This week Kathleen and I took our grandkids to Lake Tahoe. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth, and in the future, just in case you need a place to spread my ashes, that’s as good a choice as any. We came to ski, but when we arrived, we were disappointed in the lack of snow. We read the weather report before coming up, but weren’t ready for how little snow there actually was at the lake. 

Expectations dashed.

So we called an audible and found a sled and tubing park, a huge game arcade, did some shopping, and visited family in nearby Reno. We weren’t deterred. Having filmed around the world in the most difficult conditions, I’ve learned the importance of having a plan “B.”

But I meet people regularly who have a new project, a new job, or new relationship. And when their expectations aren’t met, they get frustrated – and sometimes angry and bitter. Many of those people eventually drop the project, quit the job, or even breakup or get divorced.

But let me offer another way: Always have a plan B. The truth is, very few things in life meet our expectations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn it into something great (even if it’s different than what we planned.)

The saying comes to mind, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” When it comes to our career choices in today’s world, very few ideas are as important.


Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at

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