Despite being super busy this weekend packing all our stuff and preparing for the house move, I still managed to squeeze in time to catch up with some friends. On Sunday we went for a lovely brunch (I’ll tell you all about tomorrow in our ‘Foodie Wednesdays’ catch up) and afterwards we went for a long walk and settled for a sunny afternoon in the park.
I am not sure if it was the lovely weather or the delicious food, but we got very philosophical, talking (and thinking) about our dreams, about the future, about success and what defines it, and how it is OK to be average (I’ll get back to these at some point). We’re all facing defining moments in our lives, some of us quit, others want to quit, some have no clue what they’re doing or want to do, and for most of us it’s a mix… I guess that’s what triggered it all. I asked one of my friends if he was planning to quit soon as well and he said: “well, plan A is to find another job first; plan B is, if I don’t find a new job in a year, I’ll quit nonetheless go to Spain and start my own business”. I know how much he loves what he is planning to do (sorry not to be specific, I don’t want to give away his idea) so I asked “well, isn’t plan B what you would really like to do?” – “Yes” he answered “in the long term it is”.
And this got me thinking: why is it so difficult for us to own our plan B as our plan A?
It’s not just my friend either, this actually happens to most of us all the time. I know it happens to me; I know I have my plan B, which in the end is actually my Big Dream, the thing I’d really like to do, the thing I’d be the most happy doing, so I can’t we own it? Think about it. Have you ever said stuff like ‘one day I would like to start my yoga business’; ‘one day I’ll open a hostel’; ‘one day I’ll leave everything and will become a humanitarian volunteer’; ‘one day I’ll write a comedy show’; ‘one day I’ll write a book’; one day…
Whilst that day doesn’t come we stick with our plan A; I guess we’re listening to that ‘reason or common sense voice’ that I mentioned before. This is all fine and well if somehow your plan A is a means to your plan B. But I bet that is not what happens in more than 80% of the cases. We get distracted doing other things, and one day we look around and we’re running out of time. Or energy. Or we simply just don’t want to do it anymore. So I say if you have a plan B that you would love more than anything to come true, then fight for it now. Not tomorrow, not later, not one day. Start Now.
I don’t live in a fluffy marshmallow happy world (unfortunately); I live in reality and I know that here we all have bills to pay; sometimes we just have to suck it up with plan A for longer than we wanted to. But you know what? Choose a plan A that lets you come closer to your dream. Take my example for instance, I am not making any money at the moment. I saved for a while which allowed me to take some time to decide what I want to do next. But as I said before, I live in London and soon I’ll need to get some money again. So I started working as a freelance. Only a few gigs at the moment but hopefully more will come. And if I struggle there’s always options as part-time waitress, part-time cashier, etc. It’s not dream job, but it gives me time to focus on my plan B. If you are a creative person it’s also good to start working on several projects: I’ve started this blog, went on a few courses, I am working with my friend. Those are all things that get me closer to what I want, or allow me to have the freedom that I need.
Maybe in your case all you need from plan A is to get funding (money) for your plan B – then set a target, set budgets, don’t spend too much and save as much as you can. Because every year you don’t reach your target is another year you’ll have to put up with plan A.
Whatever you do though, don’t give up. I believe it is true what they say: it is never too late. Yes, life can (and most likely will) get in the way and stop you from finding and accomplishing your dream, but you have to come back to it, always. Don’t give up. Hold on to your plan B and make it your plan A. Better yet, think of it this way: plan B becomes ‘the Dream’; scratch plan A and plan B as goals, these will simply be your strategies to achieve your dream. From now on, every plan from A to Z and back again are only strategies to get you there.
I am definitely doing this! My plan B is my DREAM, and everything else will be great and fun projects on my way there. And what if we fail? If I fail? No worries, that’s why you have the rest of the alphabet, to draft other plans to get you there. You may still not get there, but at least the journey will be fun, it will have a purpose and in the end you’ll have no regrets.
Start living now.