The Unsexy Stuff in Life
Prior Preparation Prevents…
Ever had that uncomfortable feeling of being unprepared?
Maybe you procrastinated too long or didn’t give something the attention it deserved.
Looking around, others are as cool as a cucumber, not doing last-second prep, further increasing your anxiety.
“This is the last time!” you berate yourself, as a means of avoiding future episodes of feeling helplessness.
It’s now in the hands of fate.
You’ve got no one to blame but yourself.
I mentioned previously that when on the road, I’m all for getting to the destination ASAP.
The original plan for this blog was to go live within two months of inception.
I tend to be impatient as I’m usually good at dealing with things on the fly.
However, recently reading James Clear’s outstanding Atomic Habits, I realised an early public release of the blog would be foolhardy.
Because I’m not ready.
I haven’t developed systems or structure around my regular routine.
I finish posts within days (sometimes hours) from being due and once the blog goes live to the public, I expect an increase in workload, namely emails, messages, and requests for which I haven’t formulated a plan to process them efficiently.
It would be a different story if I were running a local community website where everyone knows each other, and mistakes can be forgiven.
That’s not how it works in the real world.
If you want to make an impact you need to be prepared.
To have your new project fully incorporated into your life where tasks are performed automatically, and no thought goes into how to do things.
Being ready comes with preparation and time in the seat (experience).
Example - it would be near impossible to drive like a car like this no matter how many videos you watch or hours you log on Playstation. Whilst those tools may give you an advantage over someone with zero experience, no simulator can replace real-world driving.
You may disagree with my line of thinking and yes, there’s nothing stopping me from going live immediately.
All my work will be on the website for you to read and share, and Google will be able to work their magic incorporating my site into their search results.
However, the website would be unfinished, Saturday post deadlines may be missed, initial publication of my work may lack impact, be lacklustre because it was rushed, requiring further revision. New tasks outside of my normal routine won’t be immediate as they haven’t been incorporated into my system of work.
Compare the release of my blog to a new store opening.
You find their products appealing, however other aspects of your visit make the experience less so.
The air conditioning isn’t working, it’s dead quiet because there’s no background music playing, their EFTPOS system isn’t fully functional.
If it’s a small hiccup, mistakes can be forgiven, but with multiple, you’re less inclined to return depending on how bad your experience was.
Regardless of having time constraints or not, it’s easy to get caught up in the sense of urgency to start or finish something. To have that sense of accomplishment, a notch on your belt, a feather in the cap, a ✅ in the box.
If time is a factor, plan and prepare accordingly.
If there’s no deadline, in the grand scheme of things, what’s the hurry?
Sure, there may be bills to pay and sacrifices to be made, but if they’re not causing you too much grief, why put the extra pressure on yourself?
Consider this analogy:
The COVID kilos have been weighing on me quite a bit to the point I’m going to take action.
I won a fitness challenge in the past, averaging over a kilo of fat loss per week throughout the contest.
Now, everyone knows how difficult weight loss can be, especially following a period where maintaining a healthy lifestyle has not been a priority. Adjusting to new habits both in diet and exercise is hard work.
Losing one kilo a week requires a lot of discipline and willpower; something most of us aren’t willing to sacrifice in our busy lives.
The added stress it creates isn’t worth the hassle. What more rushing the process.
There are fourteen weeks until summer (at the time of writing), so plenty of time to act.
I’ll make life easier for myself by halving expectations. That way I’m still winning (or is it losing…🤔), enjoying the process whilst developing better habits (systems).
The end result is still achieved even though the path is a little longer.
Preparation is greater than skin deep.
Leo from Zen Habits talks about internal responses to be aware of.
“Be grateful & accept the moment for what it is.”
We’ve all faced challenges throughout our lives. These experiences are what shape us.
Overcoming one adversity provides you a blueprint on how better to handle the next so long as you reflect and learn from mistakes.
Be resourceful, make things easier for yourself by doing your homework. There are many before you who have endured your adversities and documented ways to prepare for them.
So, for those of you who like to share with the world through your social media updates, this is mine, doing the work in my trusty chair - the unsexy stuff in life.
Embrace the grind.
With the right mentality you’ll appreciate the necessity of it because nothing good comes easy.
You’re familiarising yourself with and rehearsing how to score from every angle around that basketball court, to the point it looks effortless.
So that in my case, by the time you read this, most of the hard work has already been done.
Key Areas to be Prepared in Life
Preparation shouldn’t be limited to upcoming life-changing events.
Unlikely but possible scenarios in life should also be considered.
So that you’re not caught out or stuck, waiting for help to arrive. Instead, you know what to do.
Don’t consider it being pessimistic or a doomsday prepper. Save those thoughts for the zombie apocalypse. These are possibilities that can and may happen to anyone.
Areas to prepare yourself:
- Emergency contact details - are they in your phone and does the person you’ve nominated know they’re your next of kin?
- What to do/who to call if you’re involved in an accident/breakdown - on the road or elsewhere (hiking or camping).
- Finances - knowing your incoming and outgoings, due payments, having an emergency fund or knowing where to get money quickly (minus the eye-watering interest rate).
- Insurance - yes, it’s costly but can save you a lot of money so don’t disregard it. Consider:
a) Health - do you have hospital and/or ambulance cover?
b) Home & contents - our summer bushfires resulted in heartbreak for those not owning home insurance. Even if renting, consider contents insurance. The cost to replace all your belongings could total over $100,000.
c) Vehicle - in Oz, comprehensive or third-party property damage (not CTP) covers you for damage to other people’s property (car, home, etc). Comprehensive insurance covers you against damage to your vehicle also. The American car insurance industry estimates drivers will file a collision report once every 17.9 years. Think worst-case - how are you going to pay for the repairs to the Ferrari you rear-ended?
- Food and supplies in case of emergency - another lockdown may occur. Don’t leave it until panic buying starts to stock up. And don’t be one of those selfish morons hoarding toilet paper either. Here’s how much you really need.
There are many resources on the net to help you best prepare for the unexpected.
Don’t think, “She’ll be right, mate,” only for everything to go pear-shaped. It’s this attitude that causes you grief in the long run.
As The Prepared say, “The whole point of prepping is to reduce the chances of major life disruptions and to better recover from disruptions when they do happen.”
If there’s one thing you can be sure of in life, it’s to expect the unexpected.
You just never know.
When the shit hits the fan, it’s possible to have multiple problems stacked against you; many of them avoidable.
Do your future self a favour; do what you can to prepare now.
Yes, it requires a little time and effort, but it will be worth it.
You’ll thank yourself (and me 😉) for it.