Ready or Not, Here It Comes

The binary state of human experience is that we are either “ready” or “not ready” for everything that happens in our lives. And given that we live in a world of endless possibilities, there are always far more things we are not ready for than things we actually are ready for.

It would be a mistake to judge either situation as “good” or “bad” as each is simply a state of being in response to whatever the moment presents. And whichever of those two states you find yourself in is the greatest determination of how likely you will learn, connect, grow and expand as a result of the opportunities in front of you.

As the expression goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”.

Take a moment to think about it through your own experience. You only feel comfortable to act upon something once you are ready (and not a second sooner). No amount of cajoling or coercion from another is likely going to change your state of readiness. But the moment you become ready, that’s it, you move, suddenly free to embrace the opportunity. The only one who can shift you from a state of not ready to ready is you. 

So much of the suffering we experience in relationships is the result of attempting to force people or situations to be ready when they are not. This shows up as frustration, resentment, disconnection or worse. Another way of saying it is that it drains your life force from you. Both of you.

Imagine you are in the process of getting ready to go out for a nice dinner with your partner, and you are taking your time to look your best because it’s a special evening. Just then, your partner interrupts, worried about not getting to the restaurant in time, and attempts to hurry you out the door. Your pleasant mood ends, you are no more ready than you were the moment before, but now you are perturbed. As a result, you experience less trust and feel less connected to your partner. And when you eventually become ready, the two of you will now be in relationship with all of those negative feelings and contractions, and unless you are able to acknowledge, address and overcome them, they will likely ruin your night before it even begins.

All of this is the result of not noticing or not respecting someone’s state of readiness.

In business terms, this shows up a lot in sales. Far too often, business development people pursue stale or dead opportunities. Prospects are either ready or not ready for what you are offering, and when you learn to notice the difference and put all your energy and attention on those who are ready, your life becomes much easier and more satisfying.

To the best of your abilities, seek to let go of any control you feel over other people. Avoid the feeling that you can solve, fix, and/or provide the magical solution to what someone else is grappling with. It doesn’t matter that you may have solutions, good advice, and/or products that can help them, if they are not ready to receive them. The other person has full agency to choose their own presence, responses, and decisions.

Always remain curious to other people’s state of readiness. When you notice they are ready, you can move ahead confidently, knowing you are in sync with each other. When you notice they are not ready, remain curious about what is causing that state and what they might need to shift to being ready without any agenda to make that shift for them. Respect their state of readiness and you will be well on your way to developing a powerful relationship with them.

The question is, are you ready to take this on?

About the Author / Tony Cooper
Tony instigates breakthrough performance for businesses through his fascination of playing the “game behind the game”. He brings out the best in business leaders by helping them simplify complicated issues and supporting them to gain new skills and insights quickly. Tony has been training, coaching, and consulting since 2002, serving his passion of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit. He graduated with distinction from Cornell University, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In Tony's youth he was a nationally-ranked diver and Tae Kwon Do martial artist. And now after a lifetime of city dwelling, he is raising his family on a farm in Davis, California.