Being “At The Ready” is about being prepared for whatever life may have to throw at you. It’s about taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. It’s about creating more opportunities because you are ready for those opportunities in every way, shape, and form.
This is not about hoping for things to happen. This is not about luck. In fact, I hate the term, “luck.”
I hear things like:
“Ryan, you’re so lucky you get to work at home.”
“Ryan, you’re so lucky that you show has grown as big as it has.”
“Ryan, you’re so lucky that you get to do work you love.”
I’ve heard all three of these statements on multiple occasions and more and, although, I get a chuckle every time someone makes a statement like that, I wonder how many times they could have been “lucky” had they prepared for it just a little more.
Seneca said, “Luck is the point where preparation meets opportunity.”
And, that’s what I want to talk with you about today. Specifically, preparation.
If we can be more prepared – mentally, physically, emotionally – opportunities are going to come with more frequency. I know it’s certainly been the case in my life.
So, I want to break this down. I want you to create more opportunities in your life. I want you to be more prepared. I want you to be ready to seize whatever chances come your way. And, I want you to know what they actually look like.
AT THE READY PHYSICALLY
First, let’s talk about physical preparation. I know there are a lot of men reading this right now who are not satisfied with where they are physically. Maybe they’ve put on a few pounds. Maybe they’ve neglected staying in shape. Maybe they aren’t quite as athletic as they once were.
Physical preparation is so critical but the challenge is that we don’t really know what to be prepared for.
Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of The Boy Scouts answered when asked what we should be prepared for by saying, “Anything.”
And that’s the point of being physically prepared. I see a lot of guys running around with the six-pack abs and the bulging biceps, but if you asked them to run a mile they could even get started.
The point of physical fitness is not look the part – it’s to be the part. Being At the Ready with regards to your fitness means that you lift a car hood off your wife if you get in a car accident. It means that you can run a mile to find help if you need it. It means that you hike a mountain to get out of harm’s way. It means you can lift heavy things including your own body.
If you can’t get in shape, there is no way you’re going to be able to have the energy and capacity to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves.
AT THE READY FINANCIALLY
Next, let’s talk about the money situation. Being At The Ready financially means that you’re out of debt. It means you have a budget. It means you know exactly where your money is coming from. It means that you know exactly where it’s going. It means that you’ve built an emergency fund. It means that you have your protection in place like insurances and that you’ve got a financial team like a financial advisor, a CPA, and an attorney.
Look, life has a way of throwing us some curve balls. You could lose your job. You could experience a layoff. You could go through a divorce. You could have a family emergency or illness. You could go through a separation or divorce. You could have tenant that doesn’t pay their rent this month.
Being At The Ready will allow you to buffer against those unfortunate times that are bound to come up. But, there are positive opportunities that could arise as well.
A job promotion. A job transfer. A opening in a private school you really want your kids to attend. A new job with better opportunities. There are a ton of reason why being At The Ready is critical to your success.
One thing I talk a lot about is what I refer to as a “Walk-Away Fund” or an “Integrity Fund.” Having money in the bank allows you the ability to walk away from anything that would jeopardize the boundaries you’ve established for yourself – physical, emotional, and/or moral. Having money in the bank will allow you to keep in integrity with you core values and virtues should you be asked to compromise those values.
AT THE READY INTELLECTUALLY
And, the third component I wanted to talk with you about to day is being At The Ready Intellectually.
This is about acquiring the knowledge and the wisdom and the skillset you need to improve your life should there be an opportunity for advancement with your work or a new career, should there be an investment that you want to invest in, should there be an opportunity to serve on a board you care about.
Having a plan in place that allows you to continue your education gives you the ability to capture opportunities that most people don’t know about or don’t have the capacity for.
I know a lot of men who believe, for example they don’t have to put in the work a manager at the office might do because they don’t have that title yet. What if your company is waiting for someone to actually step up before that offer the position to someone else.
If you aren’t constantly expanding your mind, you’re never going to have that chance. You’re never going to have the opportunity you and your family might be looking for.
I know there’s a lot more to this and obviously, we’re just scratching the surface but I want you to think about being At The Ready. I want you to know that the opportunities around us are limitless and most of them go unnoticed because we simply don’t have the physical, financial, and/or intellectual capital to seize them.