We all have a fall back plan.
It’s our “just in case” we fail plan. These plans help protect us when it seems as though there is a strong possibility that whatever we had in mind somehow gets derailed.
I’ve had several fall back plans: a plan in case I didn’t get into the school I wanted; a plan in case I didn’t do well in school; a plan in case I didn’t do well in the major I wanted; and a plan in case I failed at playing golf professionally.
As I prepare for my second year of professional golf, I had someone ask me if I had something else set in mind in case I didn’t make it. Sure, I do. I’ll go to law school, I said. As I said that out loud, though, I knew something felt a little off. I asked myself if I really wanted to go to law school. Is that my second biggest dream for myself?
Since I can remember, I’ve dreamt of chasing a little white ball around and trying to get it into a hole in as few strokes possible. Of course, as a child I dreamt of being a princess. At one point, I thought I’d be a police officer, because I got to ride in the back of a cop’s car when I was nine; however, I never really could put myself in any other type of shoe than golf shoes. So, where did all this talk of a fall back plan come from?
Society teaches us that we need to be cautious and prepare ourselves for the worst. Of course this logic can be very important, like in the instance of saving money. But when it comes to our dreams, does a back up plan really play a part? After taking some time to evaluate what having a fall back plan did for me, I realized that all it did was give me comfort. If for some reason my golf career didn’t pan out, I wouldn’t need to worry because I’d get into a law school somewhere and be able to live a somewhat content life doing something that I would be relatively good at.
But as of late, I have started to become more disciplined in reaching for my goals because I realize there is not a single fall back plan that would make me nearly as happy or fulfilled as playing golf.
Certainly other things add meaning to my life. Nevertheless, if I continue to remind myself that I have something else lined up outside of golf, I might get too complacent in what I am trying to achieve. I realized that once I started focusing on my fall back plan, I got too comfortable with the idea of failure.
Do I really want to be a lawyer? No. Do I really I want to go back to three more years of school? Not particularly. Do I want to spend hours in a office when I could be outside in the open air on a golf course? Can’t say that I do.
Having this back up plan has shown to me that in some small fashion I am afraid of failing. So because of my fear of failure, I’ve already set it up in my mind that I won’t achieve my goals, and I better get prepared for when that happens.
The success in my life won’t come from a bunch of back up plans. I cannot live my life based on the fear that I might not succeed. I need to plan my life around what my success is going to look like: How it’s going to feel when I tee it up with the best players in the world, or how I feel when people approach me on the course for autographs. I need to envision myself in the world I want to live in, not in the world that will be there “just in case.”
The only plan I have for myself right now is success. Those other plans can wait.
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