For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
The poem describes a situation in which a person fails to anticipate (or correct) some initial small issue; then, like gang green, the matter successively becomes more and more overwhelming until a disastrous outcome. Benjamin Franklin wisely stated, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
This principle is something that I had to learn the hard way several years ago during a Maundy Thursday worship service. I was assisting in the service, and when my time to speak drew near, I boldly approached the lecturn and began to read. Then, to my horror, I approached a word that I simply did not know how to pronounce. There I stood, in a nervous-awkward-silence staring at the word and then looking up and watching everyone staring back at me.
With nothing left to do, the only option I had left was to pronounce the word like a chainsaw buzzing through a tree. I felt humiliated and embarrassed. I failed to prepare and by doing so, I prepared to fail. And failed hard is what I did.
Thankfully, I learned an important lesson from all of this; now whenever I will speak publicly I always insist on getting the information ahead of time and read through it several times. One of my favorite quotes is, "It is better to bleed more in the time of peace so that you will bleed less in the time of war."
Here is what I know, when I see someone performing with excellence, that automatically tells me that person painstakingly prepared thoroughly beforehand.
What about you?
How would your life improve if you started preparing ahead of time?
Let me ask you this question, who is suffering (other than yourself) because of your lack of preparation?