Anytime people try to accomplish just about anything – launch a business, embark on a new career, plan a trip – obstacles get in the way.
How well they respond depends on not just whether they are ready for the unexpected, but whether they have made the proper preparations to see them through, says Dr. Akintoye Akindele, the Forbes Books co-author with Olakunle Soriyan of A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success.
“People often confuse preparation with readiness, but they are totally different things,” Akindele says. “Preparation occurs in a controlled environment, while readiness takes place in the ‘real world,’ where events have no respect for your expectations and are not dictated by your preferences or prejudices.”
In other words, he says, preparation depends on factors within your control. That can involve leveraging strengths, removing weaknesses, exploiting opportunities or eliminating identified threats. Readiness involves confronting a slew of internal and external factors outside your direct influence.
“You can be prepared based on seemingly airtight plans and hypotheses and still be unready for what reality will bring,” Soriyan says. “Yet you will never be ready if you do not prepare.”
Akindele and Soiryan say there are four overlapping dimensions of preparation that get people ready to face life’s challenges. They are physical preparedness, mental preparedness, emotional preparedness, and spiritual preparedness.
Here’s a breakdown for each:
Regardless of what activities you’re involved in – whether for recreation or business – it’s important to stay fit, Akindele says. “You cannot afford to play with your health,” he says. “Your body may not feature prominently on your balance sheet, but it is the strongest asset in your possession.” That means exercise, eat well, and get regular checkups. “Physical preparedness also includes your appearance,” Akindele says. “How you show up and the impressions you create matter more than we like to admit. Significant personal and business decisions are made almost every minute based on appearance.”
Devote significant effort and time to acquiring knowledge, building competencies, and improving your resilience and focus, Soriyan says. “Developing our mental capacity positions us to better anticipate and eliminate possible obstacles, understand the competition where it exists, conceive of well-thought-out backup plans, and map out strategies,” he says.
You will need a lot of positive reinforcement along the way, which is why it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your journey, Akindele says. “Speak to anyone who is successful at anything, and they will tell you the role that an investment in people and relationships played in their success,” he says. “From advising and helping you prepare for the road ahead to holding your hand and helping you cross your barriers, from standing in for you when everyone has deserted you to helping you get back on track when you feel like quitting, emotional assets and resources help create winners.”
Spirituality isn’t necessarily about religion. “Spirituality is about connectedness,” Soriyan says. “Connectedness with people, places, experiences, seasons, and energies is the character of spirituality at any level.” Spirituality is also linked to happiness, and happy people are more likely to achieve their goals than unhappy ones, he says. “To invest in activities that make you happy is wise,” he says. “Pursue what gives you peace. Invest in family, charity, philanthropy, faith in God, reading, traveling, talking, and even silence.”
“To fulfill any goal, you must first identify that goal and define it,” Akindele says. “But preparation is the foundation upon which success and the attainment of your goals are built.”
About Dr. Akintoye Akindele and Olakunle Soriyan
Dr. Akintoye Akindele (www.drakintoyeakindele.com), co-author of A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success, is the Chairman and CEO of Platform Capital Group. As an investor, best-selling author, and philanthropist, he is committed to enhancing Africa’s role in the global economy. In addition to his many roles in business, Dr. Akindele is a lecturer and faculty member of the University of Lagos Business School. He holds a doctorate degree in Business Administration (Finance) from the International School of Management in Paris. Dr. Akindele lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Olakunle Soriyan (www.kennethsoriyan.com), co-author of A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success, is the Chief Knowledge Officer and Lead Strategist at Kenneth Soriyan Research and Ideas LLC. He is also CEO of Africa House, a platform linking investors with entrepreneurs and innovators of African descent. Soriyan’s skills have served various arms of governments and many organizations in different parts of the world including Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Total and Shell. He lives in Plano, Texas
Ms. Career Girl strives to provide valuable insights you can use. To see more from our columnists and guest authors, check these out! Or subscribe to our weekly email featuring our latest articles. We’re also present on Medium!