Ever heard the quote, “He that fails to plan, plans to fail” attributed to Benjamin Franklin? If you went to my kind of secondary school, you would know it kind of became a mantra. Everyone knew it, everyone said it, including me. But saying it didn’t stop me from repeating. Yes, I did repeat, laugh all you want. I’m that girl who starts to read for exams two weeks before exams. Maybe even one week sometimes. It started from that time when I wrote my second UME exam. I had scored 182 in the first exam, and it would take long legs to be admitted into the university with that score. Long legs that my mother didn’t have. So I had to redo the exam, which is story for another day, but let me just tell you that I was all read out. I had studied very hard for WAEC and NECO exams and made all my papers except Yoruba which I didn’t write, and I simply couldn’t read anymore. I suffered from a very serious condition called Study Fatigue. So I didn’t. Study. There was no preparation. I didn’t consult one book, and when time came, I wrote UME the second time, and I scored 242. This is without “giraffing” or asking anyone because they all seemed like aliens to me in that place. (Please be assured that if I “giraffed” I would tell you, no big deal. But my 242 was all mine).
So I guess that gave me a false sense of Study Invincibility, which I think is another syndrome by the way. I would do assignments right before they were to be submitted. I would begin studying for exams a couple of weeks before the exam. I embraced last minute preparation. I loved it. The end result was that even though I was bright and had the potential to be an A student, I was only just above average. All the time. That’s how I met Mr Mediocrity, and we dated, but it’s over now. It has been for a long time, thank you very much.
And the point of all this is that one cannot afford not to plan or prepare. Preparation cannot be overemphasized. Or better put, don’t expect to be great at any life venture without adequate preparation. With skill, experience and talent, the best you will be is good. But certainly not great. Life is another school. I think it’s the ultimate highest institution – the School of Hard Knocks. People can wing it in other schools, but there’s no winging it in the School of Hard Knocks. I know some people are OCD about planning, and have been ready for 2016 since 2015. But some of us are not as hard core, and if it means that January will be dedicated to strategically making plans and setting the pace for the year, I think it is well worth it. The great Abe Lincoln said if he had six hours to cut a tree, he would spend the first hour sharpening his cutlass. Goes to show how important it is to prepare.
This year, our greatness is non-negotiable, but by all means let’s prepare. Plan. Have a strategy. Take action. Achieve.
May all your dreams find fruition in 2016.
Happy New Year!
“The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare.”
— Thane Yost