Allow me to provide you with some more spiritually-guided unsolicited advice. If you’ve interacted with me recently, at some point you may have heard me talking about how I “stay ready, so I never have to get ready.” I want to break down what this means to me and why it’s been so important in helping me reach new heights.
Staying ready is a way of life that I have adopted so that I will always be in the prime position to “seize the day,” (carpe diem if you’re fancy). It means that whether I’m traveling physically or mentally, I keep a bag packed and travel light. It means that when my season comes for reaping what I have sewn, I’m in shape with my tools ready at my side. It means that when someone sees me, as broken and jagged as I’ve been made by life, they’ll see me as a key for what they will do next, I am in position to accept the grace. It means training myself not to run from the moments that will stretch me. Not to ever see myself as too small for the shoes that I’ll get asked to fill.
The shift from “getting ready” to “staying ready” happened for me in graduate school. I was always of the mindset of needing to prepare and work on myself and practice a bit more and run it by a few more people until I realized, that my version of “getting ready” was dominated by fear. The worry that I would never be ready enough to run my own company, or be a professor, or start a blog, or even share a new post, meant I was perpetually stuck in “getting ready.” I realize now, that I have always been ready to step into my own light and there are countless more people trying to get all of their ducks in a row before they get their blessing. But running around trying to get everything perfect actually blocks us from making any real progress in the first place. “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” People who stay ready actually get to experience life. People constantly trying to get ready for life spend more time preparing and reading books than actually getting to go anywhere or do anything.
Prepare for life, but don’t let fear prevent you from acting on these goals that you have. It is possible to plan something as you do it and be willing to adjust the plan on the way. When we keep telling the universe “that I’m not ready yet,” eventually opportunity and good fortune will find its way to someone that’s been waiting to accept what gets offered. The people who succeed are not special. The people that seem to get all the blessings are not more favored than you. They were just available. Just happened to always be open to receive (and accept offers) when opportunity came their way. Learning how to accept every offer that comes to you is actually a technique in improv. Check out this previous post for more insights on how learning improv prepares you to change the world.
Reverend TD Jakes said that people are answers. Our issue is that we are taught to see ourselves as problems. It’s much scarier to think that you’re an answer. More pressure to be a solution than to be broken.
Don’t be what blocks your blessing. Pray and concentrate on asking for the courage and wisdom to navigate the things you are afraid to do. Faith is not only for getting through the hard times, it’s for the grace to also soar to new heights when you’ve only known how to fall. For the determination to figure out what is it that I am an answer to, and to trust that you’ve always had what you needed. No extra assembly required.
Side note: Days after writing this post, I was called in to do several stretch assignments and tasks. And I watched myself recoil as people called me in to do things that seemed beyond me. Here I was preaching for people to open their minds, to stay ready for opportunities so they don’t come up with a bunch of excuses about not being prepared and not being able to handle it. I must’ve thrown every excuse out of my mouth, caught myself (i.e. one of my best friends called me out on it), pulled up my big girl knickers and said “yes.” Three short-term part time jobs later, I cannot say that I’ve done everything right, but here’s another nugget I’ve incorporated into my life:
“In every decision, you can choose to do the right thing, the wrong thing, or nothing.”
And nothing actually is the worse option. Do something. At least if it’s wrong, you can course-correct and do right, or more right. One of our greatest internal challenges as people, is to overcome our proclivity for inaction. So I leaned into my own advice, I’ll tell you where it takes me…or better yet, maybe one day you’ll get to see for yourself.