1.What does it mean to prepare?
Preparation is a principle where you get yourself ready to do something and do it well. It could be getting ready for a future event, a milestone or even the accomplishment of a project. If you are making something, for example a meal or baking a cake you are meticulous in your preparation so that the outcome is acceptable and enjoyable by others. Preparation is a life principle. It applies whether you want to produce a work of art, an enjoyable meal or a successful business. What you produce in life is a result of your level of readiness. What you do behind the scenes when no one is watching is more important than what you get to showcase. Preparation, though costly, is worth it because the results will show in one’s life. A successful life means that you prosper financially, in your career, in your health, mentally as well as spiritually. If you look around that person’s life there’s nothing you can pinpoint as not working and it takes readiness and preparation. It follows then that in order for you to prepare you must have a vision, a goal or an object of attainment. What is your desired outcome? Decide what it will take to accomplish it and put a plan in place.
2.When do you prepare?
You do not prepare on the day of battle, performance or execution. Speak to any mother and they will tell you that you do not do “preparation” for the baby the day she is born. The wedded will tell you that for the day to be glorious there is a lot of effort and resources that are invested in the success of that event. If you should ace that interview, you cannot prepare on the day and expect to be successful. I have spent many years in sales and marketing. I have learned that going for a sales pitch or a product demonstration with a prospective client demands preparation. Ill- preparation simply leads to a diminished likelihood of your product being bought by the client. Professional athletes do not practice on match day. The movie stars we admire and love to watch have taken years honing their skill. The same can be said of musicians, medical professionals, engineers, teachers, in fact everyone who takes what they do seriously.
Preparation is done in advance. How far in advance depends on the undertaking. Some things take a year, a month, a week or a day. Yet others will take decades and a lifetime of doing it over and over again. Just a thought: we prepare our children for a lifetime of success by training them and teaching them good habits whilst we live with them. That way, they will know what to do even when you are not there to instruct them.
3.Why should you prepare?
Preparation ensures victory.Do you have plans? What preparations have you put in place for their accomplishment. If you go into a battle ill-prepared you will be outwitted, outplayed and outmanoeuvred by your opponent. Master farmers understand the need to prepare their fields for a great harvest. What have you done so far to ensure that this year is better than last year? Some new year’s resolutions are laughable because they will simply not be achieved. The reason is because they are made out of tradition without putting in place mechanisms for attainment. In the event that you do not win you have the assurance that you did you best, you came prepared and it just wasn’t your day. You minimize your chances of regret when you take the time to condition yourself mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically for what you are about to face. The other reason is that you are nurturing a good habit for success that will pay off at a certain stage of your life. So you are not just preparing for the specific event but you are building yourself up as a person.
4. How do you prepare?
Are you looking at a “next level” move in your business,career or relationships? Get ready! Maybe it’s time to launch that new product or improve on your current offering. For some people it might mean enrolling for school or an online course to gain a new skill if the objective is to find a new job or a promotion. For others it may mean putting together a physical fitness plan in order to participate in that gruelling marathon that you have been putting off for a long time. As I mentioned earlier, the nature of your preparation and the length of your preparation is determined by what you are getting ready for. If you sense that you can achieve great things if you had a bit of guidance get a mentor or a coach. The help you get will bring out the best in you.
In conclusion, you may be the kind of person that spontaneously jumps into things without much preparation or consideration of what it will take to win in that endeavour. It’s not too late to develop a culture of preparation. For the things that you need to know that you do not know there are plenty of resources online, books, tutorial videos. You can tap into that wisdom and most of all there could be someone, somewhere in your network that has already walked the journey you are about to embark on. Have a chat with them and you’ll be surprised what insights you will get. A wise man once said, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, that to have an opportunity and not be prepared for it”
Fitzgerald Mujuru is an author, motivational speaker, marketing consultant and training facilitator. He is the author of Power Thought For Today Success Motivation Book. He is available for one on one coaching, speaking engagements, executive coaching and his books are available online.He is a contributor to business magazines in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.