There’s an expression in the military that goes “Stay ready so you don’t need to get ready”. For them, it’s a matter of life or death but for us it’s an opportunity to seize the moment.
You never know when you might get your “lucky break” or that “once in a life-time opportunity”. As ambitious, growth-oriented people we’re always looking for our breakthrough that takes us to our next level.
What a shame it would be if you missed out on it when you had the chance.
That’s why it always serves you to be ‘on’. To be ready, to be alert, and to be prepared. The amount of energy it takes to get yourself ready is significantly more than it takes to maintain your readiness, not to mention how much more unreliable it is that you’ll be able to arrive at the desired state when you need it.
This reminds me of the classic example I share that’s about pumping the well. It might take a while and a number of pumps to get the water starting to flow from the well, but once it is all you need to do is keep pumping and the water will keep pouring out.
So the task is to keep pumping the well of your life, to stay ready so you don’t need to get ready.
In my opinion this involves two things. One is that you need to make sure you’re mastering the fundamentals. You’re consistently taking care of your mind, body, and spirit so that you maintain a heightened capacity. This involves basic health routines like exercise, healthy diet, quality sleep, and mindfulness.
Then the second is, as Abraham Lincoln puts it, you’re always “sharpening the ax”. It’s continuing your education and learning to broaden your perspective. It’s practicing your pitch or skill so that it’s primed and ready to go. It’s all about being proactive so that when the opportunity arises, you can give it your very best.
Staying ready is a daily process. It’s a ritual. And if you want to make the most of the moment, you need to be ready to go at any given moment. And that separation is in the preparation.