“Better to be prepared, and have no opportunity, than to have opportunity knock, and not be prepared.”
This is an old saying but the principle is just as true today as ever. The time to get ready for opportunities that may present themselves is now, not when that fleeting opportunity arrives at your door. A great example of this is the world of athletics. Professional athletes work and train endlessly to hone their skills, and build their strength and endurance. Then, when they get that open shot, or an opportunity to intercept the ball, or to block an opposing shot, they are prepared to make an outstanding play. Someone might say, “they got a lucky shot.” But you and I know that luck is not the reason for their success. It is an amazing truth that the more prepared you are, the “luckier” you get.
Your life is no different. We all have opportunities that come our way. The question is whether you and I will be prepared to take advantage of those opportunities when they arise, or whether we will say, “I wish I had prepared better.” Here are four areas of preparation you can begin now.
Prepare your mind. There are two kinds of education. The first is formal education, such as a certificate or college degree. The second is informal education, where you learn all you can by observation, reading, and study. Most realize the importance of formal education. Yet, few continue to learn and obtain knowledge throughout their lives. Those who are constantly learning, who have a thirst for new information, these are the ones who will be prepared to snatch up opportunities.
Prepare your finances. Many of us have had financial opportunities come our way – whether it was a chance to invest, or an opportunity to save thousands by buying in bulk, or simply a weekend special on something we have wanted. Prepare financially by having a little set aside so you can grab these opportunities. Most people know the value of saving for a rainy day. Why not save a little for a sunny day as well.
Prepare your skills. Take every opportunity to learn and practice a new skill, whether it is how to paint your own house, how to communicate effectively, how to read faster, how to speak a foreign language, or how to lead a team. Even if you don’t see a need for it right now, these skills can prepare you for exciting opportunities that you never dreamed would come your way. The trick is to start now so you will be ready.
Prepare your attitude. Believe it or not, the way you see the world determines, in large measure, the way the world will see you. If you nurture the positive attitudes of enthusiasm, optimism, service, and cheerfulness, over time, the world will tend to return those same types of exciting opportunities to you.
Begin now to develop the habit of getting ready for opportunities in advance. Imagine how “lucky” we will become by following the simple, yet profound, motto of the Boy Scouts of America: Be Prepared.