Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. Since the last time I sent you a post, I went to a convention and went on a vacation with no time to get to any writing.

If you have been following this for any length of time, many of you know I have a thing for Disney world. Once again, I was down there on my vacation. Like many of my time times there, I was running a race this time too.
In an earlier Slice of App Pie podcast, I once told the story about my first Disney run, a half marathon(13.1 miles). Everything went well until Mile 10. After mile 10, I lost all energy, dragging myself across the finish line. I got that far because I kept saying the same mantra: I want the head of Donald Duck. Donald was the character on the finisher’s medal. Let me add a few details about that run I didn’t include there about what happened at mile 10.

Mile 10 was the beginning of a cloverleaf on-ramp from the highway that is world Drive leading from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot Center drive, leading to Epcot. Coming from a very flat Chicago, I had not trained for hills, and this incline exhausted me. There were two more overpasses I had to plod up after this, killing more energy. I was almost Zombie-like, dragging myself over the finishing line a mile after those three inclines.

This year, determined to get back into running, I signed up for two races back to back: a 10K and a half marathon. Finish both, and once again, I’d get the head of Donald Duck on a challenge medal for finishing twice in two days. However, that mile 10 would be mile 2 on the 10K. My old enemy has surfaced again. I trained for it doing some hill training and planning to slow down there to handle the strain of uphill running. Saturday during the 10K, when I passed Mile 4 and the last of the overpasses, I was elated. Anything was possible, and I then knew I was going to finish this race.

I knew I was going to finish the Half marathon, and Donald was mine after I finished climbing a similar overpass at mile 9 of the half marathon on Sunday.

Louis Pasteur once said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” But why is one prepared? It is from a bad experience. Our first thought about a bad experience is to not have it by running away. Another better strategy is to be ready for it the next time. Fortune comes from pushing through our flight response and being prepared to handle the situation.

This story of my race has been a metaphor for this last year. I’ve had a lot of great experiences, jumped into places others had feared to tread without any fear. Two courses on SAP Business One came out of me just pitching it cold to the business library people At LinkedIn learning. At last count, they are doing phenomenal. I spoke to two conferences as a speaker, jumping in when the opportunity presented itself to be a workshop speaker, making it three engagements

Five minutes after the WWDC Sate of the platforms ended, I was posting an e-mail to my tech content manager about a SwiftUI course. It was one of the hardest courses I have ever had to write with Apple changing the target of every Beta version of Xcode. This week, it launched.

SwiftUI Essential Training from LinkedIn Learning

Once again, I jumped into unknown waters. My knowledge of Swift and Xcode was enough to prevent any major catastrophes. The final product was worth it.
Don’t think you cant do something. You can prepare. You might be more prepared than you believe from your life experiences. It’s too seductive to run away and stop instead of running toward the finish line. In the end, they take the same amount of effort, but one gets you a finisher’s medal, the other doesn’t.

Leave a Reply