P7 – When Preparation Meets Opportunity

I only use this as an example from personal experience to try and exemplify the adage: luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

I use my own little code for another axiom I am sure you’ve heard; I call it “P7”: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance. You can replace other expletives for “pathetically” but I’ve cleaned it up for publication in a family magazine.

I think everything we do, everything we learn, every job we work, every bad experience we endure and every good experience we enjoy is leading us in a direction. It may not be clear what direction; in fact it may seem like there is no direction; but each decision we make is leading us down a path that leads somewhere.

Hopefully, we choose the right path.

I remember reading a book by Richard Bach published in 1977 entitled “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.”

“Illusions” basically questions the view of reality and postulates that what we call reality is merely an illusion we create.

Heady stuff, to be sure; but what I remember most is the perspective Bach, a pilot, gives of reality from an aircraft high above. Looking down, reality consists of myriad paths intertwined on a great network of intersections and bypasses, underpasses and overpasses, dead ends and endless routes.

Each intersection represented a decision we make in our life, and the decision we make will take us down another road that leads to another intersection, where we make another decision … ad infinitum until death do us part.

Everything we do prior to an intersection prepares us for the decision at the next intersection … right, wrong or indifferent … and takes us in another direction.

After reading the book I couldn’t help but see life that way. Each time I had a decision to make, no matter how small or large, I’d do like Yogi Berra suggested: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

I guess what I’m saying in this Weekender, as we move out of a work week, get to that weekend intersection and prepare for what’s coming next week–remember, P7. What you did this week–win, lose or draw–can be used to build the plan for next week, and the week after, and the week after.

If it’s the right decision, rejoice and go forth; if it’s the wrong one, own it, learn from it, correct it and go forth. Either way, go forth.

Randy Gaddo served for 15 years as a director in municipal parks and recreation after retiring from 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He developed, wrote, administered, and presented maintenance plans as well as recreation master plans during that time. Gaddo earned his Master’s in Public Administration, and now lives in Beaufort, S.C. He can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email cwo4usmc@comcast.net.

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