Through my journey, I realized that there are 2 kinds of people.
Plan A people
Plan B people
The minute I decided to hitchhike a boat to Latin America instead of flying I became a plan A and let me share what I learned from this.
What does plan B mean to me?
First of all, I must emphasize as usual that these principles are I share follow the 80-20 rule. This means there are always extreme or exceptional situations where the principle can’t be used, but about 80% of the time I would use them anyway.
To me a plan B is simply sabotaging plan A. How much effort do you put in your plan A if you know that if worst comes to worst you have a safety net?
Now, how much effort would you put in plan A if there was no safety net? You see my point. I put this principle into practice and it will not surprise you that I succeeded (so far) 100% of a time. My plans included finding a free place to stay for a few months in Mexico without having to work for it, finding a remove digital nomad job instead of taking the flight I already booked back to Hungary, finding again a few place to stay for an entire summer and so on…these were not ordinary plans.
When you don’t know where you are going to sleep the next day most people would book a hotel, find a volunteer gig or move each week from couch surfing to couch surfing. It was just yet another occasion for me to stick to plan A regardless of the stress that came with the uncertainty. I knew if I gave in to a plan B I would ultimately close the door on plan A.
I know it’s an extreme example because most people would never be in the situation like this, but it gets my point across.
Pessimistic, realistic and optimistic
In my view, only pessimistic people say they are realistic. Being optimistic doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the dangers, of the risks or the small chance that I have to succeed, but without hope and believing in my plan A I just set myself up for failure.
If I don’t even believe in my plan A, who will?
Being either one of those characters is the matter of perspective. If you compare a depressed person with an average, the first one will always seem more pessimistic. But if you compare an average with an overly optimistic, then the average seems pessimistic.
Reality is subjective. I consider optimism (if it’s used well) a tool of success, a source of power.
I know that it is most likely that I will need to book a hotel, I know there is only maybe 1% chance that I find a free place to stay, but I will do it anyway because 99% would back down, so that means only a few of us are left in the race, and that gives me a competitive advantage. So I take my chances with my plan As, as most of my competitors leave the race before we even get to this tipping point. And that is how I increase my chances.
Believe in yourself because no one else will
This is why people call me lucky. In reality, it is no luck, it is the effort, taking advantage of an opportunity, making my own opportunities, by believing in my plan A, even when it is freakin’ scary.
To me, most times plan B is setting plan A up to failure. I’m already preparing in my mind for it not to work. I leave the door open for the failure. But if I truly want A to work, I can’t have a B. I can’t have a comforting safety net to fall back on, otherwise, I cut the source of strengths and dedication to plan A.
This is why often times I don’t bother thinking about a plan B, why would I if I know I will not stop until A works!