Most people know what they need to do to achieve success in life. They just don’t do what they’re suppose to do!
As Leonardo DiCaprio said to the on call emergency room doctor’s while playing a fugazi doctor himself, “Do you concur?”
What I’ve experienced with clients and prospects is they get caught in a fish net of sabotage thinking. They imagine all the steps they’ll need to jaunt to crush their endgame. Thought leads to more defeating thoughts and the back peddling ensues.
For a few minutes. Do us both a favor. Put down all electronic devices. Don’t worry, you’ll live.
Sit in a quiet place, take several deep breaths and engage the right half of of your brain. The artsy creative side swimming with possibilities, intuition, and creativity.
Let’s say you’re fed up with the current environment you now call home. You’re tired of your career, organization, political landscape, neighbors, annoying posts you read from -friends- on Facebook, and the rush and stress of keeping up with the Joneses. You’ve had enough and you’re not going to take it anymore!
Your endgame is to live on a beautiful deserted island. Even if it’s not, just work with me here. OK? 🙄
You’re exasperated from years of swimming in the pool of status quo. So, you set sail to a better place. A happier place. A place where you can live the remaining years of your life lying beneath an endless tapestry of blue skies, squishing your toes in the white sand, and absorbing Vitamin D like a sponge.
This sui generis patch of earth has the most beautiful vegetation you’ve ever seen. Trees of every kind sprawl this one of a kind landscape: palm, coconut, avocado and bananas to name a few.
Your new casa has an unlimited supply of berries, mangoes, star apple, guava and other yummy fruits whose name you can barely pronounce nor had the experience to inhale down your pie hole.
Heh, what about the fish! At your doorstep, 24/7/365 there’s a limitless supply of the most delicious creatures including tuna, dorado, tarpon, bonefish, wahoo, lobster, and shrimp.
Heh! Don’t look at your Samsung Galaxy! (product placement)
Then you get a visit from your old friends. You know who I’m talkin about. Your Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. The IBSC.
The Committee says your innovational visualization sounds, at least on paper, to be a kickass idea. But (there’s always a but.)
The IBSC gang whispers monkey mind jargon in your brain such as:
- You’re not good enough.
- You don’t have enough money.
- You have no idea how to man a boat.
- You don’t know how to fish.
- You don’t know how to cook.
- You’ll never be able to secure that special contact to make it happen.
The IBSC fervently asserts it might be prudent and more left brain logical friendly to have a backup plan. AKA Plan B.
And you swallow the bait: hook, line and sinker.
Ipso facto? You cave. Sell out. Retreat with tail between your legs and doggy paddle back and settle for your Plan B. Plan A (living on the island) never made it to the launching dock.
Another one of my fave actors of all time is the iconic Eddie Murphy. Here’s his take on Plan B’s:
I knew I wanted to be in show business. I just happened to luck out and things happened.
I think you know what you’re supposed to do. Deep down inside I think everybody does and a lot of people just doesn’t go after it you know?
Most people start out they say “I just want to be a this but I’m going to be a that to make sure I have something to fall back on.”
What you’re doing is you’re setting yourself up for failure because you’re going There’s a possibility that I’m going to fall back.”
And when you put that out there then you fall back. But if you just say “Hey, this is what I want to do” and you go do it, you usually get your stuff the way you want it man.
Whenever I hear someone talk about their Plan B, they’re setting themselves up for failure.
Now Eddie says he knew what he wanted to do and he happened to just luck out and things happened. I’m not buying it. And I don’t think Eddie believes it either. He was always at work on Plan A. A plan encapsulated with conviction.
Because he was immersed in his island of conviction, Eddie was always attached to the hip, a symbiotic twin to Plan A.
Folks with Plan B’s don’t have a conviction about WHO they want to become. Their Plan A story sounds good to themselves, to friends, even to strangers and prospective clients. But you know what? It’s not real. It’s a fugazi. A fake.
Eddie Murphy probably had somewhat of an idea regarding WHO he wanted to become. I’m not sure if the Brooklyn native ever dreamed of becoming a megastar nor making as much bank has he did.
At some moment in time, Eddie knew unequivocally deep inside the marrow of his funny bones (I try never to use cliches. Couldn’t help myself) he would never be denied his place in the entertainment industry.
For those of us without a clear direction, we marvel at individuals like Eddie Murphy who knew at an early age the essence of who he wanted to become in his short time on this speck of dust we call Earth.
Now, this is the part of the essay where you’re hoping I’ll provide the I Dream of Jeannie solution to how you go about sticking to your Plan A and stop thinking about Plan B. Right?
Well, that tells me you already have a Plan B:
- If you have a Plan B? Guess what. It might as well be Plan A.
- What you think about you bring about. That’s Plan B.
- Where your focus expands your focus lands. The land of Plan B.
How about asking yourself:
- What are the beliefs of a person who lives 24/7 in the land of Plan A?
- What does a day of a Plan A person look like?
- How do they spend their time?
- What actions does a person take who is drenched in Plan A?
- When you’ve crossed the finish line and crushed Plan A, what does achieving your endgame do for you?
- What does this milestone do for you? Personally? Professionally?
You can turn on your Samsung now.
I’m out. Off to a weekend of snorkeling and scuba in sparkling blue water.
I hadn’t thought about it until now, but I’ve never had a plan B in all the years I’ve done things. Then again, I didn’t always have a plan A either.
Once I had a plan A, I went after it with abandon and never thought about anything else until it was time to evaluate things to see how well plan A was working and whether it needed to be modified or not.
“With abandon.” I like that Mitch. This tells me you were on the island of conviction. A place where you knew you wouldn’t be denied your goal. Your victory. Your endgame.
Unlike the masses, you have a genuine passion about what you do.
A Plan A is a must, as a goal; but I have found that planning steps or milestones along the way helps you see you are making progress and keeps you honest about your efforts to reach your goal.
If Plan A is only a pipe dream and you do little to help it along, you must believe in magic because that’s the only way you will get there!
Don’t obsess! Keep Plan A there on your horizon; accept the it is in your future, and work towards it, but don’t forget to live a little today, too.
Be flexible! It turns out that my life today is far better than my Plan A ever was, but my Plan A became the framework for the life I am living today. I got what I was planning for, and much, much more.!
Hola Ray! So many ways of looking at this topic. I appreciate you showing your side of this conversation. You said a lot here.
1) Celebrate the “W’s” / Wins, no matter how small, along the way. It’s a common occurrence for people to miss this part of the journey. I always ask “How will you celebrate this weeks success?”
2) Many rely on the magic or what I call the “Hope” strategy. As Jim Carrey once said regarding Law of Attraction. Paraphrasing here “That’s the thing. You just can’t visualize and then go eat a sandwich.” You’ve got to get into motion.
3) Being obsessed. I agree, small consistent steps is usually better than a few fast giant steps. Though it depends on the personality style.
4) Flexibility! So true. Set a course and be open to something better. You never know where your endgame will take you. Simply take the first step.