Life is not predicable – and that is what makes it great! I don’t like predictable movies, so why would I want my own life to be that way?
I long for adventure and excitement around every turn. But that choice can sometimes make things rough. If I want to endure and not settle for the ordinary, boring life, then I am going to have to develop lots of grit. I recently figured out how to develop that, and be ready for anything life throws at me.
Last year, my father-in-law bought a small moped (a small motorcycle) to get around town. During one of our visits, he wanted to let my 13 and 11-year-old sons ride on it. For a parent, this is a moment to grasp. My protective side was screaming, “No way.” But this was an opportunity to let the boys feel dangerous.
I decided to let them ride. But before they began, I recognized that this opportunity came with a new personal development guide.
5 Tips To Be Ready for Anything
1. Overcome Fear
Initially, while I would say the boys were excited, they were also very scared. They imagined all of the best and worst that they could experience. They each had enough bike wrecks over the years to recognize that pain might be a piece of this adventure.
If we want to become successful, we will need to push past our experiences and all of those fears. Some are legitimate, and we must make sure that we do what we can to cushion the fall. For the boys, they were going to wear a helmet.
For your journey, you may need to research, talk, and imagine what a safety helmet for you would look like. But the fear will always be there. We cannot vanquish it completely, but we can make it our servant and NOT our master.
For a long time, I was afraid to disappoint my family. That was the motivator to get up, work hard, and live right. That was fear working for me, not against me. While it will take creativity – and most often – support from family, friends, mentors and others to overcome the fear, it is a crucial first step to be ready for anything.
2. Learn How To Balance
For my boys, this was pretty easy since they already had much experience on bikes. However, the moped handled differently, so they needed to start slower. This is so they could get a feel for things. On our path to success, we are also going to need to learn balance.
You really don’t want to get to the top of the ladder and discover that you are all alone. The four areas that I encourage people to find harmony or balance in are physical, mental, spiritual, and social aspects.
All four areas work together to propel us to success. This balance must be kept intentionally as we sometimes tend to slide to “easy” things. A runner will slide away from free weights, though he knows that building up the core muscles will help him to be a better runner, because he enjoys running more.
3. Learn To Brake
The boys quickly understood how to go and miss pot holes, as well as obstacles. It only took a few jarring hops to build that lesson into their psyche. But sometimes, the obstacles could simply NOT be avoided, so they needed to stop. They needed to learn how to brake.
On this sojourn of success, we also need to learn how to brake. This will require us to stop and breathe, pause and consider. Our world moves us at a fast pace. But if we don’t stop once in awhile and enjoy life, we will eventually wear down.
Face it: when machines wear down; they are set up for disaster. Human bodies are even more fragile. Yes, we can go on for a duration of a time with no issues. But we must stop to recoup what we have expended if we still want to ready for anything.
4. Learn To Steer
To miss those pot holes, the boys had to learn to steer. In our journey, we are going to face some intense challenges. We need to be ready for anything.
How do we navigate through issues with work and life balance? How do we deal with workplace politics? How do issues of faith interact with business?
All of these and many others produce some gut-wrenching challenges. When we learn to steer correctly, we find partners. In the Army, we called them Battle Buddies. They kept us accountable and motivated us toward greater levels of success.
Steering also requires us to have opinions and ideas based on our own values. I typically review my own values once a week and evaluate my life. It is amazing how often I break my own standards. So write down your values, and strive to live by them daily.
Even if the whole world thinks that you are wrong, if you live according to your values, you will be able to sleep soundly. Steering also requires us to make good choices. At the Gospel Rescue Mission, we are a confessing community that shares our choices, as well as the results were and what we learned from them on a regular basis.
I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others any day of the week since it hurts less. Many difficulties have been bypassed by hearing of the difficulties of another.
5. Learn To Maintain
My boys learned their lessons, but vision of grandeur eventually got to them. They would attempt a jump or too sharp a turn without being completely focused. Eventually, they would get hurt and all progress would stop.
True growth takes time and is a process. Yes, we may have moments where we have rapid, unprecedented growth. Have you ever gone on a crash diet and lost much weight in a short amount of time? It didn’t last for long, did it?
Unless these disciplines become a constant in your life, you will not be able to maintain your growth and all hope for ultimate success will fail. Maintenance does not mean that we are no longer growing. It just means that day by day, we are growing somehow, in some way.
It might not be noticeable to anyone, but you know it is there. Keep working at it. Grow an inch at a time and watch the results. Only then can you be sure that you’re ready for anything.
My boys are a year older now. I am hopeful that they have learned their lessons and the biggest dangers are already in the past. But I know that this world will throw them new obstacles. I hope and pray that they have the grit to dust off their moped, wipe the blood out of their eyes, and excel.
I hope and pray for the same for you. Who knows, maybe after mastering the moped, they can graduate to a Harley Davidson? A dad can dream. What will YOU graduate to? What will you do with your new-found grit?