The Mindset Cure

Plan B Wasn’t Even An Option

Plan A to the right, Plan B to the left

In 2011, I was at a major fork in the road of my life. I was offered a choice between Plan A and Plan B.

That seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Organizations develop business plans that are the roadmaps for the next year or even the next five years. These plans are how management determines where they are going and what they want to accomplish during that time. They are used as a tool to evaluate if they are on the right track or if they need to change course. If you don’t have a plan, you are like someone who is driving in the dark with broken headlights. You have no way to know where you are or to see what dangers may lie in the road ahead.

Most businesses and even many people, call this their Plan A. Interestingly, having a Plan B in addition to the Plan A, is common. Why would that be? If you have a Plan A, which represents what you really want from your life or business, what is the purpose of a Plan B? In some cases, Plan B is based on the potential for uncontrollable events such as unforeseen economic changes. But in many more cases, the issue is drive, focus and motivation. Succeeding in life and reaching Plan A usually requires hard work and sometimes even short-term sacrifices. Some businesses and individuals aren’t willing to take the actions required or give up short-term desires. Plan B typically takes less effort; you can almost be on auto-pilot and still achieve the Plan B. That’s probably what makes it an attractive option for most people. Easy is the appeal. It takes almost no effort.

In most cases, Plan A is the ideal, but Plan B is an acceptable option. Choosing Plan B isn’t a catastrophic choice. In my case, in 2011, Plan B was not even an option.

Plan A was to choose the long, difficult, painful road to health. I had leukemia and wanted my life and vitality back. There was no certainty that Plan A would succeed, but it was my only chance to live.

Plan B was to choose no treatment. Opting for Plan B would reject chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Plan B would be giving up. Plan B would be accepting an imminent death sentence. Plan B would have been the shorter, less difficult road but I refused to accept the outcome. I gave me no chance of survival. I didn’t even consider it to be an option.

I recognize that most people would say that mine was an extreme case and they would be right. But I ask you to think about it for a minute. If your personal Plan A encompasses everything that you want in life and represents the life that you are meant to live and Plan B is anything less, why would you ever consider a personal Plan B to be an option? Granted, you could probably live quite nicely with less than perfect results, but why would you?

What would hold you back from your hopes, your dreams and the fullness of the life you can and should have? Why would you be willing to settle? If you find it hard to stay on course and make the sometimes difficult choices, you aren’t alone. But to me, it’s worth every extra bit of focus and effort.

The choice is yours. Keep your eye on the goal. Do the hard work. Get the life you are meant to have. Persevere on the path to your Plan A. Or settle for Plan B—a life that is okay, but far less than you should have.

What’s your choice?




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