It’s Important to Have an Alternative Flight Plan in Life!

As commercial pilots prepare for each trip, a required checklist item is to file an alternative flight plan. This enables them to safely navigate around bad weather or in extreme situations, fly to a different airport. And while most flights never need to deviate from their “primary” flight plans, having a viable “alternate” ensures a safe trip by anticipating the unforeseen.

Unfortunately, many of us do not devise a “Plan B” when navigating through our lives. We adopt a goal or a vision and anticipate a predictable, uneventful journey. But life has a way of getting in the way of one’s personal flight path, and that’s when an “alternate” becomes valuable. Consider these examples:

Plan A: John works in a manufacturing environment and had planned on enrolling in college courses to advance his skills in production technology. An unexpected family illness resulted in financial burdens which made it impossible to meet tuition.

Plan B: John explored online training options and completed an accredited course sponsored by a well known university at a fraction of the cost.

Plan A: Sarah’s elderly mother planned to move to an assisted living facility near her home when independent living became impossible. But Sarah was aware that her mom’s finances were limited and that her siblings lived too far away to be of much help.

Plan B: Sarah inexpensively converted her dining room into a spacious first floor bedroom where her mother now resides as Sarah works with the ESI EAP to explore affordable options.

Plan A: As a healthcare worker, Joseph clearly understood his need to exercise more and lose weight. But a reduction in his overtime hours made it impossible to follow through with his plan to join a gym and work with a personal trainer.

Plan B: Joseph took advantage of the online Workouts For You® fitness coaching available to him at a substantial discount as an ESI EAP member. He works out at home and is losing the weight with the help of a professional online trainer.

As you establish your alternative flight plans, some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Even if you are 100% positive that your primary plan will work, create a Plan B just like professional pilots who realize that “pop up” storms can suddenly appear unexpectedly.

  • Don’t let yourself feel angry, cheated or depressed if your primary plan doesn’t work out. Rather, take pride in realizing that you had the foresight to engineer an “in-flight deviation.”

  • Don’t hesitate to contact your EAP at the numbers below to help you devise a viable Plan B or safely navigate to an acceptable alternative landing site!

1.800.252.4555 or 1.800.225.2527
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