Something that I frequently hear from people is that they are not ready for something. Be it having children, getting an education or making the changes in their personal lives that they think will make them happy. But here’s the thing: you might never feel ready. Most of the time that people say they aren’t ready, they are really saying that they aren’t comfortable with the idea of the change or the work that the change will involve. But it isn’t about being ready or feeling comfortable. It’s about wanting it. Opportunities rarely come when you feel that you are ready to seize them. Life really just doesn’t work that way. Often times, you have to make the opportunity yourself once you decide that you want something. Things tend to come your way when you feel insecure with your preparation, knowledge and/or skills. But that doesn’t mean you should be ignoring them until you feel ready. You may not get another chance and you are unlikely to ever feel completely ready for it. Most of our lifetime opportunities force us to grow both emotionally and intellectually. They push us to give the best of ourselves, even if that means getting out of our comfort zones. But sacrificing our comfort can give us the chance for personal growth. If you want to change your life for the better, you should open yourself to the opportunities that arise, even if you don’t feel 100% ready.
Most of this avoidance comes from the fear of failing. Why are we so afraid of failure? There are not clear black and white lines between failure and success. Not getting a 100% on a test (getting a 98%) isn’t the same as failing. Yet people often view not reaching their goal exactly as they envisioned it as failing. Instead of looking at success and failure as black and white concepts, consider it a spectrum of grey. The white is at one end and the black is on the other. The white represents the perfect outcome while the black represents the worst possible outcome. Things rarely hit the white or black on either end of this line. Instead, things usually turn out somewhere between on that line of grey. The other part of this is that things are rarely locked in. You often get another chance down the road to make things better then you’d previously achieved. It is important that we remind ourselves that nothing in life is perfect. Falling short of perfect is the way that life is and it doesn’t mean that you failed.
We often hear that knowledge is power. But it only is power if you use it. Knowing how to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things. It doesn’t matter how much you know about something if you never try to apply it to something. Knowledge and intelligence are useless without action. Thus, it is action that will lead you to success. That isn’t to say that you won’t need knowledge, but even getting that knowledge takes action. Part of getting prepared for being successful is taking action to move towards our life goals. It is unlikely that you will achieve any major goal in a single step. Break the goal down into smaller goals and try to take on these smaller goals one at a time.
Don’t run away or give up if you make a mistake or fall short of what you were after. Part of being human is making mistakes. We cannot avoid this. Instead of giving up, do your best to correct the mistake and then move forward. Mistakes rarely make it impossible to achieve our long term goals. They may set us back or delay our progress, but that isn’t the same as making it impossible to achieve.
Many people believe that they can only be happy if they accomplish a particular goal. In my opinion, we can choose to be happy every day, no matter where on the path to our goals we are at the moment. The most important thing is to cherish every moment of every day and to be thankful for who you are and what you have now. It is important to remind yourself that all things pass. If you are in a hard time right now, know that it cannot last forever because nothing does. Take each day as it comes and look at it with the intention of seeing the good around you. If you cannot enjoy what you have now, it is unlikely that you will achieve happiness after achieving any goal.