The hardships of considering, “Plan B”
So it’s been a while since I last wrote on something personal, especially one with my views on life. But somehow I stumbled upon this thought and felt it’s the most logical thing I could have come across at this juncture of my life. Sitting in my room in front of my system on this day, I am currently in the most decisive phase of my life. A place where I need to do a dozen things with very little time in hand with a bunch of probable solutions that will determine the official starting of my professional life, something that will determine the first few pages of the longest chapter of my life.
I’m appearing for my final graduation exams next month which pretty much marks the end of the 3 year “paid vacation” everyone takes before joining the monotonous office life for the next 40 or so years. As an individual who made precise, calculative moves for the past 3 years, diligently balancing my academics and self-imposed professional excursions, I am supposed to have already made plans on what to do for the next 3 years of my life. It’s wrong to say I haven’t already done so, but then again not a day goes by when I don’t question my decisions and criticize the steps I’ve taken or even the ones I’ve thought of taking. This mostly because some of my initial decisions which were my “Plan A” did not quite work out as planned, and I’m left to decide on my secondary and tertiary options. With everyone around me so confused on why I’m so frustrated even when I have a backup plan, I continuously worry on whether I shall be able to live up to the expectations of my parents, mentors and well-wishers. It is at this point I realize that maybe it isn’t others expectations that we are disturbed by, it is our own.
Contrary to popular believes, people find it much more difficult to live up to their own expectations than to live up to others. They pre-conceive or expect to achieve a range of things over a period of time and then when they fail, or more often when these plans are delayed, all hell breaks loose and impatience takes over the mind. We are so hell bent on achieving something that when plan A fails, even if you do have a plan B or C that is yet to be tried out, you ultimately feel like a failure and loose interest in trying for the second or third option, let alone trying for the first option again after some time. Even though we are advised to be consistent and never let go, we are regularly reminded that “Time & tide waits for no man” and the feeling of the time running out is too intense for most us, young and old. What follows is major level depression which may lead to suicide. Now at this point traditionally I’d get a psychiatrist to write on how to curb these problems, but I thought of sharing my own mantra, something that’s helping me survive the self-imposed mental pressure: –
1. Give Plan B & C a chance- There is a reason why you initially chalked out a plan B & plan C; it was if plan A doesn’t work. So now that it hasn’t worked, you can’t help it, consider the other options, they must be perfect for your current scenario, else you wouldn’t have considered it in the first place.
2. Never look back and say, “I shouldn’t have taken this decision”- When something doesn’t work out, never think back at any decision you took and blame it for where you stand today. If you had taken a decision, you took it because you felt it was right back then. Right and wrong is relative to time and place; any philosopher will tell you this. If nothing, that apparent “wrong decision” has made you a wiser man today, I’m sure that counts for something.
3. Don’t try to escape the situation by blocking your mind with entertainment, start working towards Plan B- Contrary to most believes, giving yourself a “time-out” may not be the best decision when you lose out on something, especially if time is short. You must start working towards your next plan as soon as possible with as much energy as you can spare. Even if the initial momentum is slow, with the right kind of self-motivation, you will take off again.
4. Always do what motivates you- I enjoy discussing my thoughts and ideologies with my peers and elders and that is exactly what I’m doing right, now writing this blog. I am venting out my thoughts on a matter I feel I have managed to somewhat understand and being able to do so gives me confidence to once again take on life as it comes.
It is true that your plan A was your plan A for a reason, but then maybe it wasn’t the best situation for you and your next venture is. In case you can manage to be extra focused about life, and believe in the mantra, Plan A or nothing”, you can always try scoring the home run a second or third time.
Either way, everything happens for a reason, it’s impossible seeing it from front. You need to give life time and look back to see what were the positivity’s of missing the first flight out.
Before ending my post, I would like to quote Steve Jobs, a man whose life and “never say die” attitude inspires millions across the world. “Sometimes life is going to hit you on the head with a brick, don’t lose faith”. I’ve attached his “Stanford commencement speech” to this post, a speech that never fails to make me look at the other possibilities in life and never lose hope.