I’ve been thinking a lot lately about preparation. Mostly because I”m a habitual people watcher, and I’ve noticed a distinct trend towards a lack of preparation seemingly everywhere I go. So it got me to thinking: why is it so many people are not prepared for what’s coming? Especially when it’s something that is right now, like having a credit card out and ready after standing in a line for several minutes to make a purchase? Seems like an obvious one, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised.
So I started to ask myself, what is the value of preparation? Why is it important? Or is it? After watching news reports of extreme weather events most of the Spring, I am of the opinion that preparation can be very important, probably even save lives.
But today, I want to focus on the everyday variety of preparation and share with you 3 reasons it can be valuable as a foundation for success in life and in your business.
1. You can claim opportunities when they show up. You may have heard the saying, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” It is so true. When you practice self-care all winter, and a burst of warm weather arrives, you’re confident about revealing your arms and legs after winter hibernation. When you decide on a topic to talk about and create an outline, fill it in and prepare a media kit, you’re ready to say “yes” to that first public speaking offer.
2. You have more time. It’s a phenomenon of life that your time expands in direct proportion to how much preparation you practice. Think about it. When you use a planner and block out your work time and your family time, you know what to expect on any given day. When you lay out the schedule, prepare the materials you need, etc., you’re not spending your family evening doing last minute work for the next day. And doesn’t that feel good?
3. You can handle the unexpected with grace and ease. Please note here that I didn’t say there would no longer be unexpected moments to deal with. What I said is that you will be able to handle them in a way that feels less stressful and disruptive. When you practice preparation, you have what you need in place and at the ready.
Preparation is in the details. It’s one of those elements of a strong personal foundation that we just don’t think about that much, either because it’s something we have integrated into our daily practices and so it seems like an unconscious act, or it’s something we aren’t really practicing much.
If you find yourself identifying with the second group, I want to invite you to consider the grace that can come into your life by practicing a little preparation. It’s a sure cure for all kinds of self-induced stress. We are all looking for ways to maximize opportunities, leverage our time, and not get blindsided by the unexpected. All it takes is a little bit of forethought each and every day.
Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what kind of role preparation has in your life and work.