Stress blog

Contingency planning is more than just talk

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. November 30, 2010

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  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    www.nami.org
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

As you go through life, you probably have a Plan A — hopes, dreams, relationships and achievements you hope to attain. Do you also have a Plan B? Or do you just hope for the best?

The question occurred to me while on a recent trip. A number of flights were canceled or delayed, and my travel companions and I agreed we needed a backup plan. The consensus was that we should take a bus to a neighboring city and fly out of that city to our final destination.

Everybody agreed this was a good plan, and we relaxed with cups of coffee as we congratulated ourselves on our brilliance. However, no one took charge of the plan. None of us made connections with the bus company, and none of us looked into alternate flights. So we really weren't prepared to cope with a cancellation or any other kink in our plans.

My point is that just talking about Plan B doesn't make it happen. You have to be proactive. In fact, you must make a conscious effort to create a viable contingency plan instead of sticking your head in the sand or giving it only lip service.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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5 Comments Posted

Nov. 30, 2010