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Sunday, February 2, 2014

What's In Your Life's Playbook?

By Andy

“Check it! Check, check! Opposite 15! Opposite 15! Omaha! Sally! Apple, Apple! Orange!” If you are a football fan, then you have heard a lot of this, particularly from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Of course, I’m talking about calling an audible, changing a play at the line of scrimmage by calling out a new play or formation to adjust to an unforeseen opposing alignment. Now, football is only a game, but in the game of life, you need to have a playbook, and be able and willing to call audibles when something doesn't seem right. You need to have plans and contingency plans.
So, what's in your life's playbook? An emergency preparedness plan for when the power goes out in a major storm or other natural disaster? Do you have a backup plan for when a date you're on goes awry? How about a job search action plan when you want to leave a sh*tty company? What about planning a trip to an exotic country you've never visited before? Not only do you need a plan for all of those things I just mentioned, you need a plan for everything in life. You also need backup plans. You not only need one plan for something, you also need a Plan B. You also need a Plan C, a Plan D, a worst-case scenario plan, etc. This is because sometimes, things don't go as planned.

Nobody plans on their car's tire blowing out on the way to work or catching a cold. That's why spare tires, AAA, medicines and home remedies exist. The key is learning how to change a tire, signing up for AAA and actually calling them when you've got car trouble, getting plenty of rest and taking the proper nutrients. Don't like the city or town you're living in? Either work towards making changes to improve the community or take steps and set a date to move out.  If you want to enter a certain career field, research it. Learn as much as you can about it from various sources to see if it is for you. If you are still enthusiastic about it, take steps to get yourself enrolled in classes or training courses. If it turns out later on that it isn't what you had thought or planned, or that the desire no longer resides in you, get out without making yourself suffer any further. Have a backup plan that you can fall back on, at least temporarily, while you go back to the drawing board and draw up a new set of plays.

If you're a guy who's venturing out of the American matrix to date overseas, awesome, but don't focus solely on getting dates, magnificent as that is. Read up on places to see, learn the history and study the local language. If you want to, sign up for some legitimate international dating sites in advance so you can write letters to multiple women in the country you choose to visit, and have dates set up by the time you arrive. It certainly can't hurt your chances and can only supplement the cold approach. That way if one method fails, a date flakes out on you or if you and one of your dates don't click, you can go to your reserves.

From past experience, I can tell you that even something as exciting as a foreign woman you've been pen pals with for a while, coming to your country by her own accord and on her own dollar, needs a superb plan and a mighty backup plan. Don't try to be Mr. Hospitality by offering to be her guide or letting her stay at your bachelor pad, even if both of you are verified members on CouchSurfing. It's possible that her personality might be totally different from her letters and she might not be the best guest or roommate, or the two of you might not be compatible with each other. Instead have her come to your city to meet you, but offer recommendations on tourist attractions and accommodations; picking her up at the airport or train station should be the most you do for her initially. If sparks fly and the two of you end up having great chemistry, you can decide to cultivate a relationship if you wish.

Thinking of buying a condo, house or some big property? If so, when and where? Do research on if the area is crime-ridden or is prone to avalanches, floods or tornadoes.Think of how you're going to finance this, and what you're going to do if you want to sell, or for some reason, have to move out. This is only your home we're talking about here.
You would be surprised at how even parties and simple gatherings become f***ed up because of fundamental goofs like the host telling half the invitees for the first time about the party, once it has begun, or even worse, the following Monday. Yes, I actually got such notifications, more than once. If you're going to go this route, plan ahead by giving a lot of advance notice and cleaning your home so that it's presentable to your guests. Delegate who brings which dish or if you require your guests to pitch in for something. If there will be alcohol at this gathering, make a plan to collect keys at the door or arrange for a designated driver.
These are just some examples of why you need a real-life playbook and have to "audible" when you encounter a bad situation in which your original plan doesn't work. You have to be willing to make some changes because even the most seemingly well-thought-out plan can go bad. You can't play a game on emotion or do something on a whim. Winging it is not an option. Expect the best, prepare for the worst.

I'm not for hesitation or procrastination, but I'm not for taking shots in the f***ing dark, or saying or doing sh*t without thinking things over first either. I've been criticized many times for thinking too much by people guilty of bad impulse decisions. That's fine by me, because I'm not the one stuck with some gas-guzzler, trying to trade it in for a fuel-efficient car. I'm also not the one wasting my money on cable or satellite TV. Nope, I'm saving that money for that next trip abroad that I'm planning.

Having a plan and a backup plan is crucial to your success and well-being. When something isn't working or is off, change the play and make the necessary switch to accomplish your goal. Have the necessary tools to get yourself out of a bad (play) situation. Having a set of plays and executing them is the difference between throwing an interception, fumbling the ball, muffing a punt, getting sacked, and scoring points. Having a set of plans is the difference between making something of yourself in life and going absolutely nowhere.

Have you ever been asked in a job interview, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Have you ever given that any thought or been able to answer that question? If not, you need to start constructing a roadmap (or a playbook) to your desired destination. Metaphorically speaking, it should have main roads, back roads and detours. It is one thing to envision something for yourself, but a different thing for your actions supplementing your dreams.

In football, tossing a Hail Mary pass all the time, hoping something good comes out of it, is not a strategy. More has to be done by an individual than just being positive and hoping for good things to happen. Actions really do speak louder than words and having an action plan gives an individual a group direction, and works wonders. Sometimes we find ourselves in predicaments that seem demoralizing, leaving us on the sidelines, dejected on the bench. A good friend once told me that life is a lot like the "snowball" in that it can roll both ways, and when there is positive focus combined with positive actions or one victory at a time, the peaks and valleys in life become shorter and easier.
So, what’s in your life's playbook? Have some plans set in place and be committed to them, otherwise you will just be running in place. You are the quarterback of your own life, the coordinator. You are the coach of your own destiny. Execute your plays, march downfield, get the touchdown and get those points. You’ll thank yourself later and you’ll love it when a plan comes together.


1 comment:

  1. Sad Sad Sad..

    The time you spend drawing up plays on getting women would be much better off spent on your career, improving yourself as a person.


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