Last year, I was in a meeting where one member recounted how another was such a good person to work with. He said it was because she was always so prepared, and she chimed in, “I like being prepared.”
The speaker said he began using that motto, not only in his work, but in his way of living. Before he met someone, he tried to be prepared. If he saw someone walking toward him, he quickly tried to be mentally prepared to be able to greet the person kindly, to focus on the person, and not be distracted by other concerns.
Wow, I totally agree with this approach. Especially, when it comes to greeting people or beginning a class or a meeting. I want to look forward to that interaction.
But, what I hadn’t acknowledged before, was that in my work, yes, I too like to be prepared!
I realized that I tend to take on too much, so have gotten better at limiting my “To Do List”. Or laughing at it!
But, I realized that for me to feel comfortable, I do enjoy being prepared and thus enjoy preparing! It is a kick-ass chaos buster!
For example, whereas the previous teacher in this position took 1-2 hours per week for planning, I take 4-5 hours. I tried with fewer hours, but all week I was fumbling for enough activities to meet the ever-changing class composition and last-minute shifts. Instead of cursing those, I figured out that those are ‘normal’, so by preparing more options, I’m able to teach something fun, comfortably …no matter what!
So, making the extra effort to be prepared is an important part of being able to be peaceful, joyful and comfortable when class after class of kids wander into my room. When I’m prepared, I can meet them excitedly knowing we will have fun in the coming hour.
In the past few weeks, I had another example of this. I decided to participate in an Open Mic event to perform some of my poetry. I had only done this one previous time, on the spur of the moment that time, so I know I’m really a beginner.
So, even though the time slot was just 7 to 12 minutes, I spent weeks preparing. I memorized about eight poems, though I knew I’d have time for only about four. I translated one into Korean so it wouldn’t be all English … here in Korea! I practiced some of the poems with different friends and got great insights about the importance of giving some background and connecting to the listener.
As a result of all that preparation, I wasn’t stressed out that day. When my name came up as the last of 15 poets, I felt calm and happy. I had fun, and think the audience did too.
I used to really rebel against that extra effort, but now I can welcome it:
- as part of my way to enjoy life,
- as an effective chaos crusher,
- as part of my spiritual path, and
- as a way to inner peace!
Yep, I like being prepared!
By spending a few extra hours of prep time, I’m ready for anything all week long! And last minute schedule changes don’t bother me!