The Dangers of “Plan B”
At 18 years old, many walk into adulthood staring at the profound question, “What’s your plan in life?”, as if teenagers who are seldom independent should know how to answer that question. Often times there are two categories of life planners: The proud do-or-die Plan A go-getters that will not accept having a backup option, or the impractical dreamers that pack a world of fulfillment into their Plan A and mark their Plan B with the kind of dullness they dread having to face.
If Covid-19 has taught us one thing, it’s that plans don’t always uphold. So what happens when your Plan A turns to Plan B and there is no Plan C? What happens when your backup plan becomes outdated because you were too busy putting your eggs in one basket, only to see it ripped away?
Have a LEGACY plan.
What is your endgame? What do you want to accomplish by the end of your life? Those are two questions that are essential to mapping out your legacy plan. Yes, those plans can change but that’s the beauty of a legacy plan, it’s not designated to a certain letter in the alphabet.
When we focus specifically on having a ‘Plan A’ for our life we tend to think in terms of immediacy -- what we want to be doing in that exact moment and in a perfect world. We forget to plan for curveballs. So when the news struck that sports teams were being cut, and players were going to miss paychecks, I thought about how many of their plans had been ripped away too soon.
It’s heartbreaking to see the dreams of so many ending in devastating, uncontrollable ways. But it’s also a chance to pause and reset your rhythm of life. Here are three steps for creating your legacy plan.
1. Start backwards
Think about your life in terms of ending to beginning. What do you want to accomplish by the end of your life and how do you want to be remembered, then start planning how you will achieve these goals. Remember that achievements don’t all have to be physical. They don’t have to all be in the form of a paycheck or accolade. Maya Angelou says it best, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
2. Reward yourself
The beauty of life is that it doesn’t always go the way we plan. The ebbs and flows of life allow us to pause and reset. But more importantly, they allow us to reflect and reward ourselves for growing. Being uncomfortable is a sign of growth, and oftentimes we are most uncomfortable when our plans don’t go our way. Take the time to praise yourself along your journey.
3. Give yourself time
You shouldn’t be expected to have your life mapped out by the age of 18. You shouldn’t be expected to have it mapped out by 30. Giving yourself a time frame limits your potential to dream. When we start backwards we can outline what we want to accomplish by the end instead of figuring out what we need to do in a span of 10 years. Be patient on your journey, you aren’t expected to have all the answers. A legacy plan takes a lifetime to accomplish, your Plan A must be fulfilled in 20 years. Allow that extended length of time to champion you in your journey towards wholesome living.
Legacy planning requires you to dream big and eradicate your plans A and B. It also allows you to have a clear and consistent vision for who you are striving to be. Because when something doesn’t go the way you expected, your legacy still stands even when your plan doesn’t.
Written by Sydney Story
Social media and public relations professional