Preparation is a very vital tool that a lot of people take for granted, when in actual fact they use it on a daily basis. Some have mastered the art of preparation while a lot know of its existence and tend to trivialise it. Everything that we do and experience in life should be the result of preparation though this is not the case always.
A lot of people believe in “just happened” success that is why they never succeed at all in their endeavours. They say, “luck is the place where preparation and opportunity meet.” This I believe is to a huge extend true. Very few people are able to pounce on opportunities that present themselves to them if they are unprepared. In my book, DESTINED FOR GREATNESS, I quoted a scripture in the Bible that says, “Time and chance happen to all.” This I said so that no one attributes their predicament to the lack of opportunity. Opportunity and chances avail themselves to many everyday but only those few that are prepared grab the opportunity. So really the separation or winnowing point is not the availability of opportunity but the lack of preparation, if not poor preparation.
So what is preparation one might ask? Preparation is part of the fundamental process of vision and Road map setting. Preparation begins at the point of vision setting. It is part of Vision setting in loose terms. Preparation is not as simple as awaiting of an occurrence or an event. Preparation is a by-product of a goal. You first have a goal then you make all the necessary arrangements to arrive at the goal. That which I termed “the necessary arrangements” is what I broadly defined as preparation. When a vision is birthed and goals are set, preparation is the next rung in the ladder to achievement.
You come up with a SWOT analysis. This in simple terms means that you draw up a table of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This process is supposed to be undertaken with prudent honest as one is not supposed to lie to self. Being aware of the four put you in a better position to plan and prepare for what may happen. We can already see that once one has carried out a SWOT they can already anticipate the major opportunities and Threats that may arise and therefore prepare adequately for them. A person who has prepared therefore is not caught unawares most of the time, this follows that the collateral damage is minimal. However if you do not plan the damage may be severe and even bring you to your knees. This then asserts how true it is that failing to plan is planning to fail.
After a person has looked at their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats they need to be aware of their resources and competencies. By resources I mean what is required materially or financially that can help you achieve your goal. Competencies are simply the skills and abilities that you have and execute so well. They aid in the utilisation of opportunities and averting of threats. If a person realises a key competency or resource that they do not have they can therefore outsource from others or develop and look for their own. We do not always need to look for these in others but at times it is necessary as part of the lifelong learning and developing of humans to develop these key competencies.
This looks like advice that is prescribed to business entities, but I actually intended this for the individual. A lot of people make the mistake of living their life without planning and preparation. As a new day comes no planning for that day is made. That is why there is no growth whatsoever and a lot of mistakes are made. Growth is deliberate and intended. It is planned and prepared for and is never an accident. I have realised that a lot of people believe that things happen by chance or that there are invisible strings pulling the life of humans everyday towards a set outcome. Use the computer principle f GIGO (Garbage in Garbage Out) to illustrate my case. If you put nothing in, in terms of preparation, you reap nothing out. If you put poor planning in, you output poor resources.
All those that are aiming at achieving something in life should plan and prepare for it. Let opportunities arrive to be laid on a strong foundation. Rarely are things achieved by accident. You have to be deliberate, sit down plan and prepare for what can come. When the opportunities come they find you in motion already and any threat finds you with mechanisms of dealing with it.
By Glen Dhliwayo
Glen Dhliwayo is a young leader from Zimbabwe, who is a writer and inspirational speaker. You can contact him for life coaching and personal development sessions with young people. He is a Speaker and facilitator at leadership trainings and has served in leadership at various levels and sectors up to national level. He has trained in Youth Leadership and has certificates in leadership development and counseling, he is also a University undergraduate student, studying for a B.Tech Hons in Engineering.