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In 1967, Kotaku Wamura, the Mayor of Fudai, a small village in Japan, began construction on a 51-foot high wall that when completed several years later, spanned the cove between two mountains that’s shores the town rests upon. Many considered this a massive folly and waste of resources. But not Wamura, who had witnessed the devastation wrought by a tsunami 30-some years prior.

March 11th of 2011, this folly saved the town from complete obliteration. The tsunami that struck the coast was 66-feet high. The wall, and the additional flood-gate panels installed around it, allowed the little fishing village to escape the majority of the devastation. This is called preparation.

Once an event occurs in our life, it is too late to prepare.

While this example is of an extreme nature, the lesson of preparation applies to every corner of our lives. The test we take in school. The meeting we have in the workplace. An important conversation. There are so many things in our life that require preparation.

I am a freak about preparation. Like most things for me, I learned this the hard way. For many years I would do enough to “get by.” Of course, many times, I didn’t even “get by” because I wasn’t prepared enough to handle the situation the right way. I have learned in my life that the more prepared I am, the more confident I am. The less stress I experience. And ultimately, the better my results are. Preparation is why we should never spend all that we earn. There will be seasons in our lives when we face new challenges and new adversities. This will reveal how we have been preparing our minds.

It is easy to rest when things are good. Our business is humming along. Our relationships are working well. The comfortable weather of summer, does not even hint to us of the harshness of the next winter. But the winter will come. We have to always be thinking a little about the winter that will come. It is inevitable.

So when things are good, anticipate what could be improved and what could go wrong, and begin preparing for those things. This is the best time to solve a problem…before you have it! This allows you to approach things with a positive perspective. One in which you don’t have the emotional weight of the actual occurrence. You will never be sorry you were too prepared, but you will always be sorry you were unprepared.

Prepare your mind with a little reading each day. Prepare your body with good nutrients and exercise each day. Prepare you household by putting a little of your earnings aside each month. You will be glad you did.

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