To make ready
"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." -Arthur Ashe
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." -Seneca
"Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail." -John R. Wooden
How to Teach Children About Preparation
Preparation is an important character trait that can be identified in every part of our lives. With children, practicing preparation can lead to greater self-confidence, focus, and achievement. Think of all the activities that require being prepared. From getting ready for school and work to planning meetings and activities, being prepared can help one to be more organized and to seize healthy opportunities.
Elementary Age Youth
Children in elementary school are learning about preparation every day through activities such as sharpening pencils before class and packing his or her backpack for the next day of school. Youth at this age are learning organizational skills that they will develop and carry on for a lifetime. Adults can utilize a variety of activities to help children to be prepared in their lives:
Get Ready for the Day Activity:
When helping children get ready for school in the morning, talk through everything that child will need to do to feel prepared. This can include brushing teeth, making their bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and more. This daily routine can help youth to feel more organized and prepared for the day ahead. On the walk or ride to school, talk about how their morning went, and if he or she feels prepared for the day. Brainstorm about how improvements could be made, such as setting out clothes the day before and talking about the best time to wake up to be prepared for the day.
"I'm going on Vacation, and I'm going to bring..."
This activity can be utilized with youth in a group setting, such as a classroom or on a car/bus trip. The group can suggest a place to visit, such as camping in the forest or swimming in the ocean, and the game begins with "I'm going _____insert trip location here___ and I'm going to bring..." Each child is welcome to add an item to pack on the trip. For example, "I'm going to Yellowstone, and I'm going to bring my hiking shoes." The next child is listening and will add onto the packing list: "I'm going to Yellowstone, and I'm going to bring my hiking boots and a camera." The game continues until all of the children have named what they would like to bring.
Middle School Youth
Youth are demanded a higher level of preparedness through more rigorous academics, and the organizational skills developed at this age are critical to succeeding in school and their careers later in life. One of the top skills that middle school teachers look for in students is organizational skills and preparedness. To help middle school youth learn about preparedness, the following two activities can be utilized:
Middle School students in many schools are given a student planner at the beginning of the school year. If not, school planners are readily available at most office supply and school supply stores. Sit down with middle school youth on a daily basis to go over their daily schedule, including classes, afterschool activities, homework assignments, and other tasks. Take the time to talk about your day with your student, and share how you prepare for the day ahead. Celebrate completed assignments and discuss setting plans for the future.
During middle school, students are laying the foundation for their high school and postsecondary education. Discuss future plans and review report cards and assignments on a daily and/or weekly basis. Talk with your student about his/her interests and goals. One of the ways to be prepared is to plan for the future. Arrange a meeting with the school counselor to discuss future opportunities such as high school classes needed to graduate and taking courses and electives in a possible future, career field. Other opportunities such as concurrent enrollment are available to students who are prepared for the opportunities ahead of them.
High School and Beyond
High school is a time when being prepared is an expectation. To make oneself ready to succeed in high school and beyond, it is important to highlight the aspects of preparedness in many aspects in life, such as in a financial and nutritional setting. The following activities can be helpful with high school age youth to learn about preparedness:
Setting a Budget
Many high school age youth have a financial goal at this point in life, whether it be related to transportation, education, or any other field. From ones first car to saving up for college, he/she must be prepared for future expenses and investments. Talk about setting a budget, and discuss actual costs and hidden costs with any purchase. For example, the sticker price of a car doesn't include registration, gas, insurance, and repair work. Help your student to feel prepared with their finances, and utilize examples from your life to help illustrate such lessons.
In working with high school age youth, planning meals for the family can be a great activity to help show how being prepared can help one to be healthy, to save money, and to conserve time. Invite your high school student to discuss what meals would be best to have in the evenings based on nutritional value and variety, and make a grid to show what meals will be served on which days. Create a grocery list, and invite the youth to go shopping for groceries and/or to visit a local community garden or co-op with you.
Eddie Gets Ready for School by David Milgrim
Our Corner Grocery Store By Joanne Schwartz
Prepper Pete Prepares by Kermit Jones, Jr.
Where's my Stuff? The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide by Samantha Moss
Lists for Life (ebook) by Rori Tahari
From the Kansas City Business Journal:
Importance of preparation in professional life cannot be overstated
I cannot express enough the importance of being prepared in selling or negotiating.
As with any other event in life, preparation is essential. All professionals are prepared. The more prepared you are, the better your chance for success. For some guidance, take a look at these professionals and their preparations:
Teacher — A lesson plan is ready before every class. Imagine a teacher coming into the class with no preparation and saying, "Hey, kids, what do you want to do today?"
Actually, we already have a word for this: a substitute! Seriously, the teacher must be prepared before walking into the classroom and must know exactly what he or she wants to accomplish. The teacher's thoughts and plan are organized so that the plan can be accomplished.
Lawyer — Before every trial, a lawyer prepares extensively for what he or she will cover in the courtroom. Don't you want your lawyer to have the questions written down and to have an idea of what to ask a person before that person takes the stand? As one of the greatest trial attorneys of all time, Irving Younger, once said: "Never ask a question to which you do not already know the answer." The better prepared the lawyer is before the case, the better the client's chances of winning.
Dentist — When your dentist walks into the room with your chart, he has your mouth's history in his hands. Do you think for a moment that you are the dentist's only patient? Does he sit around all day every day for six months, waiting for you to return? "Hurrah! Hal is here. Get me my drill!" He needs to look at the chart to remind himself what he did on your last visit and to check on what has happened in your mouth since then. As in all other professions, knowledge is power.
Physician — Before an annual physical, she has a sheet with predetermined questions to ask about your life history: mumps, measles, heart, cancer, blood pressure and so on.
You want your doctor to ask you questions. You don't want her to walk in and greet you with: "Hey, appendix. Yes, I think the appendix should come out. No, no specific reason . . . just a thought!" The better her notes from all your previous visits, the better her chances of remembering what happened.
Professional golfer — He plays the course a number of times before the match to familiarize himself with it. You don't see a professional golfer showing up the day of the tournament and saying: "Hi, there! I'm ready to play! Does anybody know where the first hole is?" The more familiar he is with the course, the greater his chance of winning.
This familiarity also gives him a great deal more confidence, which provides a competitive edge.
Race car driver — A race car driver goes through the course a number of times to get a feel for the track and to build confidence. In most races, the cars are identical, so the edge must be with the driver's skills, knowledge of the track, desire to win and readiness to take risks to outmaneuver the other drivers.
Military Special Forces — From the Navy Seals to the Army Rangers, these elite forces practice certain combat situations again and again until they become procedures with which they are fully familiar. Again, this practice gives them a higher degree of confidence before they enter a live attack. The military refers to this approach to preparation as military muscle. It's said that any task or exercise that is repeated 2,000 times becomes habit, automatic. The bottom line is that the elite or Special Forces practice much more and train harder than other branches of the military. After all these years, I'm surprised that we still have so many people going on a sales call or walking in a meeting ready to negotiate who have simply not prepared themselves.
The more you prepare before the meeting, the better chance you have to succeed at the meeting. Now, go prepare, and become a professional!
Becker, Hal. "Importance of preparation in professional life cannot be overstated". Kansas City Business Journal. 20 May 2010. Web. 23 May 2010.