Preparation Enhances Your Capabilities

Gather What You Need Before You Need It

We have already seen in 2 Processes You Can Use To Increase Your Opportunities, that preparedness takes both planning and preparation.  Your plan is your guide and preparation increases your capabilities and therefore opportunities for success.  And beyond simply gathering supplies, is the importance of preparing yourself.

Prepare Yourself to Recognize Opportunities

By way of illustration, let’s consider a spider.  A spider frequently takes up residence between the corner of my house and a small nearby shrub.  Its web is about 18 inches in diameter and by design, I imagine, enjoys a location nearest to our outdoor trash bin.

The spider sits in the middle of the web, legs extended and in a pose that reminds me of someone lying in wait for something to occur.  It is ready-it is prepared for what insect may happen to become stuck in the web and become the spider’s meal.

I’ve read that in constructing a web a certain spider throws out a filament of silk thread and once the thread finds something to cling to the web construction begins.  Now the spider has some internal capabilities…it has non-sticky silk threads as well as sticky threads.  Initially it uses the non-sticky thread to navigate across the web as it frames the web.

It then lays down sticky silk careful to not obstruct her ability to navigate via the non-sticky thread.  Then it waits.  Should prey become trapped, the spider’s goal of getting a meal is fulfilled.  Should the web become torn or destroyed by a larger insect or perhaps a stick, the spider rebuilds.

This brief synopsis can be helpful to us in describing our preparation process and we offer it here for your preparation.  You are where you are today with whatever capabilities you have acquired over your years of life.  Your early childhood and adult education, your experiences, your connections, your existing resources are your capabilities.

This is your non-sticky thread.

Gather What You Need to Get You to Your Goal

Upon this foundation you apply your further dreams and goals, develop a plan and then you prepare for opportunities.  This preparation, this laying down of your sticky thread, is designed to provide you opportunities.  You increase your knowledge by learning new skills, you enlist the services of a coach or mentor, you read all you can about that which you wish to learn.  When opportunities come up, you are able to take advantage because you have prepared for them.

Should your plan come to harm, you, like the spider, are prepared because you have gathered emergency supplies and insurance for protection and rebuilding for example.

When you go through a preparation process, you:

Take action to gather the resources you need to fulfill your plan.  This may include physical items, like supplies, but may also include getting the necessary experience, training, or education.  Additionally, books, coaching, and other types of mentoring activities may be included.   The preparation is driven by your prior planning.  If you had no prior planning, you will probably be drifting along and driven by someone else’s plan.

Monitor and test the plan’s assumptions.  Helmuth von Moltke, a 19th-century head of the Prussian army observed that no battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.  Similarly, the plan you have made assumed certain conditions–conditions that were valid at the time the plan was developed, but with time and the reality of a situation have changed.

Preparation includes staying on top of the plan and recognizing when it needs adjustment.  The Newton’s first law of motion says an object at rest, stays at rest and an object in motion, stays in motion at the same speed and direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.  This is inertia.

If you do not like the path you are on, it will require action (a force) on your part to make a change-plan anew and begin again.

Discern.  This one is about being able to process feedback.  Your continuing education will provide you with a better foundation from which to “see” or understand new ideas or concepts that in turn improve your ability to discern how and if your planning needs updating.  In so doing, your capabilities improve, options increase and opportunities become more readily obvious.

The product or result of preparation is obtaining the available resources you need to execute your plan.  A key component is preparing yourself so your capabilities improve.

We at wish you much success with your preparation activities.  There are many articles here that may be helpful to you from a preparation perspective.

Author:  Paul LaPointe is host and frequent contributor for

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