Sunny Skies

umbrella at night


I violated the Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn't count; building arks does.  -Warren Buffet

When I led Epcot® theme park, we opened four major attractions. When new attractions are launched, Disney typically has a "press event" with media from around the world invited for several days to interview executives and preview new products.

A highlight of the press event is the opening ceremony for new attractions, with Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Entertainment developing elaborate productions that include music, celebrities, characters and executives.

Months in advance of press events, the teams would present their plans for my review. We would focus on operational issues, such as rehearsal schedules, guest impact, and safety. The one question I always learned to ask was, "What is the rain plan?" Invariably, all the events assumed good weather, and my question would elicit worried looks and shrugged shoulders. "I guess we'll just have Mickey cut a ribbon at the entrance to the ride," was a usual, not very satisfactory, response.

Most people don't think about having a rain plan. Like the Imagineers, they assume the skies will be sunny, and nothing will interfere with their plans. While you shouldn't dwell on all the bad things that can happen to you, you should certainly consider them and have a plan for what you will do to respond.

Following are a few ways you can better prepare for unexpected life events:

  • Have 90-180 days of living expenses saved in a guaranteed bank account in the event of a job loss.
  • Have a replacement fund for major appliances and cars.
  • Discuss with your spouse what you will do if one of you dies, and make sure all your IRAs and life insurance policies have the correct beneficiaries.
  • If you have older parents, determine the plan for their care if they become incapacitated.
  • Being in the funeral industry now, I can attest to the huge benefits of pre-arranging your funeral. Don’t force your loved ones to make decisions for your service in the grief after your death. Feel free to contact me if you would like a referral to an arrangement specialist.

You obviously can't prepare for every contingency, but with some pre-thought and planning, you can reduce the impact when the rains come, and excel in your response.

Action Points

  • Ask, "What is the Rain Plan?"
  • Have an emergency fund for living expenses.
  • Create a replacement fund for your car and house maintenance.
  • Prearrange your funeral today.
  • Think about the major "bad" things that can happen to you, and have a plan to deal with them.

Excerpted from Chapter 4, Sunny Skies, of The Surpassing Life: 52 Practical Ways to Achieve Personal Excellence,

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