PREPARATION IS THE KEY to life. Let me use a common everyday example to illustrate the point. At a train station recently, a middle-aged woman was in front of me fumbling with her handbag and in a panicked state trying to feed a $20 note into the ticket machine. A station officer approaches to see if he can assist, and he can’t. Getting frustrated at the station officer she leaves fuming to find out that the machine takes only smaller notes.
I observe her as she leaves and she is very distressed. It was too late to offer her change for her money; I didn’t have the presence of mind in any event. The issue at its root cause is she didn’t prepare her journey well enough. She didn’t make/take the time to ensure she could get onto the train uninhibited. And this is so true to life for us all. We all end up getting caught out because we run out of time, revealing we haven’t planned effectively enough. It happens sooner or later, and more to some than to others. There’s a wisdom lesson here. Those who prepare well, go better in life.
Actor Denzel Washington has said, “Luck is where opportunity meets preparation.” In other words, there’s no such thing as luck – we’re in the right place at the right time because we have prepared for the opportunity and were able to embrace it. We planned and saw ahead. The opportunities of life await, and they occur, and they wait for no person. When we’re prepared it’s great, when we’re not it causes us to panic as if the world were coming to an end. Most of the time the only consequence is we ‘have to catch the next train.’ I’m sure you’d agree it’s rarely enough to panic for. But we hate to be caught unprepared.
I want to suggest that this idea, the one of ‘opportunity meeting preparation,’ is very similar to the theory of personal mastery I’ve written about previously.
There are three stages that define both ideas.
One: There is something we “can do.” It is to prepare. It is also in personal mastery terms accepting the current reality. Both things we “can do.”
Two: There is something that “comes.” It is the opportunity. It is also in personal mastery terms the vision of personal mastery. Both come to us; we can create the circumstances that they come, by either setting up other things to support the presentation of the opportunity, and also by ‘visioning’ the idea of personal mastery at the individual, personal level.
Three: Then there is the “outcome.” The former idea suggests that ‘luck’ can be the outcome. Like when someone says of you getting something you wanted, “You were lucky.” It is also the achievement of personal mastery. I suppose in theory, we never entirely and ultimately ‘get there,’ but in essence we achieve certain levels of personal mastery.
Preparation is the key to life. It demonstrates:
Preparation’s benefits are peace and well-being i.e. shalom. It gives us the opportunity for a balanced life; a life lived in true perspective.
Perspective in turn is life-giving promoting every good virtue. It brings us to but the very beginning of a wonderful spiritual journey and reality. As the saying goes, ‘The best is yet to come’ for such a person on such a journey.
As Baden Powell and the cub scouts movement used to say, “Be prepared.”
© Steve J. Wickham, 2008. All rights reserved Worldwide.