The weight room in my high school in Atlanta, GA had a sign hanging up that read, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

As anyone who is close to me will tell you, I did not spend a lot of time in this weight room, but I very quickly memorized this little snippet.  And I believe it is true.

The cards you get dealt are random, they present various opportunities.  The preparation you have made beforehand allows you to make the best decisions.  In blackjack, one may argure, there is more room for preparation than in, say, poker – certainly more than in craps.

Fate works in much the same way, i.e., “fate is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

I do not necessarily believe that “everything happens for a reason.”  I DO believe that we react in the way we do to our given situations for a reason.  “Opportunity,” in this way, this new maxim, would better read as, “situation.”

Our preparation for any given situation is the sum total of our reactions to every single situation leading up to our current state.  How we react to the given situation will further define our life’s trajectory and our fate.

When life turns on a dime, there is no amount of preparation that can prepare you for the decisions you will be forced to make.  That said, your preparation will have hopefully built a strong character in your soul that will allow you to never give up your convictions, your desire to do what’s right or your passion for what you believe.  When we do those things that go against our life’s preparation we lose a golden opportunity to prepare for our next opportunity, and, in the process, lose a piece of ourselves.

I do not know what today will bring.  I do not know how to give up my convictions.  I do know that I will never apologize for my life’s preparation.