In all facets of life is always a good idea to have a contingency plan. You must try and get yourself into the habit of always thinking ahead. In this way you can plan one step ahead and therefore be prepared for anything or anyone that might come along. Eventually you will want to increase the steps ahead that you can plan and just like a chess master you can be three or four steps ahead of your competition.
It is very seldom that things go perfectly. No matter how hard we try to come up with the perfect plan, it is quite often the case that things do not work out exactly how we plan them. It is always good to remember that the map is not the territory. What this means is that while things might look good in a map, the actual terrain in which you might be traveling in can change constantly and quite quickly. Life is an open system where surprises can present themselves at any moment. By realizing this and expecting the unexpected, you will not be easily caught with your pants down.
It is an incredibly positive habit to always get yourself to think of contingency plans. Always remember that the map is not the territory and in this way motivate yourself to always think of alternatives to any of your actions. When a situation is very stressful or just very important, it is always a good idea to have at least two contingency plans that will allow you to ride through or around any unforeseen problem. It is true that you can only plan for those events that you might foresee, but contingency plans also allow you to have a more flexibility mind set so that even if you have not foreseen a certain future event, you will be more flexible and in this way far more prepared for the unexpected. What you are trying to do is to essentially outsmart the worst case scenario.
By having a contingency plan you become more confident. It is always good to be confident but never so confident that you ignore the possibility of failure. True confidence can only be achieved through preparedness, where you know that you can handle any problem that might come your way. Louis Pasteur once said, “chance favors the prepared mind”. It is a good idea to always live by this motto.
Before you engage in any activity, always ask yourself; what are my options? This is a great starter question that will allow you to focus your mind on solutions. A question like this can motivate you to come up with contingencies to any situation in your life. What you must do then is motivate yourself to always think and act strategically. By acting strategically you consider all your options and all the probable possible outcomes to your action. You also consider any possible surprises that might present themselves, and once you have done this strategic thinking, you create a set of actions that you believe have a good chance of being successful.
Go into any situation with as many options as possible. While this might seem like a difficult proposition, where you are essentially thinking too much before any event, it actually becomes quite easy if you motivate yourself to do it in the beginning. Your conscious mind is an amazing machine that can find patterns and deviations to patterns in just about any situation. Given the right motivation, your conscious mind, can quite naturally and effortlessly come up with contingencies and strategies in a flash. If you are not willing to motivate yourself in order to come up with contingency plans, or you are not willing to believe that your mind is powerful enough to come up with these plans very quickly, you will not be prepared when faced with unexpected situations. The less options that you have, the less options that you give yourself, the more likely that you are to suffer and to lose in the game of life.