We have just recently closed on yet another college graduation season. Rather than having long lists of quotes and other motivational humdrum, I have decided to tell new graduates the truth: Your Plan A will probably not work.
I'm here to advise every recent grad out there to always have a Plan B available to ensure that you don’t get yourself into trouble.
When I graduated from undergrad, I knew I wanted to get into medical school. I was so sure that I would get in that I didn't even bother looking into other options. After applying three times and being rejected, I realized I needed to consider alternatives.
Unfortunately, this revelation came about a bit too late. I had wasted two years of my life chasing a dream when I could have been working on something else.
Always Assume Your Plan A Won't Work
I decided that from that point forward, I must always have a Plan B. It is far from foolish and overly cautious to assume that the Plan A may not work.
Remember that there are so many other people who might be going for the same Plan A as you are. More importantly, remember that the world is filled with so many over-qualified, intelligent and hard-working individuals.
Unique No More
So many people who are your competition are exactly the same as you are. You might be unique in some way or another, but in many different ways, you are exactly the same as everyone else.
You have the same degrees from the same universities, you did the same volunteer and extracurricular work, you went to the same bars for fun, you went to the same countries for travel and you frequent the same social media networks.
How do you differentiate yourself from the masses? By painting yourself red and running around the town square naked? Obviously not. In fact, it has become rather difficult to truly differentiate yourself.
Ensure that you have a Plan B in case you are unable to make your Plan A successful.
More Options, Less Stuck
The more options you have in life, the less stuck and miserable you will feel.
We feel trapped when we find ourselves stuck in one mode of living, unable to move out of that mode. It makes us feel worthless and miserable. At this point, we will do anything to get out that situation and sometimes even commit to doing dumb things in the process.
If you have a Plan B or even a Plan C on which you can fall back, you won't feel trapped. In fact, the more options you have, the better you will feel about the outlook of your life. You will likely be positive and optimistic about the future and where your life is taking you.
There are many ways to live life. One way is to be stubborn about everything; it is your way or the highway, as they say. The other way (the better way, in my opinion) is to have options for everything: your career, your home, your wardrobe, your whatever.
Keep yourself free, not encumbered by the limited thinking of only one option: Plan A.
Photo Courtesy: Silicon Valley/HBO