When we were in school, we were urged to study or work hard in order to be well prepared and to excel especially in all the school exams. We were practically brainwashed to do well in our studies for preparation towards adulthood. The same goes when we were in the university, to prepare and gain important skills for working life.
Hence, we are always preparing ourselves towards a life goal. Therefore, the idea is not something new or foreign to us. What is important is to know what we are preparing for. That is to know our destination so that we can prepare for the journey onwards.
For example, we can determine our destination by setting goals or resolutions. Once we have those in writing or set clearly in our minds, working or preparing to achieve those goals make our hard work worthwhile and less of a struggle.
During my working days for a private company, I was in-charge of the “Corrective and Preventive Action Request Procedure (CAR & PAR).” The organization had ISO 9001 in placed and the work carried out generally revolved around written “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)” and “Work Instructions (WI).”
I like the idea of CAR and PAR as it tackles a problem and gets to the root cause of the problem. Corrective action is carried out immediately to address the problem while preventive action is taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem. Preventive action can also be taken before a problem has occurred. It is in preparation or in response to an anticipated problem. If there is a potential problem we foresee that could happen, we make early preparations to prevent that problem from occurring. As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”, it is better to prevent than to solve a problem after it has happened.
You can actually apply the idea of preventive action in real life. For example, you can ask yourself the following questions and determine whether you are prepared or not.
• Are you prepared if you lose your job suddenly?
• Are you prepared if there is a medical emergency?
• Are you prepared to retire eventually?
• Are you prepared to send your kids for further studies?
Hence, preparation is the key idea here and whatever we do in life, we always seem to be preparing for something. Preparing for working life, getting married, becoming parents, home ownership, children’s welfare, retirement, etc.
The idea of preparing oneself can be taught to our kids as well. Kids are already getting the exposure to this idea when they study and prepare for exams in school. Parents can expand on their knowledge by giving real life examples of “preparing for possible life events or eventualities.” Eventually, the kids learn to take self-responsibility to ensure they are well prepared to meet whatever lies ahead of them.
Important note: This is a wake-up call for you to start making preparations for your own future, for what you want to achieve or for what lies ahead. DO IT NOW!
Jacquelyn is the co-author of the books “Teaching Your Kids About Money” and “Top 93 Personal Finance FAQs in Malaysia” with KC Lau. Jacquelyn is the pseudonym used by Amy Sipagal.