For three years now, I’ve been living in a hostel, and whenever I come home for vacations my mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins (literally everyone except my granddad), start off with their usual comments of how thin I’ve become. And so, I’ll be fed with extra ghee and butter with everything, breakfast will usually be heavy (stuffed parathas, bread pakora, dosa, puri, etc), and I must drink at least a glass full of milk daily! With so much of extra fat intake, I’m forever worried about getting plump. So, when I came home this time, I decided to make a work out plan and actually stick to it, for once! Now, I’ve made plans in the past as well but mostly I just end up snoring off till noon. So, I was surprised at myself when this time I successfully completed a week, going as per the ‘plan’. A few days later, I had an appointment with the doctor in the morning and I got up a little late so, I thought I’ll do my exercises in the evening (but I’ll not skip even a day). In the evening, my usual sluggishness got to me and I thought I’ll follow the schedule properly from the next day onwards. But the same story repeated the next day as well, and for two more days after that. Every morning I used to think to myself that I’ll do the exercises in the evening and then in the evening I used to postpone until the next morning. So after wasting four days, I decided I’ll have to go back to the old routine and get over with the work out in the morning itself.
This got me thinking are alternatives always good? I don’t think so. When you know in your head that you have another option for something you tend to take it lightly. On the other hand, when the present scenario is the only one in question, it gets our undivided attention. The morning-evening-morning workout chain is only a small example. Consider, you are appearing for an interview. If you know, you have an alternative (perhaps another interview the following week or your existing job isn’t that bad after all), your attitude might get a tad bit casual. But, if you know that interview is your one and only chance, you are expected to take it more seriously.
We are always advised to keep another option open, a backup plan, for almost everything. And they are, mostly, beneficial as well as necessary. Say, you are going on a date tonight and by the worst chance, you spill something on your favourite dress! A backup might come handy here (but who has just one dress, right?) So, let us take another example. Your boss asked you to make a presentation on some new project. On the day of the presentation you reach the office on time, with the presentation saved in your pen drive. Now, just before the meeting you plug in your pen drive into the system and the system is not able to detect it, or worse, displays it as corrupt! The only way to save your ass would be to have another copy of the presentation in, say, your mail (e-mail). So, as some situations demand a backup or alternatives, they are, not always advisable.
Have you ever faced a situation where keeping a backup proved as a life-savior? Or the opposite? Do share in the comments below.