I’m hosting an event today, which I have been preparing for months.
About six months ago, I stumbled upon this Nairobi hotel with the most beautiful grounds. They had me at one glance.
“Will it be this green when the sun comes out with its cousins in six months?” I wanted to know.
“Of course. Of course. We water it,” they reassured. Convinced, I parted with my money.
Come three days to the event and I drop in to make sure that things are on course and the grounds look like someone dumped a truck load of hay all over it.
“What do you expect? It’s January,” they tell me when I ask why. I did not even throw a tantrum. I swear. I will not admit to it.
What I have chosen to pick from this very unpleasant experience is the reminder to always take things said with a pinch of salt.
This is especially true if there is money involved. Before you have paid for something, people will make promises. They will promise things they have no intention of delivering. Be aware.
I have heard men talk about marriage and children with women they have absolutely no intention of settling down with.
I have seen employers advertise for jobs and go on to hire people, promising them growth with the intention of keeping them for only a few months.
I have seen companies start up projects and attach some employees to them knowing well that these projects can’t succeed just so they can offload a few people.
My point is, just because something looks and sounds like it is in good faith does not mean that it is.
They say that it isn’t people that disappoint us but the expectations that we have of them. This is true.
Not just in business dealings. Even in love. We have such little control of what happens in our lives especially where other people are involved. If we could admit this, we would cut our disappointments in half.
Ask more questions. Hear people when they assure you that everything will be perfect but be prepared for any other outcome.
I don’t see this as pessimism. Being prepared to mitigate potential disaster does not mean that you are going around expecting everything to go south.
It means that you are a realist. I think that there is a lot of value in this kind of critical thinking, in asking all the questions.
Have a plan so that the next time you are throwing the party of your life and the event location turns up looking like a field of dried wheat, you will not be standing there speechless wondering why on earth you did not see this coming.
When things go south, you’ll be glad you prepared. If they go according to plan, then you’ll be happy they did. Don’t get caught out.