Prepare in moderation

We had a beautiful snowfall last night. It clung to the yard and even to the street. We knew what was coming, we just did not know how much snow we would get. Sometimes life is like that. We know something is happening, we just don’t have knowledge of how intense it may be or how much it will affect us.

The trick in dealing with the question of amounts is not to get carried away. Being prepared is always good. Just don’t plan or spend for something that would cause pain if it did not happen. Think of it as a measured response in everything.

 

It is easy to get carried away. I remember the first year I was in Alaska with the Air Force. We had significant snow early in September, and I went downtown and had studded snow tires put on my truck. What I did not understand, because it was my first year in Alaska, was that the snow would melt right away, and we did not get another heavy snow until late October. So, I had spent money on snow tires that just weren’t needed for another couple of months. I would be better off if I purchased the tires later when I really needed them.

I know we all take such actions, trying to stay ahead of the circumstances before us, and often spending to procure things we don’t need right away. I think that’s the way we are as a society. We are often looking forward and planning. Although it is good to look ahead and prepare, there are also some problems that can be caused in some related actions.

We need to be careful not to purchase too much, for it may not all be required. Even worse, we can buy things too early, and by the time we need them, we cannot remember where we stored them. Then we have to go out and spend more money to purchase them again.

The trick is to find moderation in preparedness. We have the things that we usually use, and maybe a few items for just in case. We need to not go overboard one way or the other, and we should have a plan to know what’s where.

 Just by putting in a little bit of forethought, we could spend less, enjoy things more, and have some real preparation of what may come, without spending too much.

Just one mean old master sergeant’s thoughts.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

What’s your story?

Do you know your own story? Most of us can remember some of the critical points. You need to be able to talk sensibly about the important who, what, where and when. Can you give someone your story in about 90 seconds?

I thought I could until the one day a new college president found out that I was finishing a Masters degree in adult education. He looked at me and said, “Tell me your story?” I’ve done a lot with my life. But at that point, with the question coming out of the blue, I found it hard to tell him something that made sense.

I’ve had an exciting life, I was an Eagle Scout, I was in the Air Force for almost 22 years where I worked on five of the seven continents. I built computers for Apple. I have taught people how to use computers, how to find jobs, and how to write resumes.

I was a process engineer who designed the assembly lines, and the process is to build the computers. I have tracked satellites, modified satellite ground stations and worked in research and development. I have an Associate in Applied Science in Electronic Systems Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and finally a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training. Getting caught flat-footed, how could I put everything understandably in 90 seconds or less?

The trick is to actually think about it and practice beforehand. If I’m going to talk to the head of a technical college, I may need to emphasize different points than I would if I had to speak to a manufacturing vice president. It is not that I’m hiding anything, or over exaggerating certain aspects, I just need to talk to what they’re interested in when they ask.

Getting caught flat-footed was my own fault. We never know when an important question will come or what setting it will be. If we think about the questions that could be asked, by whom and where then we can be prepared. Running over them in our mind from time to time, just to keep them fresh is good. Taking 10 minutes a week to practice it a couple of times is even better.

There is a saying I hear a lot that talks about people not caring what you know until they know how you care. Sometimes you will never even know that people are watching you as you do something good for someone else. They see that you care and want to know more about you. Most life-changing moments are serendipitous and come out of the blue. You may not know when they’re coming, yet we can fall back on our scout training.

Be Prepared!