Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life: A Succession of Plan Bs

I recently listened to yet another PODcast (Getting to Plan B) from one of my favorite PODcast sources (Stanford's Entrepreneurial Though Leaders). In what is an obvious oversimplification of the message, the most successful business plans are executed as Plan B. Likewise, so are the most successful of personal life plans. Being one who enjoys and appreciates the importance of self-reflection, I started thinking about my personal journey. It didn't take long for me to see that my life continues to be a succession of Plan Bs, Cs and Ds with very few As.

The point is that we should all commit to clearly articulated goals and identify a Plan A to get there. As we pursue Plan A, other opportunities will reveal themselves that may very well be, and in all likelihood are, better than our self-defined Plan A. My personal life, as well as my professional life is not unveiling as I had planned, it is far better. Call it luck, call it divine intervention, call it great mentorship...I choose to believe nothing happens by accident.

I did not attend the college I originally intended...Plan B was far better
I did not marry the first girl I thought I would...Plan B was far better
I did not pursue the first career to which I set out...Plan B was far better
I did not get my first choice in duty stations but once...Plan Bs were always better
...The list goes on...

Thankfully, I am where I am by executing Plan B, as I pursued Plan A. As they say, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." A corollary might be, "If you know where you want to go, there are many roads that will take you there, so don't be overly concerned by detours; consult the map and identify a new route, you just might find a better destination in the process." I have a good idea of where I am going, but my head is on a swivel ready to pursue other opportunities as they enter my field of view.


  1. Plan A has almost always been the mechanism by which I get the illusion of control (which is just that). I've even devised Plans B through Z to enhance the illusion that I retain control when Plan A makes first contact. So often the scenario that actually plays out is as you describe above. Planning is prudent, flexibility is paramount.

  2. Things should be easy doesn't matter what plan we followed. I just believe in easiness.