There is an old saying, attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I wrote a few weeks back about how I have prepared my whole life for today. Of late I’ve given more thought to this and how we prepare ourselves for when opportunity comes knocking at our door.
Recently I was in a presentation a colleague of mine was giving to a group of young professionals. He summed up the main theme of the presentation using the phrase: “Hunt or Die.” Either we are going out and actively finding our food or sitting in our cave and slowly starving to death.
My colleague went on to relate a story, a parable if you wish, about two farmers in a drought. One farmer went out and prepared his fields in anticipation of rain. The other farmer sat back, did nothing, and simply waited for the rain. When the rains came which farmer reaped a harvest? Naturally the farmer who had prepared for the arrival of the rain. This farmer had prepared his fields in the absence of evidence that rain would fall. In fact, he had no guarantee the rain would ever come, but he prepared nonetheless.
This struck a chord in me.
In my life I have come across, essentially, two types of people – those who actively seek out opportunities to grow, to study, to better prepare themselves for that day when a new opportunity comes knocking at their door, even though that opportunity has not yet presented itself. The other type sits back, loathe to study, to stretch their minds, to gain more experience, lamenting that there are no opportunities immediately available.
We can’t see into the future. We can’t predict when the next opportunity will come knocking at our door. However, we can choose what we do in the interim. It doesn’t matter if we are dreaming of the perfect job or the perfect relationship. What matters is how we are preparing for it today.
As the Girl Guide motto says: “Be prepared.”
Yours in lifelong learning,