IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION

What does preparation mean, if we go just by the definition it simply means: “the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration”, but is it as simple as this definition – it’s much more than that.

Imagine how chaotic life would be without preparation for the day, be it home (cooking, cleaning, laundry), work (meetings, presentations, targets to be achieved for the day) or kids (getting their stuff done, packing their lunch box, preparing their meals, driving them for classes etc.).

Preparation however is not a skill that can be taught or given knowledge on. It comes with practice and experience. My dad is the most organized person I have seen, he would plan days in advance and do his preparations accordingly. An effective way of doing this is to note down all your plans and make a note of the preparations you need to do to achieve the same.

Preparation is not just a task, it can be helpful in more ways than one for the person:

  1. Self-discipline: when a person is prepared for things in his/her life, they drive their life towards achieving the goal, hence it becomes imperative that the person follows certain routine and hence in the process becomes more disciplined in life.
  2. Confidence: when a person is prepared well enough to achieve the goal they have set, it becomes easier to achieve the goal, and hence the more they achieve the results or their goals, the more confidence they gain in life and hence more self-respect as well.
  3. Maturity: The more a person is prepared, the more logistically their brain functions. They see life through different aspects and situations and hence prepare accordingly, hence they can handle the real life situations in a better way than the normal.

However, having said all of the above, it is also obvious that no person can always be prepared for all the situations in life. Human mind and emotions direct us internally to be prepared for the so called ‘happy path’, but destiny might have different plans for each of us. Hence, no matter how well prepared we are, we should always be ready to change directions and planning towards the instant challenges that life throws at us. So as they say-

“Plan for the best but be prepared for the worst”.

TO EXPECT IS HUMAN

It was a few days after the results of the Annual Examination of the school were declared. A mother stood wiping her tears silently at a corner of the room of the Headmistress. Her son had failed to pass Grade V, the second time. As she wiped her tears, she lamented how her children could be so (her elder daughter had to leave school a few years back when she was unable to clear Grade IX). She was not so much worried for their academic performance, as she was for their behavior. To second the list of complaints that the teachers had against her son, she shared how badly her son of 11 years behaved at home. She said that they were God-fearing parents who could never think of behaving rudely or causing harm to anybody and that they had so many expectations from their children (the parents were not much educated and belonged to the Economically Weaker Section of the society). But, it all seemed in vain now!

A young woman of 28 years – having all the rights to take the decisions of her life by virtue of being a sane adult – in love for twelve years with a person from the same religion, but belonging to another caste (a great Indian social set-up that one is born into and can get out only when one dies – that is the belief among those who denounce the caste system, but are unable to do much about it) – expected her parents to forget the societal boundaries and give their consent for the marriage because of their love for her – had her dreams crushed only to realize that for her parents societal prestige is much more important than parental love. As she faces the possibility of being forcibly married off and her beloved’s family being killed, all she says repeatedly in between sobs is that, “How stupid was I to expect that my parents would love their child over and above every other thing!”

A young couple was eagerly expecting the birth of their first child. The mother-to-be was admitted to the village hospital on an emergency basis days before the date given by the gynecologist. Her husband was away at work in the town and couldn’t reach to be by his wife’s side at the time of delivery. A healthy baby boy was born. Photos were clicked and sent to the beaming new father. By evening, the baby’s health deteriorated and he breathed his last before seeing a new day (owing to medical negligence). By the time the father reached, the baby was already cremated. He could not even hold his first-born in his arms! The couple’s expectations were brutally crushed.

Well then, who is to blame – the people who expect or those who throw cold water on the expectations of others?

To expect is human. We can’t live and thrive in the world without expecting things off others. The level and intensity of expectations may be small or big – but none can deny having expectations. It’s only robotic not to have expectations! Our desires, thoughts, dreams, situations, people – the very way we are made – cause us to expect.

Can we control our expectations? Controlling expectations would mean killing them. While we cannot kill the expectations within us, we can sure do two things well. One, control our over-expectations. When we expect things, it is wise to bear in mind that others are not infallible. Each person or situation has its limitations. Hence, keeping expectations tied low to the ground would save many a heartache. Two, try our best to fulfill the expectations of others. It hurts to have an expectation overlooked and unmet. The same applies to others too when we are at the giving end. To ensure that we cater to the expectations of others to the best of our abilities is the least we can do for them.

In moments of solitude and introspection, so many times we would have shaken our heads chiding ourselves for the folly of our expectations. Some indeed would have been foolish because either they were unrealistic or mere over-expectations. But, some would sure have been sincere expectations which were left unmet – the joys of marital bliss, satisfaction at job, success in exams, the blessing of a child, healing for self or loved ones, and so on.

Reasoning, logic and explanations would simply be placebos. The truth is that we can’t really fathom why certain expectations were left unfulfilled. But, the only consolation is that even these unfulfilled expectations are not hidden from the God who has created you and me. He chooses to draw closer to us and gain glory even through these phases of dejections.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

(THE BIBLE)

3 WISE STATEMENTS ON DECISION MAKING

I have come across THREE quotes on “Decision Making,” which I want to share with you all. These are all very valuable and vital statements for life. 

Quick decisions are unsafe decisions. – Sophocles

I had mentioned earlier in the mega article that how we both suffer because of a hasty decision taken hurriedly. 

