The motto of the United States Coast Guard is “Semper Paratus” – “Always Ready”
That is a quite challenging standard to maintain. It sounds good and it is likely the ideal for the coast guard. Should it be the standard we all aspire to? What will happen when a problem arises and we are not prepared?
Any advanced martial artist spends most of their time being prepared and little, if any, using their skills in a dangerous situation. That is the ideal outcome, too.
Preparation is strategic
- Preparation involves imagining possibilities and devising methodologies to address them. If you are a golfer, do you ever practice shots from troubled places. I can distinctly remember spending the better part of an afternoon learning how to hit a partially submerged ball out of water. (Play it like a bunker explosion and note it only is possible if part of the ball is out of the water.) I hit 50 times more shots of the type that afternoon than I ever hit after.
- Preparation involves understanding the landscape. Your particular context. In life there is usually more than one option that could work. The proper one will be contextually sensitive. You can gain knowledge by observing what others do, and asking those with experience. Things that will matter when you are older are not easily visible while you are young.
- Preparation can mean buying expertise. No one thinks twice about employing a dentist or a surgeon or even a lawyer. There are things in your life, finances in particular, that will benefit from an objective outside review.
- Preparation allows you to avoid situations you don’t like. You can understand their variables and arrange to miss them. Charlie Munger has opined that he need not know when he is going to die. He needs to know where. Then he will never go there.
A simple version of why preparation matters
“Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills.” The Federal Aviation Authority
Substitute leaders, or financial planners, or parents, for “pilots” and you get the idea.
Preparation leads to judgement. Rehearsing situations is useful, even if only in your mind. Acquiring judgement is important. Practice it.
I help business owners and others use tax efficiencies and design advantages to achieve more efficient income and larger, more liquid estates.
In previous careers, I have been a partner in a large, international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 705-927-4770