When I first came to North Carolina, my Plan A was to be a public school teacher. My Plan B was to return to EMS -- and that plan had a better chance of succeeding than my Plan A. Sure enough, Plan B won and Plan A lost.
After I got married, my Plan A was to move back to Texas. My Plan B was to move to North Carolina. Plan B won again.
Whenever I looked for a job, I always had a Plan A...but Plan B always won. My Plan B was to get whatever job that would take me.
What's the pattern here? Plan B will almost always beat Plan A, because Plan B is based on reality. You make a Plan B because you know Plan B will work. Plan B will make you successful. Plan B won't let you down. Plan B will almost always come through. Plan A, however, is simply a coin toss: it may work and it may not work. But with Plan B, you are almost certain it will work.
If you want to continue to move forward in life, then focus on your Plan B rather than on your Plan A.
Whenever I come up with new choreography for my ZUMBA fitness classes, I would have both a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A almost never happens. My Plan A involves doing moves that might be so hard that even I wouldn't be able to do them. On very rare occasions, I would try out a new move in class without having a Plan B. I would try to make Plan A work, but instead, I end up looking foolish because I can't even do the moves that I'm having my class do. They can't do them, I can't do them, and the entire song just seemed wasteful because people couldn't complete it successfully.
However, whenever I have a Plan B with new choreography, the class could successfully do the moves or some modification of the moves. So while doing this new choreography, I could easily downgrade to Plan B without the class even suspecting that I made a last-minute change if I believed that my Plan A wouldn't work. In this way, the entire song doesn't go to waste because the class was able to do the moves.
Success is being willing to switch from Plan A to Plan B when you know that Plan A is just not going to work. Success is being willing to admit that Plan B is a much better plan than Plan A. Success is not being so focused on Plan A when you know that you could have a better chance with Plan B.
The older I get, the more likely I am to embrace my Plan B's. This doesn't mean that I want my Plan A's to become Plan B's. No, I want to aim high, but I also want to be flexible enough to settle for something else if need be.
Yes, we've been told to aim high and to never stop going after what we want and to never, ever settle for less. As inspiring as that sounds, we don't want to be foolish with our time. If you know for sure that chasing after something in particular is not going to happen, why continue to chase it?
Think about predators. Do you think they chase after the juiciest-looking animal they see? No, they chase after whomever they think they could catch! They won't waste their time chasing after an animal that will most likely out-run them.
Home burglars are the same way. They may want to break into a million-dollar mansion, but if that mansion has all kinds of security gadgets around, the burglar won't waste time on it. In fact, the burglar would find a home that looks very vulnerable. If that burglar can't get in and out of the house with speed and with ease, that person would look elsewhere.
In the same way, you can't waste all your energy on Plan A. If a door looks closed, don't try to ram through it. Find another door that's easier to open!
I saw a video on YouTube about a koala that got kicked out of a tree by another koala. When the koala got kicked out the tree, he sat on the ground making distress noises that sounded like he was crying. The girl filming the whole thing said, "You could climb our tree! There's plenty of trees!" But later on, that koala tried climbing that tree again...and again, it got kicked out the tree by the other koala. Dang, koalas are mean to each other! And once again, the koala cried.
Just imagine if that koala just said, "Fine! You could have the stupid tree! I'll climb on another tree!" That koala would have been chilling on another tree. But since that koala was so set on climbing that one tree, he just missed that there were plenty of other non-occupied trees out there.
Aren't we just like that koala? Instead of looking for other options, we just kill ourselves chasing after Plan A. We won't rest until we've conquered Plan A. We don't consider Plan B, because we just don't want to settle. If we can't have Plan A, then we don't want anything else.
Listen, it's okay to settle for less. I know, that sounds bad. But would you rather stay in one place or move forward? If you are running out of gas, would you risk breaking down on the highway just to get the "good gas?" Or would you rather have a little smarts and get the first gas that you see on the highway? No, you don't like the "cheap gas," but you really hate the idea of breaking down on the highway!
Having a Plan B is just wise to have. Settling for Plan B is not disgraceful: it's just being wise. Yes, your heart is set on being a pilot for a major airline company, but if that's just not going to happen, it would be wise to turn to Plan B: go back to driving trucks. You already have the CDL and the experience, and you could still make decent money. Is it something you want? No. Is it something that you could be successful at right away? Yes!
What means more to you: success or getting Plan A? If all you care about was Plan A, then don't expect to go places in life. If you could look past your Plan A and start considering the Plan B's, you just might find yourself in a better place in life.
In your life, have a Plan A, but also understand that Plan A isn't guaranteed to anybody. Plan B, however, has a better promise than Plan A. While Plan A is trying to work out, Plan B is on the other side yelling, "Yo! Come over here! There's lots of work this way!"
Having a Plan B is all about preparedness, even survival. Ultimately, you just want to succeed in something. You want to be good at something. You want to be recognized for something. Don't be recognized as a dream chaser, someone who is always creating fantasies and never solving any problems. Be known as that person who is willing to look for opportunities no matter where they are. Plan B people ultimately look for ways to succeed.