As surprising as it is, most people don’t have a Plan B to fall back on, in case their Plan A doesn’t work out. In fact, many people don’t even have a Plan A; they just depend on things falling into their lap.
Many of my clients have left their jobs without having any idea of what they were going to do to earn a living after they quit. They didn’t even have any idea of what they were going to do with their lives. These were not young adults in their twenties or thirties; these were men and women in their forties and fifties.
When you’re in your twenties and thirties, you’re still experimenting with different kinds of careers and you’re still deciding what you want to be when you grow up. But, people in their forties and fifties should have a much clearer idea of what they want in life. They may not know how to get it, but they should at least know what they want.
No matter how old we are, we’ve all learned that life hands us twists and curves. We can have our heart set on one thing and we can work very hard to get it, and all of a sudden, the rug is pulled out from under us.
Most of us remember 9/11. It changed the landscape of this country in just about every way we can imagine. Aside from all the lives that were lost and all the families that had to learn how to go on without their loved ones, it made us realize that we are not invincible. It also made us realize that we had better come up with a Plan B as a country and in our personal lives.
Men and women who had solid careers, were left with no job when their companies were wiped out. People who were usually upbeat, became clinically depressed. We looked at each other and wondered where do we go from here?
More than a decade has passed since 9/11 and we still haven’t recovered our optimism or formed a Plan B. Our lives seem to revolve around the Epicurean philosophy of “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow may never come.”
So, we have no Plan B, and many of us don’t even have a Plan A. Is it any wonder that so many people are living lives of discontent? They don’t know where they’re going or why they’re here, so they drift aimlessly and call it living.
We need a road map. We need a purpose in our lives, and most of all, we need a realistic destination and a plan for getting there. We need to reclaim what we lost on 9/11, and we need to do it now.