Life is full of many challenges and opportunities. At every stage in life, we are always called upon to act or perform a particular task. The questions you may want to ask yourself as regards the challenge before are; am I prepared for the opportunity; and am I ready to hit the ground running. A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled Youths and Nation Building – A Case Study of Nigeria, wherein I was able to share some insightful points on how the youths can contribute to Nation-Building. What really inspired that article was the allegation a colleague made on Facebook that the youths of Nigeria are not prepared to serve in certain committees and positions of authority. According to him, even if they are given the opportunity, they lack the necessary skills and qualifications to serve or contribute to Nation Building.
In the course of this article, we shall be discussing how preparation can be a catalyst to one’s success. Preparation in life cuts across every barrier namely: academic, business, marriage, economy and leadership. In whatever you do in life, you definitely have to plan if you truly want to succeed. According to Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Just like we say in some social parlance, organization is the first law in heaven, in the same vein, preparation is the first key to any opportunity. Nor matter how good, skillful or knowledgable you are in life in any particular industry, if you are not prepared for the task ahead, you are definitely going to hit the rock. For instance, Anthony Joshua lost his first-ever boxing battle to Andy Ruiz Jr in one of the biggest shocks in the history of the sport. According to some people who watched the fight, Anthony Joshua lost because he wasn’t fully prepared for the fight.
When people say they need an opportunity to work or serve in a particular capacity, what really comes to my mind is, are they really prepared if the opportunity becomes available? What they don’t really know is that opportunity never comes, it is created it by hard-work and smartness. Working hard is different from working smart. When you work hard, you exert so much energy to get the word out there, but when you work smart, you use logistics to plan very well. It’s funny to know that most people want to achieve success, but at the same time, they don’t want to do the work. In the voice of one of the most celebrated Nigerian artist in the world, Innocent Idibia, aka Tuface, he said, “some people want to go heaven, but they don’t want to go to die”. What this really means is that most people want to succeed, but they are not willing to do the work by preparing.
The question now is how do you do the work? You do the work by planning your life, your study, your business, your family and life generally. You also prepare by volunteering, serving, reading, learning the trade, getting theoretical and practical guidelines and empowering yourself with all necessary skills to succeed in the particular area of interest you are passionate about. For example, if you are a man who wants to marry, it’s strongly advisable to do the courting in order to know your intending spouse to a reasonable extent. Then you secure a stable source of income to cater for the family as the Head of the house when you finally decide to settle down.
It’s pertinent to note that the journey of a thousand steps begins with a step in the right direction. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer, politician or even artisan, you have to learn the trade in order to succeed in the industry. Failing to do the needful might make you to crash when the opportunity becomes available. In order to achieve success, you must pay your dues. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. There’s nothing like luck in life. Most of the opportunities that have come across me didn’t really come as a result of my hard work, most of them came because I created them by preparing myself.
In conclusion, it’s pertinent for you to sit down and evaluate where you are and where you want to be in life in a year’s time, five years and ten years time. Then ask yourself, am I doing what I am supposed to do? If no, ask yourself again, what am I supposed to do to get myself prepared for the task ahead.
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.