No matter how good your nutrition is,  how well structured your training program is or how low your stress levels are, if you don’t manage to get this principle right, then everything you are doing might eventually get ruined in a moment’s time.

This principle is preparedness. Preparedness for accidents, preparedness for disease, preparedness for economic crises, etc.

Most accidents can be caused by outside forces that you have no control of. So the only thing you can do is find ways to avoid them or plan in advance.

Based on this understanding preparedness consists of:

  1. Preventive Action
  2. Plan-B

Preventive Action

“Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy” ~ Lao Tzu [1]

The best way to prepare for a bad event is by lowering the possibility of it happening to you.

You can do two things to lower this possibility.

  1. Find the main causes and remove them from your life.
  2. Become aware of any problems that might already exist and deal with them while it is still easy.

Most, if not all, healthy practices are closely related to preventive action. Good nutrition and exercise can help you avoid certain diseases and recover faster if you get sick. General health checkups can help you identify any problem while it is still in the early stages.

However, there are other areas of life that are outside the health “category” and can have a big influence in your life (eg. economic crisis).

Car accidents are also something that can have a big impact on your health (obviously). Some preventive actions are:

  • Follow the driving rules of your country
  • Wear a seatbelt/helmet
  • Check the streets before you cross them
  • Take care of your car
  • Don’t drive drunk
  • Etc.

There are numerous other possibilities of such events and preventive actions, but you get the point.

Plan-B – Expect Failure

“Protect your clothes, so that you’ll have the half (in quantity)”. ~ Greek Proverb

It’s important to notice that the proverb isn’t saying that you are going to have all of them. You are going to lose the clothes anyway, but what do you prefer? Losing all of them or only half of them? This is where Plan B becomes important.

No matter how good you are in taking preventive action, life is unpredictable and shit can always happen. So you’d better be prepared for it.

The approach that I consider best is to expect failure and plan for it like you would if you were sure that it will happen. This is not about being pessimistic, but realistic. You wouldn’t want to be in a car accident without having health insurance.

The whole purpose of this plan is to minimize the potential loss. A health insurance is not going to prevent an accident from happening, but it will help you release the potential risk of being without money in such situations.

What can you do?

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” ~ John F. Kennedy [2]

As in every problem, the solution comes from awareness and action.

To summarize, there are 3 steps in this process of preparedness.

  1. Become aware of the danger.
  2. Take preventive actions.
  3. Make a plan in case it happens.

A good way to see this principle in action is to reflect on your past.

Was there a situation that cost you a lot because you were unprepared?

What would you have done differently if you knew that it was going to happen? What would be your preventive actions and your Plan-B

Search in all areas of your life and apply this while you are still in the “shiny days”.

This is not about being optimistic or pessimistic. It’s about being realistic. Shit happens, so you’d better be prepared for it.

~ Nick


Photo: What’s important?

[1] BrainyQuote

[2] BrainyQuote