If you are a driver, you have likely driven onto a highway or major insterstate, where everyone was driving roughly 65mph. When there is major construction on a ramp to the highway, they sometimes put a stop sign there, and force drivers to come to a complete stop. The drivers eagerly wait for a moment in time when they can squeeze in between the massive throng of cars and trucks whizzing by. For a brief moment, they think back to the times when they were easily able to speed up and enter the traffic with no issue at all. Being prepared for an opportunity before it ever comes works in a similar way. If you are at a complete stop, it’s harder to move into position. But when able to adjust your speed appropriately (prepare), you can move into position when the opportunity comes.
When looking for an opportunity, do your research. There’s no excuse nowadays not to be able to do a little upfront work before you do something. An abundance of information is available online. It’s like finding sand on a beach. The internet has put knowledge at our fingertips in seconds. But it must be sifted through in order to find the good stuff.
Study and learn. For example, if you need to give a presentation, study your materials beforehand. Know your material inside and out. The more you know what you’re talking about, the more comfortable you will be in its delivery, allowing you to appear graceful.
A word of concern about preparation. Don’t go overboard. Preparation is only to get you ready. Some people prepare too much. It’s almost as if they are avoiding the action or event that comes after the preparation. There is an intersection between preparation and action. If you take too long to prepare, trying to achieve perfection, countless opportunities will be missed. On the other hand, taking action before being prepared is risky and can lead to failure. Find the intersection. Know when the time is right to take action after preparation.
Being ready, having the right things with you, and having the right words to say, all make proceeding much easier. You will feel confident knowing you put forth the necessary effort to achieve a desired result. Rather than stressing out, your mind will be at rest. When you are prepared, you move at the necessary speed so that when an opportunity to enter one of life’s highways comes, you can go for it!