Go for it; but have a Plan “B”…

July 23, 2014

Anticipating difficulties is far better than recovering from failures…

OK, so today’s quote is from me (at least as far as I know). There is a difference between anticipating the difficulties in any venture and having a “negative attitude”.  My wife is always admonishing me not to be so negative, which is how she sees my caution in certain things. Most of the time I’ve probably let that caution man thinkingget the better of me and she’s probably right; however, I reserve the right to at least consider in a somewhat thoughtful way what might go wrong and try to plan for it. It’s is when I let that planning turn into anxiety or fear that I need the slap upside the head (a duty she only too happy to perform).

The story of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger having the presence of mind to safely land his crippled airliner in the Hudson River is an example of someone who had anticipated what could someday happen and who had planned, as he put it, ”all my life for this moment.” Sullenberger had thought about what he would do if the plane that he was piloting lost power and he had to set it down. He knew instantly, based upon that planning what to do that fateful day. It was not instinct and it was not a plan concocted on the fly (other than perhaps the circumstance of being close to the river to begin with); it was the result of thoughtful deliberation of what the alternatives would be in such a case and what the best plan of action might be. He had anticipated this emergency.

For our run-of-the-mill, type of day-to-day plans, spending a little time thinking about what might occur that could throw your plans off could avert disaster. Checking with the Road Commission web site to see what roads may be closed or severely limited due to construction before you set out across town could mean the difference between arriving for an event on time or being late. Checking the weather forecast could mean not getting rained upon without your umbrella at hand. A few minutes up front can avert disaster and is time well spent.

So, in day to day life; does every invitation to someone to do something (maybe asking for a date) have toalternate outcomes be accompanied with anticipation of difficulties or failure? No, but knowing what you’d do or say if the person that you are asking is already busy for that time is at least advisable. What are the other times when you might be able to get together or plan the date? What other event might he/she want to accompany you to? When is another time when he/she did not have plans already? Obviously, if you get absolutely no positive answers to any of those approaches; it may well be that this is not a person who wishes to spend any time with you. Time to move on to Plan “B” or person “B”. At least, if you have a plan “B” you can tell yourself that you are not recovering from a disaster; you’re just moving on with life as you anticipated that you might have to.

Anticipating difficulties does not always mean that you do things to avoid them. You would have to hunker woman thinkingdown in the corner of a room and never move, if that was your only strategy to deal with rejection or difficulties. Rather, anticipating the difficulties gives you time to consider the alternate approaches to overcoming them and to choose the best plan. It may also provide you with a readily available Plan “B” and “C”, if needed. So, take a moment before launching into your day and think about any of the things that you have planned for which you may need to anticipate any difficulties and plan ahead. Have a great and safe day; and have a Plan “B”.