How we unconsciously cheat on our plans

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Decision making

I am guilty of spending more than enough time on backups. Frankly, if I am onto something, I gotta be completely on it. Almost for every event, I plan for the worst-case scenario and ensure that I am ready for when the worst-case scenario strikes.

Spending a lot of time getting ready for the worst-case scenario (Plan B) is cheating on the primary plan or not showing immense confidence on the primary plan.

I am not recommending that we must not care for what happens if our efforts don’t lead to the intended results; and that we must be foolishly confident about our primary plan. The point is that we must ensure we spend 99% of the time planning to succeed and only 1% of the time on the “Plan B”. Let’s see how this mindset pans out in the physical & emotional state:

If you have made a decision. The whole universe will conspire to make it happen for you.

Now, why would you spend a good chunk of your time thinking about what to do when you fail. Some of us have a Plan B, Plan C, & even a Plan D. Are we telling the universe that we are more planned and prepared for failure? If so, the universe is likely to make that happen for us.

The thought of planning an escape route affects your primary judgment.

If your efforts are highly focused, you are likely to hit your target. The more generic the effort, the most likely is it going to lead to unexpected results (if not failure). Therefore, planning the “plan B” might affect your primary judgment. Just the thought of planning plenty of escape routes will cause you to make a less effective plan to succeed because you will be thinking about fitting your primary plan to suit all your outcomes, including the outcomes of Plan B.

The problem with the conventional wisdom is that is it almost always correct.

The plan B is not supposed to be a grand plan that requires strategic insights and truckloads of expertise/experience. It is only a plan which is supposed to help us correct our course and bounce back, or simply take us to a safe place after a failed try. So, Plan B needs a framework, and it is not a unique plan for every event. The framework we most need is the conventional wisdom, which we have it within us, hence, we don’t have to break our heads about how to optimally succeed at plan B. We can deal with it when it happens.

Hope you understand why worrying too much (especially via a detailed plan about what to do when things don’t work out) is not worth it. First, we are worrying about something that may or may not happen, and second, our focus shifts from “planning to succeed” to “planning to not get hurt in the process”. Good luck with your PLAN A. Creating as escape route has made me creative, but mostly, it has been the culprit. Let me know your thoughts around creating an escape route (Plan B).


Guest Post Author:

Girish Mahadevan
Professional Coach | Ghost Writer & Columnist, +91-9030144656

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