Thoughts On Preparedness From The Swedish Royal Wedding

I recently stumbled across this post I wrote about what I learned from HRH Crown Princess Victoria’s Swedish Royal Wedding and found it still so poignantly relevant today that I wanted to re-share it with you all.

Guards at the Royal Palace – Street scenes from Stockholm

From a brute hockey player with tousled brown hair into a “gentleman” with gelled and sleeked-back brown hair, the country watched a personal trainer from supposedly nowhere transform from a spontaneous guy into a primped up robot-like prince-in-waiting.

Not a wrong word was uttered over the last few years. Emotions were kept in check as well as personal opinions and views. For years, he’d been preparing for his new role.

He is prepared…until the doors opens up and in walks, not a crown princess, but the girl he’d fallen in love with at a gym and he cries unabashedly…

With the extravagant church ceremony over, the new couple stands on the steps of the church, waving to fans and other country folk. A few minutes later, they stop waving and wait….and wait…and wait awkwardly.

After over a year of preparing for the country’s biggest event in decades, the royal horses, horse-drawn carriage, and horsemen were at least five minutes late.

Then the horse-drawn carriage procession begins, taking the new royal couple through Stockholm’s people-lined streets. Four Swedish Secret Service guys (including one gal) dressed in black suits begin their slow jog alongside the carriage. They’d practiced this before. Their jog is slow and steady…until the horses change their minds. The horses up their pace, and the secret service guys move from a slow jog to a run…a full-on run they weren’t anticipating.

And thus began a mini-5K race for the four of them through the entire city. Had they not been fit and physically prepared, they would have fallen behind and left the new couple vulnerable to attack.

Stories abound of people who were at “the right place at the right time”, which turned into an unbelievable change of lifestyle for them…from random authors appearing on Oprah, writers receiving six-figure dollar grants to hobby photographers winning prestigious awards for one-time shots.

These lifetime opportunities, it seems, usually come knocking on unlikely doors of unprepared owners.

For me, these stories actually reinforce the fact that they were prepared and, as defined by the Encarta dictionary, “ready to deal with something: in a suitable physical or mental state to be able to cope with something, often something hard or bad.

They were mentally prepared to fully recognize when opportunities came knocking and didn’t let self-doubt or a poor assessment of their skills get in the way.

Yes, Daniel cried, not very “prince-like”, at the sight of his princess, but that didn’t mean his years of preparation went out the window.

The royal horsemen were at the wrong place at the right time, rolling in late to pick up their most famous of passengers. This makes them no less well prepared horsemen confident in their skills.

And those Secret Service guys got in their exercise for the day by being physically prepared.

Preparedness means being in a holistic “state of readiness for action“…whatever it may be.