When Things Don’t Go According to Plan


When things don’t go according to plan, it sucks. So to mitigate our panic, we tend to stick to safe schemes — with minimal risk — in fear of not being able to handle the situation.

[Paul B | Flickr | Modified]

A broken water heater, food poisoning, and a sick child top my list of Things That Haven’t Gone Well in 2016.

Granted, my anxieties of life aren’t nearly as grave as some of the situations my fellow millennials face.

It’s no surprise that the millennial generation is facing some tough obstacles. Says the recently published State of the Millennial:

Millennials are also the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles.

So what?

I get it, life isn’t going according to plan for a lot of us. But what is there to fear?

Fear is a survival mechanism. It was something that helped our caveman ancestors avoid the things that might hurt or kill them. But in today’s modern society, we don’t face predators in our day-to-day lives.

And yet this innate primitive instinct continues to drive many of us to choose the easy plans, the plans with minimal risk. As a result, we end up leading complacent lives as we coast to the finish line.

I get it, life isn’t going according to plan for a lot of us. But what is there to fear?

Plan, execute, adjust, complete.

I really want to give into the woe-is-me millennial trope, but I don’t buy it. Sure, some of us may find ourselves in difficult situations, but who in life has it easy?

I’m a firm believer that with a calm demeanor, critical thinking skill set, and ability to learn and adapt, there is nothing our generation (or anyone) should fear.

In my line of work, we have something called the Failure Mode Analysis. In essence, it’s a way to evaluate all the possible outcomes of a product or service and put in place contingency plans to limit the damage.

The same philosophy can be applied to your life. Are you afraid of losing your job? Save up money and keep in touch with contacts at other companies. Worried about your health? Start an exercise habit and eat healthier.

The ability to predict failure leads to a life lived without fear.

Make a plan, execute said plan to the best of your ability, make necessary adjustments, complete and move on.

Life is too short to live in fear.

This post originally appeared on A Millennial Type. If you would like to connect deeper with me, please join my mailing list to receive a weekly email and more information about my newest book, The Millennial Way.