Preparation Allows for Adaptability
You must accept that ups and downs will happen when you're on your way to success; it's the first step to becoming successful. The key, however, is becoming adaptable and making the situation work for you, instead of against you and having the right mindset to do so.
A lot of the time you need to readjust and reevaluate your action plan when you’re on your way to success. Things don’t always pan out the way you expected them too and there’s a lot of road bumps that pop up unexpectedly. Like I always say, the key isn’t to plan, but instead prepare; you can plan for every type of situation where something could go wrong, but I can bet you anything that come the time to execute your plan there is usually a new situation that arises that you didn’t plan for. Now you’re stuck because you realized that you took a very cookie cutter approach and only planned around what you thought could happen. Preparing is a totally different concept versus planning – preparing allows you to be able to adapt to any situation. When you prepare yourself it indicates that you have worked not only on the situation at hand, but more importantly the skills that will be required to take you another level. Preparing indicates that you’ve put in the work to fine tune yourself so well that any situation can be thrown at you and you’ll be ready to adapt to it. This is what makes adaptability such a crucial skill when it comes to preparing for success – to have the ability to adapt to any new situation that presents itself is a skill that the best of the best can hone in on.
Think of this scenario; it’s Sunday morning, the day before your big presentation, and you just spent the entire weekend planning. You went over the possibility of scenarios A, B, C, and D, and planned how you would get yourself out of each situation if they were to arise. Fast forward to Monday morning; you’re in a board room about to present to your company; you set up your PowerPoint and start going over the possible scenarios that could go wrong for each, almost as if the be planning your answers (A, B, C, and D). You’re ready – you get up to the podium, present, and all goes well; now it's time for questions. You feel confident and ready because you’ve already went over all the possible scenarios that you think you could be presented with. But, your CEO does the "unthinkable" and presents a scenario you didn't prepare for! Now you start to panic; instead of adapting on the spot you shut down and what once seemed like a great presentation turns out to be a poor one.
Lets replay the scenario, but this time lets pretend you prepared, versus planned. This time instead of planning for possible scenarios to occur you decide to prepare yourself by going over the background information on the topic you’re presenting. You’ve refreshed yourself on the material and prepare yourself by understanding how to apply the material. You’re ready; you prepared yourself by learning as much as you can about the topic at hand, and you know a fair deal of information. Fast forward to the presentation; all goes well and it’s question time. The same question is presented, but this time you’re prepared. You fine tuned your skills and knowledge so well that you’re able to adapt on the spot and answer the question confidently and precisely. This time, instead of panicking, you’re confident and reply with fortitude.
Preparation is a really simple concept that needs to be given more credit; preparing vs planning, or adapting vs avoiding. When you prepare yourself you’re able to adapt to any given situation regardless of what the outcome is, but when you plan you’re taking a very closed minded approach because you’ll always be presented with a scenario you never planned for. It’s why adaptability is such an important asset for becoming successful, especially when things aren't going your way at times. You always have to be able to adapt in the heat of the moment. I’m not saying that you don’t need a plan, that’s actually the first step towards success, but you have to be able to effectively prepare yourself for the scenarios that will present themselves to you along the way.