As you might know, I love quotes. They are concise but contain a lot of wisdom. Recently I found a great quote by Abraham Lincoln that contains a powerful life principle. Here is the quote:
I will prepare and someday my chance will come.
In my opinion, this quote is interesting. Why? Because you prepare first and then your chance will come. It might sound counterintuitive, but I believe that this is an important principle for living a successful life.
Here are some lessons I learned from the quote:
1. Always prepare yourself for the future.
You never know what will happen. That’s why it’s important that you always prepare yourself for the future. Keep building your knowledge. Keep building your network. Don’t just stay where you are, assuming that everything will stay the same. Instead, prepare yourself as if something will happen. Why? Because something will happen.
If you get complacent, the future might catch you off guard. That’s something you don’t want to happen to you.
2. Build it before you need it.
Many people only start building something when they need it, but by then it’s too late. You need to start building it long before you need it. This applies to every area of your life: personal finance, skills, relationships, spirituality, etc.
3. Have faith that your chance will come.
It may be difficult to make preparation because you might not know what it is for. For this, you need to have faith that your chance will come. You might not know how it looks like, but believe that something will come.
Steve Jobs put it well: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
4. Believe that the best is still ahead of you.
You won’t prepare yourself if you don’t think that there is more to life than what you now have. That’s why you need to believe that the best is still ahead of you.
That’s the attitude that Ray Kroc – the man who built MacDonald’s – had. He was in his 50s and already had a good business selling milkshake machine, but he believed that the best was still ahead of him. That belief made him open his eyes to new opportunities.
5. Recognize your chance when it comes.
The opportunity came to him when he heard good things about a hamburger restaurant far away. Intrigued, he decided to fly there to check it out himself. He was so impressed by what he saw that he decided to negotiate expanding the restaurant. Long story short, it eventually becomes the McDonald’s that we know today.
He could have missed his chance if he was too busy running his existing business. If that happened, we wouldn’t have the McDonald’s as we know it today. Fortunately, he recognized the opportunity when it came.
6. Make the most of the opportunity.
After you recognize the opportunity, make sure that you make the most of it. Again, that’s what Ray Kroc did. He jumped into it with both feet. He innovated, expanded, and invested. Thanks to his preparation, he had the fund, the connections, and the knowledge to make it happen. His preparation enabled him to make the most of the opportunity.
As you can see, the Lincoln’s quote above is simple but contains a powerful life principle. Applying it can take your life to the next level.
It all starts with your preparation, though. Have you been preparing yourself for a future opportunity?
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