Preparation helps you transform from someone who is not sure you can create the change you want to someone who believes it is truly possible. To create the change you want in your life, you must be willing to invest significant time and resources on the front end without the promise of anything in return.
Preparation varies by situation
If you are a parent with a baby, you prepare differently to leave the house than a parent with a teenager. If you have a baby, you have to pack food, change of clothes, diapers, wipes… I meant the list goes on. It is very difficult to just get up and go when you have a baby in your life.
If you in live in Florida and are traveling to Alaska for the winter, you need to prepare differently than someone who lives in Alaska and is traveling a much shorter distance. As a Floridian myself, I can tell you I would have to go shopping because I don’t have a coat that will keep me warm in snow. It is just not something I have had to experience.
In the case of the goal you have set for yourself this year, what preparation have you done to ensure it will happen? If you simply woke up on January 1st and said this is my year, while the ambition is commendable, the execution leaves something to be desired.
The change you want is not easy
Things are not always going to be rainbows and skittles. You are going to face failures and setbacks along the way and you need to prepare accordingly. When you prepare ahead of time, you have something to fall back on when the challenges come. To make the change you want, you are going to have to keep going when others think you are crazy. The problem for most people is they have not prepared enough to convince themselves they are not crazy.
Batman prepared for the unthinkable
In Batman vs. Superman, the Dawn of Justice, there is a fight scene between Batman and Superman. Superman travels to Gotham to confront Batman without giving much thought to a plan. He just shows up and starts talking. Batman on the other hand has spent a significant amount of time preparing for his confrontation with Superman.
Batman had Kryptonite filled gas canisters, a Kryptonite spear, and an armored bat-suit that gives him extra protection and super-strength. Batman knew the challenge facing him and he prepared in a way to give himself the best chance of success. He even went as far as preparing a particular building for them to fight in. Batman put everything he had into preparing for that battle with Superman and it showed.
As a result, Batman was able to do the unthinkable and defeat Superman. To get the change you want in life, you need to invest a lot on the front-end with no promise of success. Too often we want certainty before we commit the proper amount of time and resources into anything. The most successful among us understand that you have to be prepared for the opportunity before the opportunity presents itself. Those who wait for the opportunity to appear before they prepare for it set themselves up for failure.
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Ready for your new job?
Let’s say the change you want to make in your life is in the professional space. Should you wait for your dream job to appear and then you start to look at the qualifications? Of course not; you need to be preparing for the position as soon as you decide you want to change your career path. The first thing you need to do is read the qualifications for the position and determine if you need additional experience or education. Once you have that checked off your list, then take the extra step of updating your resume so it is keyword friendly for your new position. After your resume is up to date, you need to research the city where you have the best chance of getting your dream job. Then you want to determine how this will impact your family and whether they will be onboard with your decision.
Live as though the change you want is a done deal
In Think and Grow Rich, there is an account of someone applying for a job and providing a complete “what would I do if I had the job” presentation. The young man was attempting to get his first marketing job and his mom had him compile information on the company, competition, and marketing in general. Then she put together a mini-book outlining the first actions her son would take if given the job. She also included why these actions were necessary and the expected benefit to the company. The company was so impressed they hired the young man for a higher level position and paid him more than originally expected. By simply investing a little bit of time on the front end, he was able to cut years off his career growth by starting at a higher level.
Stop preparing to lose
Some people are not interested in putting all this work in up front because they don’t want to be too emotionally invested. The problem with this approach is you have set yourself up to fail. Unless your goal is to simply say that you tried, then you are going to want to prepare to win. I can tell you one thing, to create the change you want in your life, you must commit to it. No hedging, no second guessing, you must take action as if the life you have already created exists. You have to act as if you know the result you want are on the other-side of the action you have taken.
As you are chasing happiness, you have to rise to the challenge in a way that you know if it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. And the only way to know for sure is to put in maximum effort. As Les Brown would say, “if you do what is hard, your life will be easy and if you do what is easy, your life will be hard”. Are you preparing like Batman to beat your Superman? Or are you worried about failing so much you are sacrificing your opportunity to succeed.
To create the change you want for a fulfilling life, you must stop worrying about whether the time and resources you devoted on the front-end will pay off. They may and they may not, but at least you have an opportunity to succeed. Which is much better than the alternative; which is if you don’t give your all from the beginning, you won’t even have the opportunity to succeed.
Until next time,
Dre “Better Self, Better Wealth” Griggs