Contingency Thinking

CraneHaving alternates, backup planning, prepared if things go wrong

The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B. James Yorke

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised. Denis Waitley

If Plan A fails you go to Plan B, not Plan A recycled. Andre Drazen

For many reasons we should always have backup plans. According to Murphy’s Laws “Anything that can go wrong, will”. There are times when we are tempted to believe Murphy. No matter Murphy’s truth or lack of truth, the wise know the value of contingency thinking. They know the value of having a plan “B” ready to go.

Those living in the coldest climates have learned the value of contingency planning. During the winter they make provisions for what to do if bad things happen. Many winters there are those who run off the road and bury in snow drifts. Sometimes they are found and rescued quickly and sometimes not. Those who carry survival materials maximize their likelihood of being found alive. Those who did not plan for such contingencies are sometimes found dead and frozen. They were not prepared. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a strong advocate of contingency thinking. This is wisdom.

Today we have wonderful technologies. The cell phone is a practical tool for contingencies. When someone leaves home and travels in their vehicle, there is the potential for an accident, breakdown, or other unforeseen events. Having a cell phone has proven invaluable for many. First aid kits, emergency funds, wills, various forms of insurance, emergency generators and having a weapon are but a few contingencies and back up plans. We do these things in preparation and as a backup for what might happen. Sometimes they make all the difference.

Worst case scenario planning advocates contingency thinking for the worst possible things that might happen, thinking through what to do if it does, and then if the risks are worth the potential rewards before proceeding.

We have been burned and punitively reminded of why we should have back up plans and contingencies. We have failed to plan properly, taken unwise short cuts, or did not think about what could happen. Hopefully, experience has taught us to be prepared. There are several things we should always remember. Try to do something right the first time and give it our best effort from the beginning. However, for things that are really important, we should have backup plans in case things goes wrong. Having a plan B can minimize damage and delays, upright our ship, and get us back on track. Back up plans can minimize pain, damage and suffering.

Challenge: Contingency planning is a valuable successful living principle. Not only will it help you have more successes, it may prevent or minimize the damage or severity of setbacks. Being prepared, knowing what to do, and moving forward when things go wrong is invaluable. It is very wise to be in the habit of thinking what can go wrong, and having a backup plan, an alternative or contingency in case it does.  A plan B is good to have.

Wisdom: Failures don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan. Harvey McKay

Spiritual: (NIV)

Be strong and take heart, all you hope in the lord. Psalm 31:26

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be ours. Psalm 128:2

The best contingency anyone can have or plan for is to know that God is always there when He is needed. We will have hardships, turmoil and even disaster to visit us during our lifetime. Our ability to rebound and regroup and get going again is a function of how strong and durable we are versus the size and nature of the difficulties and circumstances. God is always capable of helping us to get through anything that may happen to us.

Prayer: Help me to be prepared for the unexpected. Please guide and direct me in my planning activities.

 

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