and do it even if you’re not the best at it.
Third, don’t quit your day job until you are good at it. Yes, I’ve been talking about having an emergency fund in place during this post, but that’s so when you are good at it and can launch into your dream job, you’ve got something to fall back on in case your dream job becomes a nightmare.
But wasn’t he talking about having a “plan A”only? This sounds a lot like a “plan b” strategy? It’s not–your plan A should have a space that includes a fully funded emergency fund. AND your plan A should be full of the gusto you need to make it a success. Get educated about your dream job, plan your attack, charage the hill with your defense figured out just as well as your offense, and make things happen. Your life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you choose to react. When you charge that hill it’s better to have a “strategic retreat” figured out instead of panicking and settling for a second best life because you were to afraid of what may be.
If you do your homework, plan our path to success well, and follow the steps to succeed, there is no reason why you should ever have to settle (or even worse–start with!) a “plan B”.
Also, as a final note, if you believe yourself to be the kind of person who is awful at making plans then I would like to introduce you to someone who is an expert at making plans that succeed. In fact, he’s got a 100% batting average. God is omniscient (knows everything), omnipotent (can handle anything), and is omnipresent (will never leave your side). Plus: he’s crazy about you! His love is unconditional–no strings attached even though he knows everything you’ve done. His love for you is unbreakable, and he wants what’s best for you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If you’re focused on God through a right relationship with Christ, if you’re living for Him and following his plan, then you will succeed because God never fails. Hope and a Future with a Father who loves you unconditionally. Who needs a plan B?