Life is often unpredictable and we, in many ways, have very little control. One thing we can control is our preparation; there is a lot that we can do to be ready for different things that are happening in our lives and things that life could very easily throw at us. However, why is it important to be ready? Isn't being spontaneous and going with the flow often much better? Moreover, what does it really mean to be ready?
I have always considered it to be very important that I am ready for life in general. Whether it is school, events, competitions, performances, dates, trips, or any other aspect of life, I wanted to prepare myself so I can maximize my experience when the time comes. I think it is this idea of wanting to get the most out of each situation that makes it important to be ready. If you want to get what you want, if you want to avoid regrets, and if you want to avoid unfortunate situations, it just makes sense to prepare yourself and maximize your chances of succeeding in those objectives. With this said, there is a place for spontaneity and going with the flow. In fact, I think they are very important and that they often lead to some of the most interesting and fulfilling experiences. However, ironically, I prepare myself in many ways so that I am able to satisfy my desire to be spontaneous in life.
This brings me to the key idea of this post: what it actually means to be ready. For me, I think it means to prepare for the things you know are supposed to happen, to have a plan when things go wrong, and also to develop the skills and mindset required for adapting to the situation when things to go wrong in a way that you didn't plan for.
For example, I would have a plan for trip, as a way of being prepared. I would also have tools, clothes, google maps, money, extra food, and extra water in case things go wrong or if I want to be more spontaneous. To give myself the best chances of adapting to a situation where things go wrong in a way that I wouldn't have planned for, I would learn the local language, know English (lingua franca), download translate apps, and have social skills.
Using an interview as another example, I would have relevant questions with the most appropriate phrasing prepared. I would have backup questions, times that I know I would be free for rescheduling, and the ability to answer questions regarding the interview, the project, or other relevant aspects. I would also make sure that I have composure, on-the-spot communication skills, understanding of social cues, and other useful skills so, if everything goes to shit, I could limit just how shit it would go.