Preparation = the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.  

Preparations = something done to get ready for an event or undertaking.

When you think of “being prepared”, you most likely are thinking and acting intentionally; you are doing something now to ready yourself for something else in the future – something anticipated and planned.  I believe – no, I KNOW – there is another kind of preparation, the kind that transcends our own intentions.

Perhaps your current circumstances, actions and thoughts are also preparing you for the unanticipated.

In 1988, I took a promotion, quite frankly, to escape from a rather evil new boss.  I actually turned down the promotion three times before accepting the fourth offer.  The job required me to make an undesired relocation to an undesired line of work – a direct service position helping people with disabilities become employed.

The executive who kept offering me the promotion knew my situation; he also knew my talents, perhaps better than I did.  I turned down the offer three times because:

  1. I did not want the job.
  2. I did not want to live in the community where I would need to relocate.
  3. I wanted to find my own job to pursue my writing and media relations career, not do job placement for others!
But I was becoming desperate and unable to find a position that met my expectations. I finally told the executive that the only way I would take the job was to “buy myself some time”, and that wasn’t fair.  His response?

“Mark, take the job. I think you will be great in this position; I think you will come to love it and I think you will stay for a long time.  If you do, you’ve done me a favor. If you don’t, and move on quickly, I’ve done you a favor.”

I took the job. I stayed nine years.  I become very good at it, helping more people into gainful employment than most of my professional peers. I completely recreated how the job is done, and began accepting speaking and training engagements on how I achieved success by doing things with a new approach.  I wrote a self-published book to help my clients.  After nine years, my work earned me an opportunity to move into the training and development field (five years directing a university-based corporate training operation) and today I am a business coach and founder of my own successful business (for the past nine years).
I didn’t know those unfortunate circumstances would lead me to a whole new career, to discover my purpose. I didn’t know this move, for which I was completely unprepared, would lead me into Right Livelihood.

For nine years, I wondered “Why am I here? Are you preparing me for something?”  I asked God the same questions in my prayers and spoke about it with others.  I got specific, too: “God, are you preparing me to be the parent of a child with disabilities?”

In fact, I was being prepared for the life I now lead, not only starting my own business and the incredible opportunity to make a living at the work I do, but in August 1998 I became the parent of a child with Down Syndrome – my incredible son, Ryan, who is now age 13.
Sure, I now make my living helping professionals in business prepare for the future, develop vision, achieve goals, satisfaction and success.  I help people with dreams become leaders with vision – the purpose I discovered during those nine years of working with people with disabilities.  But I also respect the unknown, those things that are beyond our control, even beyond our knowing or anticipation.
I respect those things that are beyond our anticipation yet for which we are being prepared, for which we are intended.  Do you believe this?  What might happen if you did?  How might you appreciate the challenges you now face differently?

About pdncoach

A Go-Giver business coach working with leaders whose success depends on the performance and productivity of others. I coach individual leaders and their teams... in small to mid-size businesses, ministries and non-profits... to accelerate their results and achieve dreams by getting past the difficult, strategic challenges of their current realities.
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