People say be prepared for the worst. But you should also be prepared for the best.
If you’ve ever been blindsided by a real or hypothetical stroke of great fortune, you know what it feels like to realize you were dreaming too small, not planning for success, and not prepared to utilize it fully if and when it appeared.
There have been a number of times when I was working away on something and someone posed a question like, “If you were offered $25 million for this, would you sell?”, or, “What would you do with a $10 million investment?”, or, “What would happen if you had 100x the customers?”
These options were not real at the time, but the mere suggestion made me feel like Adam and Eve, hiding in the garden after they realized their nakedness. It revealed how unprepared I was for that level of good fortune.
Lucky breaks are rare, but what makes them seem rarer is the fact that most of the time, most of us are utterly unprepared to see and seize them. Pursuing goals with a big bold end in mind helps. If you aim really, really high, the opportunity to leap many times farther and faster won’t blindside you, because you’ll already have imagined it. If you ignore the question of ultimate destination, big opportunities will be things you don’t know how to properly employ.
There is a danger in being prepared for lucky breaks. You might end up getting lost daydreaming about them, or doing things that won’t work without them. This is a trap to be avoided by constant, daily work at your goals, and complete acceptance of a version of the journey that includes no luck at all.
Assume neutrality, but always be prepared for both the worst and the best.