Everyone Has a Plan Until Shit Hits the Fan
If you don’t plan with a belt-and suspenders approach, you’re going to have a bad time…
‘Belts-and-suspenders’ is the analogy of when you’re wearing overalls and the belt breaks so at least you have your suspenders to keep your pants up.
It’s pretty wild to see how many programs there are out there that are trying to teach you how to create a plan to reach your goals. These goals can range anything from losing 30kgs, making a million dollars a year, to even running a marathon for the first time.
There’s no black-and-white about how to plan to get the endgame but how you execute is what it’s about.
What some of these plans don’t incorporate is how the plan B,C, and every other letter of the alphabet…
Therefore, it doesn’t matter how well you lay your road map out, what you need is a proper strategy to guide you when a setback comes out of nowhere.
Everyone has a plan until shit hits the fan.
This is very similar to former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson’s quote “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.”
It’s like whenever someone starts a new business and they might have a nice business plan but if it’s not designed for those “oh shit” moments then it might be a bad business plan…
So, one way to go about this to learn to become more versatile. By being more adaptable to change, you will be able to handle the unexpected much easier.
This can easily be done by writing down all the things you know will fail and write down a back-up plan for those scenarios.
You can get really deep with by using ‘chess-like thinking’. This is when you ask yourself ‘why?’ to a problem and you keep asking the question until you get to the root cause of the issue. You could answer this in 5–10 questions.
An example would be:
- “Why do I hate Mondays?”
- Because I have to be at work. “Well why don’t I like work?”
- Because I don’t like my job and I hate my boss? “Why do I hate my job and boss?”
- Well I don’t even care about what I do for a living, it’s just there to pay the bills. And my boss doesn’t get me… “Why am I not working in something I enjoy with a team I like?”
- Well I’ve been doing this job for 5 years now and I can’t quit this job because I need the money. “Why am I not working a 2nd job but as a side project in something I enjoy?”
- Because I don’t have time to pursue anything else. “Why don’t I have time?”
- Well if I spend the time that I watch TV series and procrastinate on social media on pursuing a new passion then I might have time…
This could go on but you get the point.
This ‘chess-like thinking’ is very handy for any problem you’re trying to solve and you can work out a belt-and-suspenders system.
Another practical tip you could use is simulating the future. This sounds cheesy but this is what flighter jet pilots do before they fly out. A flighter jet pilot will travel at Mach 3 and any mistake is fatal. So these pilots will simulate the ‘F22 exercise’ by thinking of 3 different scenarios as this prevents an insane amount of stress in even the worst of all situations.
You should always plan for 3 scenarios (a, b & c). E.g. if you want to quit your job and start your own entrepreneurial business; Most people don’t build this forgiveness into the system so they don’t expect any failure which means there’s no belts-and-suspenders approach. Scenario ‘A’ is to be the absolute best scenario (business might sell for $18 billion) and make a plan for that. Scenario ‘C’ is worst case scenario and everything goes wrong, you lose all you money and lose business partners and you everything go downhill. Make a plan for that so you’re prepared, how would you rebuild? The F22 pilots are trained to for best case scenario (make a plan for it ahead of time) because they can be travelling at 700 mph and in the moment, when the shit hits the fan, you can’t be reacting then, it’s too late and you’re going too fast. Scenario ‘B’ is what’s the most likely. You quit your job and start a business and you’ll have some up and downs, you won’t make money as fast as you think but eventually if you hold on long enough you so make a plan for that.
If you could lower the amount of failure the amount of mistake you make on a day to day basis, imagine how much your life would change.
Regarding our running, we use what we’ve learned from Bikram Yoga to help us stay calm and avoiding fight-or-flight mode. There’s been times when we’ve gotten lost during the course and this just makes us frustrated and causes us to trip over or get angry. This is when we focus on the breath and calm the heart rate to be able to think logically (instead of emotionally) and get back into the race even if we have to head back to get on the right track again.
Hope this helped you with the practical tips we’ve mentioned. Leave a comment if you have a way in which you deal with the “oh shit” moments that steer you back in the right direction.
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