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Forget Your Plan B.

“Everybody wants to give advice and no one wants to take it.”
—Frank Chimero

Here I am, giving advice that no one wants to take. I, like most people, like having a Plan B. A Plan B gives us security and comfort. It whispers in our ears, soothingly: If you fail, you’re not lost. You haven’t failed completely. There's something to return to. Move to mamma’s house again. Find yourself another girl. Get that safe job with a good salary and pension.

And we fall for it. Why? If our Plan B is so good, why isn’t it our Plan A? Yes, we might fail. Anytime. Guess what: others might fail, too, and that may have terrible consequences for us. But we don't know that; it’s beyond our control. Our plan B is always inferior, because it will not make us happy. Yes, it may save our ass, but what does that amount to if we’re unhappy?

My point is: there is no point in Plan Bs. Plan B stands for Plan Bullshit. Unless you’re plotting the art heist of the century, unless you actually have evidence or at least very good reason to believe that things will go terribly wrong, thinking about alternatives all the time will keep you from commitment, from devotion, from sacrifice. Not from harm. Not from heartbreak. Not from desolation. Nothing does. Least of all your plan B.

Relying on plan Bs makes you live in potential, which is, as Kierkegaard tells us, a distinguishing trait of adolescents. Adults are able to live that potential. Then why, as a grown-up person, do you need a plan B? If, if, if you fail (and having NO plan B certainly works towards NOT failing), there will be another way, almost automatically. Right? You know that. You’ve probably experienced it.

Want to know something else? If shit really hits the fan, your Plan B will be worthless. Inflation, war, accidents, death, sickness, havoc, hullaballoo, meteors. These things happen. But your Plan B is nothing existential. You think it can keep you from harm, but all it keeps you from is doing what you want to do, doing what makes you happy, and doing it right. The energy wasted in thinking about your Plan B would much more efficiently be invested in your Plan A. Because Plan A should stand for Plan Awesome. That’ll be the one to make you happy.

That’s my advice. Take it. Or don’t. Tell me yours.

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