Here's the answer: they were training during peace time.
No soldier goes to war without any training. War time is never the time to start learning how to fight. You learn to fight when you don't have to. You learn to protect yourself when there is no urgency to do so. You learn how to take care of business while everything is still going your way.
The more you think about it, the more amazed you might be at the fact that most of the American soldiers who are fighting in battle are fighting for the first time. Yet, we have won many wars ever since the American Revolution. These wars were filled with soldiers who have never went to battle before.
Now, let's broaden this perspective and add that:
- Most new fire fighters have never fought fires before...
- Most new police officers have never arrested anybody before...
- Most new pilots have never flown a plane with passengers before (except with their trainers)...
- Most new train conductors have never driven a train with ANY passengers before (except with their trainers)...
- Most new personal trainers have never trained a client before...
However, these people could be very successful in their careers because they had training when they didn't need to train. They trained in a controlled environment that prompted no sense of urgency so that when the need did arise, they were ready to take action.
See, the time to train yourself in any situation is not when you actually need to do something. The time to train yourself is when you don't need to.
- The time to learn how to save money is during the time of plenty, not during the time of famine.
- The time to learn how to play an instrument is during your free time, not during a concert performance.
- The time to learn how to build a house is when you're helping your dad build something, not when you've gained a client.
- The time to learn how to do business is when you're in the library, not when you're advertising your services.
You prepare for battle during your down time, during the times of peace, not when you have to fight.
Whenever I pick out a new song for my ZUMBA class, I don't try to come up with a choreography DURING class -- though on rare occasions I'll try to learn a new choreography RIGHT BEFORE class. My best choreography occurs when I spend several days going over it, and my WORST choreography occurs when I try something new on the DAY OF my class -- and many times when that happens, I would mess up on my choreography.
You see, sometimes we try to prepare ourselves DURING the occasion, not BEFORE the occasion. If we wait UNTIL the occasion to ready ourselves, we will crash and burn! But if you prepare yourself before the occasion, you'd flow right through the occasion as if it's nothing.
When I was in college theatre, I would spend about two months preparing for a show that would last for just two weekends. Almost everyday I would come in to rehearse for about two hours or so. All that training for a show that lasted less than than two hours. Oh, and let's not forget all the dress rehearsals, running the entire show a few times without an audience, moving and building the set, and then tearing down the set. All that work for a show that just lasted for less than two hours.
However, when show time came, nobody had any lack of confidence. We remembered our lines, our cues, everything and the show would always flow well. We didn't wait until show time to get ready. We got ready BEFORE show time.
However, back in high school, I was a part of the theatre club that had some immature students. There was one play we were rehearsing for, and because some of the students were goofing around too much, they weren't memorizing their lines well. So, the teacher told everybody that if need be, we would just have to carry our scripts on stage DURING show time! And that was exactly what happened! At least two students had their script books with them while we were performing in front of an audience. Talk about disgraceful!
In your life, prepare yourself for whatever occasion BEFORE it happens. When it's show time, you want everything to flow. You don't want to stress out by trying to get yourself ready when the curtains open.
Peace time is really a time for preparation. War time is the time for action. Don't try to prepare yourself when you ought to be taking action, or else you will burn. If it's peace time for you, then get yourself prepared for something.
- Don't wait until game time.
- Don't wait until the spotlight comes on.
- Don't wait until you're called to do battle.
- Don't wait until you lose your job.
- Don't wait until your spouse files for divorce.
- Don't wait until your kid is arrested.
When I first came down to North Carolina, I aspired to be a teacher. I just completed my teacher's training program in New York and I was ready to roll! Over 200 applications later, I still couldn't get a teaching job! However, I was able to get an EMS job because I had EMS training. I had a skill to fall back on, a skill that I paid for while working at a job in New York. See, while I was working, I was also doing something to gain a new skill so that I could easily transition from one job to another. But if all I did was work and did nothing else to learn a new skill, then I would have been in serious trouble had I lost my job. And I don't know what I would have done in those first few years in North Carolina had I not gotten my EMS training in New York.
You should always be in a state of preparation. You never know what the future holds. When you're in a state of peace, you should use this time to prepare for something else. Don't wait until something bad happens before you decide to take some action.
One time, the ancient Israelite King Solomon talked about preparation, believing that life's events were so random that it would be just foolish to not do what you can to prepare yourself for the future. "Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land" (Ecclesiastes 11:2) And again, "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." (Ecclesiastes 11:6)
I definitely admire individuals who have several streams of income coming in, rather than just depending on one source for income. Should something happen to one source of income, you have several other sources of income. But what would happen if you only had ONE source of income? If you're a person who could get easily stressed out, then get ready for the ride of your life if you lose your only source of income!
Let peace time be the time for preparation. Don't get so comfortable where you are that you'd decide to do nothing else with your life. Whether or not you're a believer in the supernatural, you could appreciate the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible because the king gives so much practical insight into life in general, and one of his main points in that book is that "anything could happen at any moment to anybody and there is no way of knowing when anything could happen." So prepare yourself.
- Learn new things.
- Seek other income opportunities.
- Take care of your body.
- Be nice to other people -- you may need their help one day.
- Be kind to your co-workers -- they may save your job one day.
- Spend as much time as you can with your spouse and children.
- Do what you can to kick your bad habit now.
Don't find yourself in a hole that you can't dig yourself out of. Don't invite unnecessary stress into your life. If you're always preparing for something, then you won't get taken by surprise should something happen.