The Myth of Readiness

June 11, 2015

When your life's mission is to spark motivation to seize life & overcome the fear of failure, you have to mull over what is it really, that causes failure. Because let's be honest, this is the biggest factor that keeps us from going boldly after our dreams. The scene in our mind where people pity us, laugh at our mistakes and the resulting shame that will inevitably follow us for the rest of our lives, makes us "think better of it" and postpone whatever we want to do for another day. For that other day when we think we'll feel more ready. So I wanted to know how we can overcome this and not allow our imagination get the best of us.

 

After much thought, I find that with the many scenarios playing out in our minds for what constitutes failure, this is that exact singular moment where failure actually happens: It is that moment when we ask ourselves if we are ready, and because you lack certainty, you decide against going forward.

 

That, I believe is the single moment that prompts failure. That thought process evaluating your readiness and how you fool yourself into believing you have made an informed decision on why you should not go forward because you lack readiness.

 

Now, I imagine you have replayed a certain moment where you personally experienced this.

 

Along with your memory is your slew of reasons which are, I'm sure, quite valid for you- making you decide against going forward during that one instance in your mind. You may even, not regret that decision. However, I believe regret is a whole different topic that merits a totally different arena of discussion. But to ponder briefly on regret, like all emotions, you have a choice on whether it will motivate you or paralyze you. Now when you compare it to failure- which literally according to Webster means: a state of inability to perform a normal function and a fracturing or giving way under stress- failure is not a by-product but rather a catalyst. It is a failure itself when you decide not to function due to stress. It is therefore a breakthrough to reframe and see failure as a decision: something you have complete control over and not the result of whatever venture you want to pursue. The sooner one recognizes the weight of this, the sooner your process is optimal for you to truly make an informed decision. When it is clear to you that by refusing to proceed because you are not ready, you now understand that you are deciding to forego an opportunity to find out what that experience can possibly bring you.

 

The way I see it, our idea of readiness is a myth. There is never a way to know what lies on the other side of deciding to go ahead despite your state of uncertainty. One can only cling to the hope of the best possible scenario. However, equally important to mention is that there's such a thing as preparation. This is to actively prepare yourself for the many different consequences that can result from deciding to proceed. This entails research, learning from mentors, conducting interviews and looking for various learning experiences that can help you react for the many possible results that can happen. This way, regardless of whether the outcome is the best possible one you were hoping for or the worst failing you have imagined, you still have a say on how to proceed next. The sooner one accepts and masters the truth that readiness is a myth, you allow yourself to experience the beauty of living life with the discipline to be courageous and braving to proceed despite uncertainties. Learning that we are never really ready allows us that space to embrace what every experience is meant to teach us.

 

The sooner you reframe your mind to become this kind of person: a person that says YES to life and treats it as an endless journey of learning, the sooner you reap the rewards of all that life can teach you. You now become a student of life, being aware and even hungry for the many teachable moments available to you.

 

Waiting until you are ready is the start of your most- feared failure. Because not actually failing never means succeeding. And success can only come out on the other side of deciding to proceed. And isn't it that the real reason why success gives you an immense feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment?

 

One of the most valuable things teaching has taught me is that you are always a student. Being an educator has taught me the value of humility and to embrace those moments when you realize that despite the many years of study, there is still always something new to learn. Hence, we are never truly a finished product. We are never ready and that is the gift of life: the opportunity to learn as much as you can from everything that you can experience.

 

In spite of your lack of readiness, your feelings of uncertainty- trust that life will give you the tools you need when you need them. This is the poetry of the learning process. We can only realize on hindsight and we can really only try to do better the next time. We only have experience to teach us and refine us until that day we get to realize that we have come out with our own success story.

 

Lemony Snicket said it best: "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives." Don't waste in wait for a life of your dreams. Fight your way and shape it as you desire to be shaped by it. After all, your life story will only be as good as how passionately you spend time shaping it. An artist can only hope that his masterpiece comes close to what it was in his head. But he must pick up a brush first to get his imagination on canvas. So must you, shape your decisions with the focus of shaping your life how you desire it to become. As for everything in life, you need to will it first before it comes into being. Don't wait until you are ready. You will wait in vain doing so. Proceed and learning follows and proceed again. Always forward...always onward.

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