What is the best thing that could happen? The worst? What will I need for either?
One of hardest lessons I had to lean about having a be-prepared personal policy came after midnight in Berkeley California. It was a Saturday night and I was traveling to the coast to spend the Christmas holiday with my family. A friend was traveling to San Francisco and we decided to meet up in Berkeley to catch some music. We met up in a busy restaurant parking lot and walked toward downtown, the night flew by. Live blues and dancing punctuated the holiday spirit and sent us laughing back to the cars to say our goodbyes. Though it was dark and the lot now empty there was no reason to fear as we sat in the car talking. A group of three teens walked by a ways to the left and as a reflex I checked the rear view mirror to be sure they had continued on their way. They hadn’t. By the time I reached for the lock and key to start the car simultaneously the hand came in the window, grabbed my head and smashed it against the glass. Next thing I knew the door was open and a gun was against my head. A few quick punches to my face and I was willing to surrender my wallet, hands groped past me to grab the guitar and suitcase from the back, fortunately my friend was ignored. The keys were pulled from the ignition, I was hit across the face with something hard and they were gone. As I regrouped the anger raged inside, but there was nothing to do. We sat there for just a few minutes and took inventory, no money, no keys, alive, not seriously hurt. My friend graciously offered to drive me somewhere but I was prepared. Being a boy scout early in life drilled the motto in: Always Be Prepared. Under the car was a hidden magnetic box with a key, drivers license and some money. After a quick retrieval we said our goodbyes, and drove off in different directions. This policy of preparedness has proven to save me from hardship many times. Though it is impossible to always be prepared for anything that might come up, a little forethought goes a long way. Backup your computer files. When traveling have a photocopy of your passport and some money stashed in a second location. If you are going to be out and have a few drinks, plan to be able to walk or find a ride home in advance. Being prepared helps you climb the steps of life, and hold the ground once on top.
The flip side of being prepared is personified in the Roman philosopher Seneca's quote, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity". Good fortune often greets the person who has done the advance work, read the books, forged the relationships and taken the risks. The good job, spouse or opportunity always shows up, but were you ready? Stop and think about where you are, where you want to go and ask; am i prepared?
Affirmation: I know what I need before I know I need it