[vimeo id="76892561"] The old adage “practice makes perfect” isn’t limited to sports. Teams practice so they can confidently act whenever a particular situation takes place in a game. In the same way, we benefit when we take the time to prepare before taking that next step towards our divine design. The knowledge of what to do next is made complete when we choose to take action today to prepare for the challenges we’ll face ahead.
Here are four ways you can prepare today as you look towards that next stage of life:
1. Formal education. This is perhaps most commonly associated within the context of preparation. The primary objective of a classical approach to education is not so much to teach a skill but to train the mind to think critically, write effectively, and communicate persuasively. While some question the effectiveness of formal education, I believe there is still a real value in helping young adults prepare for what’s next.
2. Real-world experience. There is nothing that can replace the skills, expertise, and perspective gained from achieving results. Even if our efforts result in failure, we can still learn valuable lessons. The various jobs I’ve held over the years have given me insight that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It has connected me to networks of people I might never have met had I not been in those circles. It has opened up new doors that would not have been accessible to me otherwise.
3. Personal disciplines. If we do not exhibit good financial management, then debt might prevent us from being able to say yes when the invitation comes to us. If we do not take care of our bodies, we may not be in good enough health to complete a transition or take on a demanding role. If we do not prepare our hearts and minds through spiritual disciplines, then we might not understand the significance of the subtle shifts that take place in our lives.
4. Mentorship. There was a time in our culture when being an apprentice meant something. You were able to shadow a professional and learn not just the knowledge and skills of a trade or profession but also what to do in a variety of situations and circumstances. This insight can’t be transferred inside a classroom. People have mentored me over the years. That’s the reason, I have always had a passion to invest in others. Currently I am coming alongside the students at Southeastern University. I believe providing context for education ensures the valuable lessons learned in the classroom can be translated into the professional world and beyond.
Preparation is key if we want to be effective in the next phase of life. It ensures we gain the skills, disciplines, education, and perspectives we’ll need to complete the next phase of our journey. As we embrace this adventure called life, it’s important that we take the time to adequately prepare before taking the first step.
How are you currently preparing for the next stage of life? What lessons have you learned during the process?