Plan Z … Chances are your parents instructed you to always have Plan B. We all are familiar with this concept — a fallback plan in the event things go very wrong. The notion is so widespread that it’s even the name of a morning-after contraceptive pill.
Most people first focus on their careers, which are fairly risk-averse to begin with. Next, they spend time carefully plotting out their Plan B so they have a safety net in the event of a fall from grace. While it’s practical to wear both a belt and suspenders, I think we’re missing something far more important … a Plan Z.
The Z can stand for zoom, zap or zigzag. It is the opposite of a Plan B; it is the dream plan. The plan that you had in mind before you learned all the things that could go wrong. The plan that you’d pursue if you knew you couldn’t fail.
Plan Z is your road map for things going incredibly right instead of horribly wrong. It is the intersection of your passion, heart and soul. It’s your calling. It’s what you’re meant to do. No, it doesn’t stand for Zombie. That’s what Plan B is for.
Reflect for a moment on what you would do if you had $250 million in the bank but weren’t allowed to retire. Would you still suck up to your overbearing boss? Would you hold your best thinking back for fear of looking foolish? Would you write cover-your-behind memos? Or would you pursue your art?
Since life often works in reverse order, you’re much more likely to wind up with the success you seek by following your dreams instead of neutering them. The history books aren’t written about middle managers who withheld their creativity in order to have a false sense of security.
What have you always wanted to do? How could you make your biggest impact on the world? How do you want your grandkids to remember you? These are the guideposts of your real plan, not how many sick days your employer offers.
If you are going to build an alternative plan, ditch the Plan B and go all-in on Plan Z. The very act of crafting it will be both inspiring and liberating, and each step toward it will be cathartic. Just think how the world would be if we all sprinted toward Plan Z instead of its puny counterpart.
Zoom. Zoom. Zoom. You’ll be zelirious with joy and feel absolutely zensational.