You Can't Predict, You Can Prepare

Jul 19 21:00 2002 Kathy Gates Print This Article

When ... knocks, can you open the door? When ... strikes, can you make it through ... When you are faced with risk, ... and the ... your ability to deal with

When opportunity knocks,Guest Posting can you open the
door? When misfortune strikes, can you make it
through unscathed?

When you are faced with risk, uncertainty, and
the unpredictable, your ability to deal with it is
directly tied to your ability to absorb the
consequences. Successful people know that in
order to be "choosey" in life, in order to put
themselves in a place of control over their lives,
in order to make decisions on what they want
instead of what they have to do, they must first
have reserves. They know they cannot predict
the future, but they can prepare for it.

Reserves means: extra, a stockpile to draw on,
more than you need, insurance, back-up plan,
escape plan, Plan B, safety net. Call them
whatever you want to - what it means is "It's not
a problem".

Reserves exist in both the practical and the
emotional levels of our lives, and consist of both
material and nonmaterial things. You must have
not only material things like money, furniture,
house, cars, computers, or clothes. You must
also have love, leisure, support, space, time,
happiness, and opportunity. The emotional
reserves in your life are every bit as important as
the physical ones.

With reserves in place, you are able to live your
life looking forward instead of always digging
yourself out of a hole. With reserves you remove
the fear of acting on what you want, because you
are able to afford the consequences. With
reserves, you have enough support to make a
mistake, you have enough money to get you
through, you have time to work it out, you have
enough self-love to learn instead of quit.

Without the reserves, stress and fear are your
motivators. Think of it on a small scale: Ever
been caught with a dying printer cartridge? You
have to make a special trip, usually at an
inopportune time. With a reserve you have a
back-up, stocked at your convenience, not when
dictated by the circumstance.

Think of it on a larger scale: Ever get hit with
some unpredicted expenses? Without a reserve
of money, you have to choose what bills to pay,
and what becomes a backlog. Without a reserve
of money, you become motivated to go to a job
you hate by the fear of not having that paycheck
each week. Without a reserve of energy, stress,
adrenaline, and possibly even caffeine, drugs, or
alcohol are the motivators to get you out of bed
each morning.

Reserves take the fear out of making a mistake.
Reserves take the pressure away. Without
reserves you can't make mistakes or
misjudgments - the consequences are too high.
You end up walking on eggshells. Without
reserves you can't take advantage of short term
opportunities - you simply don't have the
resources to spare.

With reserves comes freedom.freedom to
choose instead of being subject to your
circumstances. Instead of allowing the
circumstances to control your reaction, you are
able to make a choice about how to handle the
situation, instead of letting the circumstance
dictate it for you. When you have "it" (time,
money, energy, love) to give, you're not
depleted.

Reserves, however, don't fall out of the sky.
They are created. They are planted, nourished,
fed, and grown. They are a conscious choice.

Stockpiling is the obvious way to create
reserves:
. Healthy relationships create a reserve of
support
. Extra money in the bank creates a
reserve of emergency funds.
. Extra shampoo, batteries, medicine, or
food creates a reserve of necessities.
. An organized environment creates a
reserve of space.
. Extra cell phone battery creates a reserve
of communication

Another way to create reserves is though
simplification:
. To find a reserve of time, first simplify by
delegating a task to someone else,
dumping the task if it's no longer
important, or saying NO to things that
don't meet your goals.
. To find a reserve of space, first simplify by
clearing out things that don't bring you joy.
. To find a reserve of love, identify and
weed out the people in your life who are
"extras", and not supporters.
. To find a reserve of energy, identify and
remove the things from your life that drag
you down (lack of self care, regrets, lack
of boundaries).

An often overlooked way to establish a reserve is
to identify and fix whatever is draining the
reserves you already have. Is your mortgage too
high, and is draining your bank account? Is
your job difficult and is draining your energy?
Has clutter taken over and is draining your
reserve of space? Plug up those holes! You
can't create and build reserves if they're draining
out as fast as you add them.

What I want to stress here is that any plans to
change your life that fails to include reserves is
doomed from the start. Change of any kind only
has staying power - sustainability - if it has firm
ground to stand on. With reserves, you operate
from a base of stability and security.

You can't predict, you can prepare. Experience
the power of making decisions based on security
instead of worry, readiness instead of reluctance,
abundance instead of lack. Use what successful
people have always known -- if you want something
better in your life, begin with reserves.

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Kathy Gates
Kathy Gates

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