Preparing for a journey

How do you prepare when you are going on a trip? Are you a last minute throw things in a suitcase type of person? Do you make lists and have everything packed and ready days before? Does it weigh on your mind and fill your dreams with missed planes and forgotten key items?

This week I fly out to a different city to run a leadership training event. I’ve been working on it for months and now it is here. I’m more of a planner and checklist person and yet, inevitably, something is still forgotten. I can only hope that it isn’t anything essential!

Of course, in the midst of planning and preparing, I have come down with a cold. My brain feels like mush. Thinking is sludge-like. I am grateful that so much was done in advance to allow me the space to rest this week. It is making the last few bits and pieces more of a challenge, for sure, but not to the level it could have been.

I have been thinking more about how we prepare for journeys, not only in the physical and practical sense, but the mental and emotional too. I have had moments of stress that have left me in tears. I have felt completely prepared and completely unprepared all in the same hour. My emotions have been a little fragile in some ways and yet, in other ways, I feel stronger than ever.

Only a few years ago, I would not have believed that I would be sitting here ready to run an event like this with at least some degree of confidence. The journey to get here has not been easy. The preparation for our next big task often comes from walking through tough moments and learning from what we don’t do well as well as the wins. I have already started making checklists for next time that capitalise on what I am learning in this time too.

What tough time are you walking through right now? Can you only see the hard or can you see the growth opportunities too? Your capacity is never increased by staying where you are. It comes through stretching and discomfort. It comes from paying attention to the lessons around you. It comes from having an honest look at areas that you need extra help in. I know this from experience (and I’m reminding myself of that truth too.)