You’ll Be Ready When You’re Ready (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 274)
“At the last moment she thought, I’m not ready. But she already knew the answer to that. Nobody was ever ready.”
— L.J. Smith
Are you ready? I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve have heard someone ask this question. Heck, I’ve even asked this question myself more times than I’d care to remember.
There’s a lot of pressure in the world to be ready. We go to school because we must be prepared for life. We get a job because we need experiences to be ready for any eventuality we face. Some of us have mentors because they are the role models we (or someone close to us) thinks we need. All of this is in an attempt to prepare us for something, to get us ready to launch. But getting ready to launch and launching are two very different things.
The question of readiness is an assumption that in order to move forward or to do anything, we must be prepared to do it. We must have some kind of track record or proof that shows we’ve done our homework and we’re good to go. It’s almost as if we need a seal of approval before darting out the door to some grand opportunity that awaits us.
Society has bought into the idea that we must be ready right now at this moment, prepared yesterday, perfectly composed and set as soon as possible. It’s a rat race of grand proportions that has many of us rushing here and there trying to learn something new or gain some first-hand experience. But it seems we’re not getting any closer to being totally ready than, well, we are right now.
Push. Grow. Achieve. Pull. Work. Fight. Grind. Hustle. Think. Create. Produce. Gain. Enter. Move. Progress. Process. Leap. Succeed. Excel. We bring all these words into play in our lives and feel stumped, even disappointed, that we haven’t arrived. I wish I were ready for everything now. I like to think I am, but it seems I’m not. It’s almost as if I’m ready for nothing at all, unprepared for whatever life has to throw my way.
Here’s the deal about readiness…You’ll never be fully ready if being ready is all you’re focused on. Preparing to be a model is a vastly different world from actually being one. Preparing to be a footballer or a basketballer or a baseballer is something totally removed from actually playing the sport. Learning about writing, film-making, or public speaking is a planet away from actually selling your published book, seeing your film in theaters, and giving a speech to a room full of people. Yet people attempt to get themselves “ready” to do nothing at all.
You’ll never be fully ready. The world is a vast place and our little selves can’t consume all the information there is to consume. It would take light years to even begin. The vast amount of knowledge would overwhelm the smartest among us. If you wait to be ready, you’ll be waiting forever. Leap. Move. Enter. Launch. Just don’t quit. Fall out the nest and while you’re falling develop wings so you fly. That’s how it normally works anyway.
Parents can tell their kids everything they know until their blue in the face, but kids still have to learn on their own. Parents don’t know everything. They know only what they know and they can tell you only what they know. The rest is up to you to figure out. Are kids full ready when they leave home? No, absolutely not. It’s not even possible. They have to know what it is like to live, to make decisions, to follow their dreams, to recover from failure, to overcome obstacles, to give negative people the full hand, to control and manage themselves, to love, to give, to serve, to hold, and to let go — all without daddy and mommy holding their hand.
And what usually happens? People step out into the world falsely thinking they are so ready and so prepared, and then they fall flat on their face and think to themselves, ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?” Well, no one really could. You have to have your own experiences which is part of what makes each of us unique.
You’ll be ready when you’re ready. There’s no pressure for you to be superbly perfect right now. There’s no time or space for you to learn everything before you start. Life will be over by the time that happens. You must learn what you can. Then start. Then keep on learning. Get as strong as you can. Push yourself out the nest. Start falling. Then use those wings that you’ve developed.
And that’s not when you know you’re ready. You’ll never know that. You just always be in place for the next opportunity. Good opportunities don’t sit around and wait for the absolutely perfectly prepared saint to come and do them. If that were the case nothing would ever get done. Good opportunities come to those who are already doing what they can do with what they have right where they are.
You’ll be ready when you say you’re ready. And when you say you’re ready it won’t be because you have some grandiose knowledge more than anyone else, it will be because you have courage and faith to step out and see where the leap takes you. Expand. Grow. Move obstacles. Go past go. Launch yourself. Seek. Find. You might not have a significant amount of pain or a highly spiritual moment. Who says you need one?
No one is going to give you a certificate that says, “Congratulations. You’re Ready.” It doesn’t work that way. If you’re not ready to push out the nest or launch off, it would be better to tell yourself, “I’m getting ready.” “I’m improving. I’m learning what I need to learn. I’m seeking advice to make the best decision. I’m going to take the leap when I’m ready to do so.”
Don’t let other people push you faster than you want to go. There’s no certain standard of readiness. It’s one step after another. Those who take the step find where it takes them. You’ll be ready when you’re ready.
“We’ll never be ready. So I guess that means we’re as ready as we’ll ever be.”
— Neal Shusterman