Russell Wilson often says, “Separation is in the preparation”. My question is does this slogan apply to everyone no matter what your age? I cannot foresee every curveball life will throw my way but I’m still learning to prepare for them. If we prepare in 5 foundational areas of life then we’ll be prepared for the moments of great separation.
Here are the 5 Key areas of my preparation:
- Prepare your Character: I once had an innocent conversation with an All-American player from Penn State about his legendary coach Joe Paterno and if Joe would catch Bobbie Bowden’s all time win record. Our conversation can be summed up with his one comment, “Jeff, you don’t know Joe… it’s all about the win, it’s always all about the wins.” Hindsight now reveals Joe’s character flaw of pride allowed him to overlook one of college football’s greatest tragedies. Joe now has “no recorded wins.”
- Prepare your Knowledge: A lifetime of learning has always been a part of my DNA. It’s allowed for me to transition relatively smoothly between careers. I read a lot but there’s definitely still a passion for reading and going deeper. *Life is found in the footnotes! – Book of the Month: Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
- Prepare your Relationships: Let me ask you, have you heard a painful truth about yourself in the past 90 days? If no, then it might be an indication your relationships are not being prepared well. Allow people close to you!
- Prepare your Self: Know yourself. It’s crazy to think I’m pushing 50 but I have not stopped learning about myself. Brutally honest self-evaluation drives meaning in my life, more importantly it infects those around me. *The Evolving Self by Robert Kegan
- Prepare by Giving: Gratitude + Giving are the steroids of life. Gratitude is the blood flow and giving is the heartbeat of all great preparation. Seeing the world from the perspective “it’s not about you” is the center piece of all preparation. When we live with gratitude and “give well” all other 4 disciplines, yes I said disciplines, can function with greater meaning.
I have always said my purpose in life is to, “walk deep, love well, and prepare like hell”. The “separation is in the preparation” isn’t a motto but a way of life. As I told my son Cyrus (see video), “You will have many times to either prepare or not care; most people choose to not care enough to prepare. Make sure you care enough.”
*A great professor once taught me if you want to understand history, read deeply into just one great individual story and the history of the world will open up in front of you. He said, “Remember Jeff, to make sure you read the footnotes – this is where you find gold.”