There has recently been a video that has gone viral, both online and offline. It’s about a young man from Mali called Mamoudou Gassama who was caught on camera scaling four floors to rescue a baby.
In what has been referred to as a real-life Spiderman, Mamoudou latches onto one railing after another, heaving himself onto the next in what appears like an effortless task. While this event took place in France, it has reverberated across the world, making the young man an instance global superstar.
But what appears to be an easy, almost effortless task to you and I, is a testament of what preparation can do. The young man’s body is perfectly chiseled and obviously well-toned for such a task. While he may never have imagined that one day he will get to use his agility and strength to save a baby while the entire world watched, he must have, nonetheless known that as long as he kept practicing and preparing, one day an opportunity will present itself.
Abraham Lincoln once said: I will prepare and someday my chance will come. Behind every success; behind what appears like an overnight success is hours, days, months and years of preparation. In fact, according to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert in any discipline.
The worst possible scenario in anyone’s life is for the right opportunity to present itself when they are not adequately prepared. Many people have missed out on their destiny because they were unprepared when lady chance came calling.
A child that has grown up in the right environment, being prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they mature, always has a head-start in life. The British royals raise their children with royalty in mind. From the time they are born, they are treated and groomed as royalty. These are not your ordinary children. You do not just become a king or queen by chance, you have to be prepared for that potential eventuality.
There are a number of things you need to do to be prepared for whatever destiny has in store for you.
Be Purposeful About Life
The first thing you need to do is to discover your purpose. Each of us has a purpose for which God put us on earth. The only thing you need to do is to discover it… and then work towards living it.
Engage in Deliberate Practice
Everything with practice becomes easy. Mamoudou was able to scale four floors because he had prior practice. However, what he did effortlessly was a near-impossible task to anyone without that kind of practice and preparation. This is proof that nothing is impossible with proper prior practice, which must be deliberate and geared towards attaining specific skills and aptitudes.
Be Prepared to Put in the Time
Half-hearted and inconsistent preparation results in minimal impact, if any. It takes time and effort to practice and prepare for a prolonged period of time. There are days you won’t feel like practicing. But you must not relent. You must keep pushing, striving and applying yourself when you feel like it, and and when you don’t.
Enjoy the Journey
The most difficult part of the success journey comes when we get bogged down by the daily grind of preparation and practice. If it will take 10,000 hours to get to your ultimate goal, you might as well enjoy what you do on a daily basis. If you don’t, chances are that you will give up before you attain your goals. That is why you must make sure you are living within your purpose. Purpose infuses us with a passion that cannot be quenched by anything.
Take the Plunge
A time comes after practice, planning, and preparation when you must take the plunge. After preparing and practicing for years, finally an opportunity will present itself. It may come disguised as a baby dangling from a five-storey building, or a job opportunity, or a presentation that catches the eye of a potential investor. The bottom line is: you have to be prepared to move from preparation to ‘launch’.
Success and lucky breaks are actually a culmination of persistent and concerted efforts that ultimately usher us into our destiny. Success only comes to the prepared; those that are willing to put in the time and do whatever is necessary to move forward. It may seem like what you are doing right now is inconsequential; but one of these days, the right opportunity will stare down at you. That is the time you will have to use everything you have learned and seize the moment.