Friday, October 16, 2009

The Joy of Being Prepared

I'm currently taking an Arabic class. I've dabbled with learning Arabic before. It is not an easy language for an English speaker to learn!

I'm taking a community college class, so there are no grades and no real requirements to participate fully.

I've taken this class before. Always, in the past, I was really busy, over committed and traveling a lot. This time, when I signed up, I decided to take it really seriously and make it a priority.

This past week, I studied an hour every day. I did writing, speaking and listening drills. I felt like I did everything I could do to be prepared.

When I went to class this week, it was GREAT! I felt completely ready. I was well prepared. I could do all the exercises in class. I was so well grounded in the previous weeks' work that I was able to easily absorb the new material we went over. It felt good.

Not everyone in the class fared so well. I was one of the only people that responded to a lot of the teacher's questions and prompts.

I left feeling satisfied.

On my way out the door, I heard one student saying to another, "Mental note to self: DO NOT COME TO CLASS UNPREPARED... EVER AGAIN!"

In that moment, I felt empathy for her experience. I haven't been in that place often in my life, but I certainly have been there.

She was having the 'flip side' experience from what I was having. I had been well prepared and it felt great. She had been ill prepared and it felt overwhelming and unpleasant.

Putting in the energy and time required by an endeavor is a very satisfying experience. Trying to take short cuts really doesn't serve us well. It might bring short term gain, but we pay a heavy price for it in the end.

Here's to being prepared! Put in the time and energy you need to put in! You'll be glad you did!