The Problem With Preparation: The Myth Of Readiness

Is there such thing as being ready, in life?

You can spend time getting ready, and preparing, and formulating, and devising, and planning, and thinking, and getting ready; you can defer the start until you are more prepared, until you have a better plan, and more intelligence, experience, acknowledgments, and permission–or you can start now, with what you have and where you are; and learn through doing, through process, through jumping off the plane and assembling your parachute on the way down.

You can spend hours, months, years and lifetimes getting ready and planning, in study, in thought, and yes, it may feel necessary for your chosen discipline, and you may be able to provide strong reasons for every second of it; yet, compared to what you learn once you start — healing patients, writing the book, singing the song, fighting the war, playing the game, performing the trick, teaching the class… — well, the comparison is both beyond hysterical and a crying shame.

Most rationalisation and hesitation is, essentially, fear–hence the advice ‘Be honest with yourself’: it’s crucial. The truth is that never will you be ready; life is a process, a process in which you must stay flexible, constantly adapt, and evolve. How can you possibly be ready? Actually you can. There is only one way: knowing, that never, ever, ever, can you actually be ready.

Better to replace your definition of readiness with: knowing that never can one never be fully prepared.

Mad Chris

Mad Chris — Philosopher, Public Thinker, Writer — is our very own Seneca. He lives the much envied life of a scholarly flâneur. He spends half of his time in the hustle and bustle of New York City, and the other half in quietude, on a houseboat, atop a famous lake in the Scottish Highlands. His favourite writer? You guessed it — Seneca. The food at his death bed? ‘3-5 olives.’