My entire job revolves around being on the internet. I have to prepare my podcasts, research for clients, implement work, post on social media, write blogs, and send invoices.
That’s why today was essentially my armageddon.
I live in the panhandle of Florida, on the white sands off the Gulf of Mexico. It sounds exotic and relaxing, but it often gives me a near-aneurism as the internet service in the area is abysmal.
Today, it shut down worse than I’ve ever seen it do before. I counted at least 6 hours today when my most precious resource collapsed for nearly an entire work day.
This situation was hardly anything more than a big inconvenience, but it caused me to reflect on the importance of having a contingency plan or exit strategy.
How well are we prepared to succeed if everything we rely on to be there for us ceases to do so?
In other words, what would we do if all convenience and resource were stripped from us in an instant?
The fact of the matter is that, whether or not we have the resources, results are still expected. Consequences exist in life for not having an exit strategy, and I think it’s about time to start thinking about mine.
For me, this goes well beyond my dilemma of our useless internet provider. It extends into my family, my work, and my interests.
Life comes equipped with only one guarantee: it won’t go as expected.
I believe that this renders having a contingency plan absolutely essential for all aspects of our day-to-day.
The best way to start forming a plan is to reverse-engineer the entire experience. In order to get to our desired destination, we first have to put in into the GPS.
The same applies for our own contingency plans. We have to determine the end point first, and then anchor it in our minds. Sure, the “GPS” might take a couple of alternative routes to get there, but with the end in mind we will arrive.
For example, my end goal for my career is to look back at the end with fond memories, rich knowledge, and opportunities to train others to do the same.
With that in mind, I can construct a plan to get to that point, taking into account the many different paths I could go on to get there.
Having a contingency plan doesn’t mean that we have all the answers for any scenario that may arise. Rather, it indicates that we have prepared for forks in the road and are mentally prepared to forge on regardless.
It’s much more about the mental power to continue than the physical resources a back-up plan could establish. Half the battle of overcoming an inconvenience or wrench in the works is preparing mentally to accept it may happen, and making the decision ahead of time to win anyway.
So, if you haven’t already, go create a contingency plan for those end goals you have. Reverse engineer them so you are mentally prepared to overcome forks in the road.