Xanatos Gambit!

by Krantcents · 44 comments

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Have you ever heard of the Xanatos Gambit?  “A Xanatos Gambit is a plan whose multiple foreseen outcomes all benefit its creator. It’s a win-win situation for whoever plots it.  At its most basic, the Xanatos Gambit assumes two possible outcomes for the one manipulated — success or failure. The plan is designed in such a way that either outcome will ultimately further the plotter’s goals.”  The planner always wins!

Even when you lose, you are winning!  It doesn’t sound very real, does it?  After all, it is just a game.  It works if all the plausible outcomes benefit the planner.  When I plan I am always thinking about the outcome and it is always plausible.  Why would I plan something that could never happen?  One of the basic elements of SMART goals is setting an attainable goal.  Realistic, attainable goals may be a stretch, but it is your plan that helps you achieve it.

The Xanatos Gambit is different because you may lose and still win.  Samsung’s Galaxy Pad was launched to compete with Apple’s iPad2.  Apple sued Samsung to stop them from selling the Galaxy Pads.  Samsung makes the chip sets for iPads.  I wonder if Samsung was aware of the Xanatos Gambit.  I have gone into interviews for practice and walked out with an offer.  I am not sure if that was the desired outcome, but it was mine to turn down.  I think it is always the outcome you want.

In board games, we see the Xanatos Gambit often.  For example, you may sacrifice a chess piece, a checkers piece to gain position.  Tic Tac Toe is a great example of strategy and using positional advantage.  Typically, if you go first, you can execute a strategy that will win in most cases.  You offer a choice to your opponent which invariably allows you to win.  Playing cards is another game where you could lose hands and ultimately win the game.  Strategy is important in playing games.

I am a lifelong planner although some may call me a control freak!  I prefer to control my future, destiny or outcome.  I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my desire to plan things.  Some may call me boring because I like things planned out.  Is boring the opposite of spontaneous?  I can change my plans at the drop of a hat!  Does that make me spontaneous?  I could buy a Ferrari for cash, but wouldn’t because it doesn’t make sense.  My planning has allowed me to be financially successful.

Success allows me to do what I want, but sticking with my values or plan keeps me from doing frivolous things.  I like to plan my future financially and what I will be doing during retirement.  For example, when I get my haircut, I set my next appointment.  It just makes it simpler.  I do the same with the dentist, dog groomer, dermatologist, neurosurgeon or ophthalmologist.  I plan my day around riding my bike or writing or whatever other interest that is important to me.

I think everybody does that!  I may plan out months or years in advance and then start doing some of the things in preparation.  I don’t think it is that unusual; you go to school to prepare for a career, don’t you?  I knew that I wanted to achieve financial freedom and I put together a plan to achieve it in seven (7) years.  Can you breakdown really big goals into daily/weekly/monthly tasks in order to achieve them?  I think that is what it takes to be successful.  Sometimes plans change!

For example, I never planned for degenerative discs!  It wasn’t something that I wanted to achieve or even experience.  I don’t recall injuring myself or do anything to aggravate it, but I had pain that required treatment.  It certainly interrupted a very active lifestyle for nearly four (4) months.  It changed some of my plans, but it was only temporary.  It has been a year since then and I am free of pain.  My neurosurgeon monitors me every six (6) months, but I would rather have the surgery.  For now, I don’t need it.

We plan our lives and stuff happens!  You could do all the right things such as saving and investing, but you retire at the wrong time. The stock market may make a correction, crash or we go into a bear market!  How do you plan for that?  You should have a strategy just in case of these things happen.  Sometimes life gets in the way too.  Natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy or the Oklahoma Tornado will certainly affect your life!  If you did not have enough insurance coverage, you will have additional debt.

You can be healthy your whole life and stuff happens.  One of my friends retired and within a year he was diagnosed with brain cancer.  He had a good retirement and he is not around to enjoy it.  It is one of the reasons we need insurance to protect ourselves and family from disasters.  You cannot do much about the situation, but you can have the access to the best medical attention possible.  If that is not enough, you at least have life insurance to protect your family.

Final thoughts

Having a plan where you win even when you lose would be great!  I usually make plans to achieve a particular goal.  If I fail, I keep trying until I succeed. Xanatos Gambit is looking at the big picture and using a strategy that allows you to sacrifice to win or have a positive outcome.  There are times I lose battles to win the war.  I am sure you have too.  “Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin)  You need to keep planning and stay flexible.  Xanatos Gambit is just another strategy to planning!

Photo by: Flickr

Carnivals:

Carnival of MoneyPros at This That and the MBA
Carnival of Financial Planning at Money Soldiers
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Master the Art of Saving
Yakezie Carnival at See Debt Run

Xanatos Gambit is just another strategy to planning!

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