I was driving to my children’s school to pick them up one afternoon. I had left the house a few minutes later than usual so I was kind of in a hurry to make up for lost time. I then made a quick decision to take a route with no traffic lights. It wasn’t a very long road so I still had to come out of it to join the main road at some point. As I got to the end of my no-traffic-light road, I had to wait behind the double white line until a kind-hearted driver allowed me to join the slowly growing queue of cars. I had my attention so focused on ‘catching’ the eye of the next driver to see if he/she would allow me enter the road (I wear glasses, so I had to focus more), so much so that I forgot to move my gear stick from 3 to 1. Suddenly someone stopped and boy was I glad. I looked on to ‘catch’ his eye, just to be sure he’d really let me go. As soon as I ‘caught’ his eye, he gave me a nod and a wave of hand to let me know that I could go in front of him.
The moment I stepped on the gas to go, the car jerked. I quickly looked down the gear and realised I was still on gear 3 instead of 1. Almost immediately, the car stopped and I felt a bit silly. Here was the kind hearted driver I had been hoping would turn up and allow me cut in front of him and here I was not able to move because I had broken the first basic rule of moving: preparation.
So there I was a bit flushed and embarrassed that my car had stopped. I could imagine him thinking: “move it woman! I haven’t got all day”. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had moved and blocked me from entering to be honest. He did the decent thing by waiting and it was me who didn’t take advantage of that window of opportunity.
You could argue that it was no big deal for him to wait but it wasn’t just himself and myself that were involved in this situation, there were other cars behind him. These other cars could have noisily honked their horn for him in frustration. Plus, who knows what emergencies one or more of those cars might need to get to.
Anyway, I started my car quickly and thankfully; he waited. I moved noisily as I pressed hard on my accelerator because I didn’t want any excuse for the car to go off. Once I took my place on the line with other drivers, I signalled to express my gratitude to the driver who let me in.
This kind of scenario is not uncommon in our everyday life. At home, business, school and really…life in general; there are windows of opportunities that present themselves to us at different times. These windows of opportunities sadly only stay open for a short time, long enough for us to take advantage of it before it passes. Some of these windows require you to get in and move along with the flow. While others require you to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Whatever form the opportunity might take, one thing is paramount: be prepared.
In this traffic case, I was lucky to have someone patiently wait for me to get my act together. In life issues however, one might not get that chance. Once you figure out what it is you want to do or achieve, don’t wait until the opportunity presents itself before you get prepared because you most likely will get passed. Make sure that you get your act together by preparing yourself before hand for when that opportunity presents itself.
If you’ve ever wondered why some people just sometimes seem to get all the good openings, preparation is probably why. These seemingly ‘fairy-dust-covered’ people have prepared ahead of time and all they are waiting for, is for that window of opportunity to open so that they can readily leap in.
As you begin to tidy up all loose ends and review this passing year, spare some thoughts for the coming year. Start thinking about what you’d want to accomplish in the coming year and start making plans for yourself and for your environment.
I strongly advice that you do this one thing towards your growth and success for the coming year: make preparation a key thing.
“Opportunities will come, they always do but you can only recognise it and take advantage of it if you have prepared yourself for its arrival”.
Stay Blessed and Prepared.