Nuke Plan “B”

You don’t need more options. Options distract focus, drain energy, and paralyze progress.

Life is richer when failure matters.


Vibrancy results from courageously choosing a path and closing the door on the rest.

Folklore says Hernán Cortés burned his ships when he arrived in Mexico. There was no turning back. Alexander the Great burned his ships when he arrived in Persia. It was kill or be killed.

The fear of failure makes success necessary.

It doesn’t sound noble, but the fear of failure drives people toward goals that seem unreachable.

Leaders who create escape hatches use them.

7 reasons to nuke plan “B”:

  1. Instability. Second guessers don’t inspire passion in others or themselves. Choose a noble purpose and pursue it. Clear direction ignites passion.
  2. Disappointment. The path taken is gritty. The path untaken seems golden. The path you didn’t take is easier than the one you took.
  3. Diversion. Two plans divide attention. Divided attention results in diluted energy.
  4. Confusion. Plan “B” begs you to keep asking, “Is this the right way?” The path you didn’t take seems glamourous.
  5. If only. It’s easy to turn back when the way is hard. Everything worth doing is hard. Plan “B” makes turning back an option.
  6. Paralyzation. Too many options stop you in your tracks. “When you find yourself at a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Bera
  7. Dilution. Options dilute commitment, energy, and joy.

Bonus: “No” enables “yes.” A great path forward is the result of eliminating good options.


The search for certainty is a catastrophic waste of time. Find enough confidence for the next step and take it. Evaluate your progress and take the next step.

If you want to go far start walking now.

When is nuking plan “B” most applicable?

When is keeping your options open important?

**I heard the expression “Nuke plan “B” somewhere, but can’t remember who to credit with the phrase.