Last Wednesday, the forecast was calling for rain. I remember heading out for a walk before work, and it looked like it could rain at any minute. The clouds were dark and the wind had picked up. But no drops ever came while I was out.

I was a little disappointed.

Other times I would not have been disappointed at all. I would have been trying to finish before the rain arrived. But that day was different. I had recently purchased a light rain jacket for those types of occasions and had put it on as I walked out the door. In other words, I was prepared. I wasn’t afraid of getting drenched and was actually looking forward to a little rain.

Being prepared for an event can change how you approach it. Preparation may not guarantee the outcome or make it ‘easy’. But it’s sure better than arriving unprepared. You may even find that instead of dodging or postponing the situation, you’re looking forward to it because you know you’re ready.

For the student, the final exam may not be that big of a deal if they’ve spent time studying and reviewing throughout the semester. For the athlete, the beginning of the season may be even more exciting when they know they’ve used the off-season to train diligently.

So if you know you’ll be facing a given situation, and you care about the outcome, you might as well do what you can to be prepared. Whether that’s an exam, a competition, a difficult conversation, retirement, or even death itself, spending time to prepare can make all the difference–not only in your actions when the time arrives, but also in your attitude towards it as it approaches.