Monday, January 31, 2011


“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” ~Ursula K. LeGuin ~~

As important a role preparation plays along the path to success, and as much as it is not only useful, but sometimes imperative to survival, it is not possible to be physically prepared for everything. Life happens. And you need to be able to roll with it.

I’ve been asking myself lately how to deal with that, and how that fits in to my premise… Is it true that you need to be prepared to be unprepared sometimes? Or, can it be that you need to be mentally prepared to handle whatever comes your way? Maybe “being prepared for anything” is more about preparing your mind and choosing your attitude than making your lists and checking them twice… Now, I’m not suggesting that lists are not important. And, I’m not suggesting that you don’t need to study before the exam… but maybe, just maybe there’s more to it than that.

I’ve written a lot about preparation through planning, and through clearing clutter and removing physical distractions. I’ve written about “to do” lists, and daily, weekly and monthly roadmaps. I’ve suggested getting mentally prepared through meditation and getting a good night’s sleep... and I still believe all that to be necessary and real. But I am now also exploring the possibility that preparation goes way beyond those things. Being prepared to handle whatever comes your way, being able to navigate through uncertainty and hardship takes a lot more. And it may be even more important. It takes confidence and a strong sense of self. It takes learning from our past and applying what we’ve learned to new situations. It takes adaptability and flexibility. It takes friends and family helping you through. It takes a coach or an advisor acting as a sounding board. It takes a village.

So today, prepare to be successful. Build your network, build your support system, and take charge of building your self-esteem. Believe you can, and you will, no matter what happens next.

“Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process.” ~~Harold S. Geneen

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