Plan for Failure

Because life is unpredictable, we may find ourselves unprepared to deal with setbacks effectively. However, if we do a little research and planning, we can get better outcomes. Even in the face of adversity, we can train our minds to create positives.

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” This applies to life (and laugh while you say it):

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time when you least expect it.

So what are you going to do about it?



I don’t mean to expect it in a negative sense. We know life is messy. We know that when you wake up late, the dog will barf, you’ll spill coffee on yourself, you’ll need air in your tire, and there will be unexpected traffic due to a school bus hitting a cattle truck… if you give a mouse a cookie…

So, what do we do?

We plan.

When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your actions. Planning also gives you insight to additional resources you may need to help you overcome obstacles that lie along your journey.

One REALLY helpful way to prepare is to adopt my “All In” approach.

This is merely about thinking in an expanded way, using hindsight, foresight and insight when making decisions. You look at where you are, where you want to go, and what lies between—then you plan accordingly.

A few questions you can ask yourself to break the mental gridlock when you aren’t sure about how to get where you want to go:

Question the Problem
  • What, exactly, is your problem?
    What are the indications that this is actually a problem for you?
    How do you know this is accurate?
Question the Origins of Problem
  • How did all this start?
    Who or what perpetuates this problem?
Identify the Details
  • When did it happen?
    How did it happen?
    Where did it happen?
Determine the Consequences
  • What would happen if you ignored it?
    When could it become a bigger problem?
    What could lead to this specific outcome?
    How does this affect you?
    How does this affect others?
    How does this affect life?
    Could resolving this cause other problems?
Take Control
  • Whose behavior do you control?
    What aspects of this problem can you control?
    What aspects of this problem can’t you control?
    How must you respond to what you can’t control?
    How could you adapt to all the things you can’t control?
Identify the Positives
  • What is happening that is good?
    What would you like to have continue to happen?
Gain Perspective
  • What are your assumptions about this?
    How are your assumptions contributing to the problem?
    What is another perspective you haven’t considered?
    Who has successfully overcome this problem?
    What can you learn from this person to help you work through your problem?
Expand Your Options
  • What could you do differently?
    Who could assist you along this journey toward solving this problem?
    Where haven’t you looked for a solution?
    How will you know when this problem has been resolved?
    What is your criteria for success?

At the very least, what these questions will do is help you gain more clarity about the situation you currently face. With more clarity comes greater insight and understanding that will allow you to think about life in more useful ways.

Remember, your brain and your mind are different things.