Planning For The Future: Plan A vs. Plan B

Planning For The Future: Plan A vs. Plan B

When I was a student Benjamin Franklin’s now famous quote “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail” is one of my favourite quotes. I think, because I spent so many years in boarding school, I enjoy structure and routine. At times I feel it becomes a bit debilitating as I don’t do impulsive things often enough. Sometimes the impulsive things are the most fun. Often when you plan a weekend away three months in advance, it generally tends to be a slight let down when it actually happens. There is no doubt that when opportunity arises, you must just have the guts to take it.


 I was out in Stellenbosch one night having a few drinks and a friend asked me to take him to Zambia some time. I impulsively said, “Well what’s wrong with tomorrow?” He was completely keen, so I phoned him the next morning as I suspected he thought it was just “booze talk”. We packed our bags and left for Zambia in my short wheelbase Pajero the next morning for a 14 day trip. My parents didn’t know I was coming so it was a great surprise for them. 

It really was one of the most amazing trips of my student years and I wish I could do it again. The problem is the older you get, the more kids you have, the harder it becomes to be impulsive because you have more responsibility. So, to all the students reading this, never miss a quick impulsive trip. They are the best.

For the rest of us, try and keep that adventurous spirit alive for as long as possible with a bit of a plan. Sometimes you plan something into the finest detail and it still doesn’t work out for you. Hopefully you planned for plan B and that worked out for you. 

Plan A vs. Plan B

I actually had this discussion with my daughter last night around the dinner table. For certain things you only have a plan A. Religion, marriage, friends, family, a degree only have one plan and that is plan A. You have to make it work and if plan A doesn’t work, then your Plan B is to execute plan A better. If you have another plan B then you have a back door or otherwise called a copout! In life we plan but in between our plan, life still happens and we have to adapt. Every single thing we do or try can work out in various ways and we must be able to adapt but we must still plan.

It makes me think of a certain game we played in the Currie Cup. We had made the semi finals in an away game against the Griquas, who were a formidable team under André Markgraaff. They had made all the plans you can think of on the field and off the field. I mention off the field as we had Griqua supporters singing through the night outside our hotel and our local bus driver got lost between the hotel and the Stadium. 

The one thing they couldn’t plan for was the weather. There was a freakish cloud break just before the game. The normally hard pitch was reduced to a mud patch and that sealed their fate. We always used to talk about “controlling the controllables”. You cannot control the crowd, the referee or the bus driver! Just joking. But you can control your temper, your game plan and your attitude.

I stress about life, but planning makes me feel less stressed and I have learnt not to stress about the things that I cannot control. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

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Please take the time to read the latest articles from my blog page:

The Significance of Celebrating Small Wins
Keep Steady and Remember Your Why

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