“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”-Benjamin Franklin
Throughout my many failures to launch DividuusOne, I have focused on the process. I have dug my heels in deep to create a system that would propel this project forward and be failure resistant. Obviously that has not worked as here I am ten years later still trying to get this project off the ground. I am going to try something a little different this time around, being prepared. The cycle that previous failures have gone through looks something like this: I start the project on a week day, I go full steam ahead reaching all of my goals and moving the project forward throughout the week, the weekend comes and I get busy, nothing gets done, I quit, I start over the following Monday, and repeat. There is a recurring theme not so hidden in there; I am not prepared for what the weekend might bring. It’s not always the weekend either, it could be a vacation day or an early morning meeting that throws me off and leaves doubts in my mind that I will be able to get caught up again. These events (weekends and meetings) are known to me in advance, so what might happen if I prepared for them?
In an article titled, The Art of Preparation, author Ronald M. Shapiro looks at the Latin roots of the word prepare and applies that to what it means in our everyday lives. “Pre means ‘before.’ Pare, according to Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, can mean ‘to supply or furnish’. So, in essence, prepare means to make it before you give it, You set up everything – you get your ducks in a row – before you execute your task, sale, throw, shot, incision, or legal argument. You make your pitch or your case in your head. You visualize it. You assemble its parts. You piece it together before you do it, show it, or speak it.” (Shapiro, 2019). I have tasks that I need to complete every day in order to move this project forward. I need to create the Daily Notes page for tomorrow, my journal entry, input my calendar events; and to make sure these things get completed I get up early in the morning. Or, if I oversleep on a week day, then I do them first thing when I get into the office but by that time I am already beginning to feel the stress of not having them completed yet. When I fail is on the weekends or days off, because on those days I get up and it’s family time or we are trying to get ready to go somewhere and before I know it I am crawling back in bed at the end of the day and I have not completed those daily tasks. I want to avoid that this time around so this morning I got up at my normal time and completed the actions that I needed to complete for tomorrow, but then I went a step further. I completed the actions that I needed to complete for Saturday and Sunday as well. I can’t do everything in advance such as backing up today’s journal entries or creating a time sheet of today’s activities. Those need to be done once today is completed, but they are also things that won’t break the bank (so to speak) if they are not completed until the following day. No matter what happens tomorrow, Saturday, I know that when I wake up on Sunday morning I already have a place to journal and record my actions for the day. I am a little more prepared than I would have been otherwise.
Manal Ghosain also wrote an article entitled The Art of Preparation for the website One With Now and they said, “Doing things as they come can be quite exciting when we’re riding the wave of adrenalin. But sooner or later, stress takes over and we start poisoning our minds and bodies with stress.” (Ghosain, 2015). I like having the freedom and the ability to go with the flow when the opportunity arises. I like being able to wake up, get dressed and head to the zoo because we have nothing else going on that morning; but no matter how much fun we have that day when I go to bed that night I am left with a sense of dread that I have left things undone. That dread, that lack of preparation is why I am on Day (3) of this project and it’s been ten years. I hate to think of what could have been had I not hit that reset button the first time and just pushed onwards. I can’t change the past though, I can only better prepare myself for the present and the future. Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I am giving myself the opportunity by putting myself out there while building this project, I am committing to being better prepared, so what kind of luck am I going to have? I look forward to finding out.
Ghosain, M. (2015, February 22). The Art of Preparation. One With Now. Retrieved from https://www.onewithnow.com/preparation/
Shapiro, R.M. (2019, January 24). The Art of Preparation. American Management Association. Retrieved from https://www.amanet.org/articles/the-art-of-preparation/