Thursday Thoughts: Plan C, Anyone?

Thursday Thoughts: Plan C, Anyone?

When I was a much younger woman, especially in middle school and high school, I had a planning affliction. Maybe that would best be described as an over-planning affliction. I still have my moments where I fall into that trap of wanting to plan every stinkin’ detail and I attribute a lot of that to being an admitted control freak, because as we all know control freaks are convinced that they can control every detail of the universe if you just let them have the reins.  Unfortunately, I have learned over the years no matter how planned or controlled an event may be, there are always things out of our control that will pop up. I called the ‘new normal’ Plan C. We’re taught if we’re going to be a good planner to have a Plan B, right? But rarely do we take it to that next place, because you can’t really plan for the any-shit-can-happen place because well, let’s face it…shit happens. We don’t need to own the bumper sticker to know this as fact. Most of us have lived it.

 

 

This past week I’ve run into a number of Plan C scenarios that emerged – in particular, one work-related and one health-related. Now don’t get me wrong, Plan Cs are not always bad things but they are situations you didn’t plan for so therefore, you are not always prepared to reap any potential benefit because you are too focused on the unexpected nature of everything. But it’s true that if you’re looking for a solution to a problem and you’ve come up with solution 1 and 2, it may not dawn on you for a few days that there is actually a solution 3 that you could entertain.

 

MarkHarrison - crossroads

"Standing at the Crossroads" by Mark Harrison


That’s exactly what happened to me this week with that health-related hiccup. I gravitated to my usual way of thinking, and the physical pain definitely inspired me to take some action – any action quickly -  but then, I took a moment, stepped back and tried to look at it from a more aerial view and realized that lo and behold, there was in fact another solution and even though I had set my mind on one of those other two solutions, this third solution was starting to look better and better potentially? And you know what? I took the Plan C route, and it worked out. That’s not to say my original plan may not have worked well, too, but I was able to solve my problem so much faster and in this case minimize the length of time that I would suffer from excruciating physical pain all because I had been so hell-bent on waiting three more weeks to meet up with a particular specialist to help me. It turned out (thanks to accepting Plan C) that yes, there were other people who could help me in the meantime who may not be that trusted specialist but who were still trained and could potentially help me and make me feel comfortable again while solving my problem, too.

I’m glad I didn’t stay my usual stubborn self out of principle. The me of the past might have been done something so silly. For what? To be miserable for 21 more days? Sometimes it pays to think outside the realm of what you believe is the right solution because there may be another ‘right’ solutions that simply take another path to get there, and honestly I can’t imagine it could have worked out much better even if that original specialist was available to help me on Tuesday instead of where I went.

Do you have something right now challenging you for which you are convinced you have the perfect solution? If you do, I challenge you to come up with two more solutions because sometimes we can think from a bubble where we won’t hear any other ideas or consider the possibility that they may even exist. Upon closer inspection, we may discover there are other benefits to a different solution that could make it ultimately, a better overall plan.

As far as that other issue I’m grappling with that is more work-related, I did come up with a plan C and I don’t know yet how I am going to fare but I felt really good about my decision and that’s also very important when making a plan or coming up with a solution. Ask yourself how comfortable am I with my plan (whether it is A, B, C or Z). Am I willing to ‘die on the sword’ for this plan of action or decision? If you can’t answer that ‘yes’ honestly, then you may want to rethink your solution, because while every issue may not be of such high consequence as a a life-and-death decision, it is important that you are at peace with your decision so that way if your plan does not work out as you anticipate, you can live with the results. So if it involves taking a risk and the reward doesn’t pan out, can you live with the rest? If you can say ‘yes’ and really mean it, then that may be the ideal solution for you, but never settle for just accepting a plan A or B without taking a few hours or days depending on what timeframe you have available to you to sit back and examine from a bird’s-eye view to uncover a possible Plan C. You never know…your plan C just might surprise you. As always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.

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