On Preparation and Readiness

Rosie Odsey • August 30, 2019

Prep like a really good chef

Have you ever seen them at work?

(Go and watch Chef's Table if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

Everything is ready.

The tools.

Much of the ingredients.

The bench is wiped down.

Everything is in its place.

It's not because only hyper particular people become chefs.

It's because--when service comes round--it's necessary to avoid complete chaos.

So much will happen that is outside of their control so they control the environment.

The same is true for you

Ready like a really good martial artist

If a fight is to happen, they piece together moves that they've done over and over again.

The moves are as rehearsed as they can be.

But they are great improvisers.

But the choices are all reactive, relying on instinct and new information.

The same is true for you

No one is going to make you prepare or rehearse

It's entirely on you to set your standards.

It's entirely on you to determine what the work requires.

It's not useful to rely on your comfort levels.

On one hand you could be very comfortable crash landing into the work. Could being prepared improve the work? Would it be worth the time and effort to make that improvement?

On the other hand you could tend towards over-preparing. Is it improving the work? Is your task to sit with the discomfort of not knowing how it will turn out instead of overpreparing?

Rosie is a marketer by day and a systems nerd by night. Her greatest achievement is crafting a life that allows her to be completely herself, deeply connected to those around her, and capable of producing useful work.