Today, I just want to say something simple. And I’ll start with a question: what if there was something you could do which would GUARANTEE your success in life? I bet you’d do it without hesitation, wouldn’t you?

Well, here’s the best news you’ve ever heard: there IS such a thing. There IS a guarantee of success. It’s called preparation.

There are so many quotations and expressions that tout the importance of preparation. “Chance favours the prepared mind”,” to be forewarned is to be fore-armed”, “success is when opportunity meets preparation”, no doubt, people smarter than me have long figured out that in an unpredictable world where tomorrow is not guaranteed and every new moment could come with a new surprise, the surest way to survive whatever the world may throw at you is to be prepared.

You will notice that all the quotes above seem to be pointing at a certain formula. Preparation plus chance or opportunity equals success. Well, every new day is a new opportunity. So in order to succeed, all you have to do is prepare for every new day.

It doesn’t take much either. You’ve been living your life for ages now. You have a pretty good idea what your typical frustrastions and difficulties tend to be: traffic, an annoying boss, a lazy colleague, a nagging wife, a deadbeat husband, rowdy children, overcooked canteen food, you know everything that could possibly pose a challenge to your life. So if you know the hurdles, preparing for them should be the easiest thing in the world.

You know, when you are climbing the stairs, your brain calculates the height of the first step and lifts your foot to the exact height to clear the subsequent steps. This mental calculation is so swift and so accurate that if one of the steps was constructed even 5 millimeters higher than the previous ones, you will trip over. But as soon as you trip over that first uneven step, your mind re-calibrates and re-calculates the height of your subsequent steps to include the extra five millimetres you just encountered.

This is how preparation works. Your experience of every difficulty you have ever encountered must go into the calculation of your next step, so you don’t get tripped up by the same obstacle twice.

Like I said, you’ve been living your life for ages now. You know your challenges. And you know how preparation can help you avoid them. You know what time you must set off to avoid traffic. You know how to avoid the anger of your boss, the lazy colleague, the deadbeat husband, the nagging wife, the children, the canteen, you know exactly how to factor them into your next steps. So why don’t you?

You see, if only you could eh, you would find that if any opportunity came along, it would fall right into your lap because you have prepared for it. You have factored it into your calculations. There is really no reason why any opportunity should pass you by ever again – because you have planned for everything.

My dear friend, it’s Tuesday morning, and as a new day peeks over the horizon, I just want you to focus on doing one thing differently in your life today. I highly recommend preparation. It’s the only guarantee of success.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and I don’t rise to the occasion, I sink to the level of my preparedness.