A lot of people don’t want to make their own decisions. They’re too scared. It’s much easier to be told what to do. – Marilyn Manson

Sometimes in life it is good to follow orders of others. But being an individual we all come to a stage where we have to take the decisions. By passing to take decision when it is required is like by passing responsibility. That’s not acceptable. Think about it…

I’m very free-spirited and crazy. I love to have fun, and I like doing stupid things. At the same time, I’m like a 35-year-old. I have a house. I have a car. I have a steady job. I have a business, and I have to make serious decisions. – Avril Lavigne

What I understood from the above quote is, both fun time and seriousness in life are indeed very necessary. But we need to understand the timing of both. When its needed to be fun, make fun. But when life requires to be serious to take serious decisions then we need to be serious.

Decision Making is a serious business… Learn it before its too late…

Keep reading… Keep thinking… 

Stay Blessed!!!

FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DECISIONS

It’s easy to take decisions and put the blame on others if things go wrong. But, it takes courage to admit that the decision taken was one’s own.

A couple decides to take their children to an amusement park one weekend. As the husband takes to the steering, the lady suggests that they take Route B which would be free from traffic. The husband readily agrees and drives ahead only to find the message ‘Road blocked due to ongoing construction work’. Instead of accepting the decision as their collective misjudgment, they start arguing as to whose mistake it was to take that route. As a result precious time is lost and an unhealthy atmosphere is created in the place of what was meant to be a pleasure trip.

Have you been in such a situation?

Have you ever decided not to pack lunch for work assuming it’s a colleague’s birthday treat only to find that s/he is on leave for the day? Oh! How much you gritted your teeth and cursed the poor person for your empty stomach! The fact is that it was you who had assumed the treat and hence the mistake was yours, not the other person’s.

Don’t run away from the decisions you make – be it in the financial management of your company affairs, your choice of career, your choice of spouse and so on. The consequences of all decisions are not always rewarding. Be bold enough to accept the mistaken decision and make the necessary amends.

GRAB YOUR PASSION RIGHT AWAY

I was just thinking about this quote. It is very thought provoking.

Once one of my friends said “If you envision something different than the present work then it is important for you to leave what you are doing now and pursue to accomplish your vision.”

So true, that statement is…

The above quote talks in the similar line. If we don’t follow our passion then we will be working for somebody else’s passion.

Friends! Do you have a passion today? Are you envisioning something different? That’s what God is telling you to accomplish. Go for it… accomplish it before its too late.

Stay Blessed!!!

GO ON ACHIEVING LIFE’S BEST

Learning to set smart realistic goals and working hard to accomplish them marks the character of people who aspire to taste success in everything that they do.

A life without goals, is the life of a wanderer who keeps on moving in all possible ways having no particular destination in mind. It is just like an octopus on roller skates – moving for sure, but having no sense of direction. Without set targets, life loses objectivity and meaning and becomes dull and drab.

A life replete with lofty unrealistic goals creates a ripe field for stress, anxiety and depression. Dreaming big is not wrong. But, those dreams have to be backed by setting realistic targets and striving to meet those targets. Setting unrealistic goals, renders them unattainable.

After the wonderful lessons on goal setting throughout the week, there is indeed nothing new and novel to be served on the platter. Some quick points to remember –

G – Genuine goals ensure success. If you have been consistently scoring around 65% in your exams, set a target of 75% at an initial stage and work out a plan to reach there. Don’t aim for 95% and sit with your head in your hands wondering how to score that high.

O – Optimistic approach propels the mind. Believe in your potential and hone up your skills. Push aside all thoughts that threaten to divert you from working towards your goal. Brush aside negative company and destructive criticism.

A – Analyzing the pros and cons keeps surprises away. When you set your goals, be sure to analyze the possible roadblocks and the imminent consequences. That way, you would have a fair idea of what to expect and what to not.

L – Living your goals every moment ensures that you are on track. Putting up visible reminders and having people around who would wake you up to your set targets will keep you moving ahead.

S – Start small, aim big. Accomplishing a series of small goals leads to attaining the ultimate bigger goal. A hungry stomach doesn’t become full by putting the entire plate of food into the mouth. Small bite-size pieces, chewed and swallowed overtime make the stomach full. So, start by setting short-term goals.

Life’s best is at your doorstep. The way you set your goals and focus on attaining them would define and refine the purpose of your life!

CREATE A DOCUMENT OF YOUR LIFE

All of us have big wishlists. I want a lot of money. I want to look pretty/handsome. I want to lose some weight. I want to travel the world. And a lot of such things.

There is nothing wrong in having wishlists, in fact that is the first step to actually realizing what you want in life. The problem is most of us stop with just the wishlists and do nothing to make those wishes a reality. Even worse, most of us blame the circumstances for not being able to materialize those wishes. That’s just human nature.

There is only way to make it happen, to make it possible for you to live your wishes – by creating goals for life. This is the way to go about it:

Create a life document. Imagine that you are at least 20 years more than your current age and think what your life would look like. Open a notepad and start with the sentence – “In year 2035, I will be 50 years of age and will have…. ” Start completing this sentence with every wish you have. Be as specific as you can be.

Now imagine that you are 15 years from your current age and think how your life should be then to achieve what you wrote in the previous page. Start the sentence with “In year 2030, I will be 45 years of age and will have… “. Again be as specific as you can be.

Now imagine that you are 10 years from your current age and repeat the same exercise. Then imagine that you are 5 years from your current age and repeat. Next for 3 years, then 2 years and then the goals for next year.

Once you have these documents ready, you can revisit them every month or quarter and check your progress with respect to your goals.

This is by far the easiest way to realize your goals and fulfill your wishlist. If you really follow it to the core and do not change your wishes often, there is high probability that you will achieve what you wrote in the first document 20 years from now.

Have this life document and keep it alive at all times. Make it the vision of your life. Imagine and live it every minute and there would be nothing that can stop you from achieving it.