“It is not the brightest who succeed… Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” – Malcom Gladwell, Outliers
Many think that successful people only got where they are because they were lucky or because of who they knew, but that’s an oversimplification of circumstances. Successful people built a foundation through preparation, so that when opportunities presented themselves they were ready to take advantage of them.
In the previous post I talked about how we often don’t analyze our decisions thoroughly or, in some cases, at all. We also often let opportunities pass us by due to fear of failure or fear of making the wrong choice. The real key is not to continually look for these opportunities or forks in the road, but to prepare ourselves that when we turn the page to the decision tree, we have the confidence to seize the moment and ultimately make the right decision.
In a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, the decisions can seem quite random. But if you analyze the clues along the way you could get to hangout with Abraham Lincoln on a train to Gettysburg instead of getting mauled by a sabertooth tiger. However, some choices you have to make are just random that no amount of preparation would help. When this happens, you cannot be frozen by fear of the unknown. You must forge head on your adventure and make it the best adventure you can.
The key to making decisions, whether we’ve prepared for them or not, is knowing that just around the corner could be a decision for which you’ve been preparing your whole life.
What are you preparing for and will I be ready when it comes?