Last week, we discussed The Principle of Inevitability—the idea that you can prepare so well that the only possible result is you emerging the winner. We provided a global view of the principle.
Today, we will make the principle more practical by sharing some practical anecdotes and illustrations.
The most recent and relevant illustrations for the principle of inevitability can be recalled from last week’s football games in England. Those that follow football and watched the Capital One Cup games last week will agree that in both games between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal and also between Middlesbrough and Manchester United, it was the under-rated teams Stoke and Middlesbrough that won. The two teams were thoroughly ready to face and demolish the giants. They did not fear big names. They came prepared to play good football and to win.
It was very clear in both games that the players from the smaller teams knew a lot about their opponents. They knew not just the strengths but also capitalised on the weaknesses which they had studied and mastered fully. That is how you implement the Principle of Inevitability. You study the opponent in detail, counter their strengths and capitalise on their weaknesses. You also make sure that you fully understand your situation so that you can best put to use your strengths and cover your gaps.
For more than a century, every year there is a big rowing competition between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge around Easter time. Students teams of both sides row in River Thames. A couple of years ago, the Oxford team had lost the contest in controversial circumstances. They came back the next year with a mind-set resembling the Principle of Inevitability. Like every year, they trained a lot for the competition— daily, for several months. This time they stretched their preparedness further. They even camped in many different places and countries to subject themselves to different possible weather conditions. They prepared for multiple possible scenarios of what could happen during the competition.
I remember in particular that during the competition it rained resulting in water collecting in both boats, making the boats heavy to propel. The Cambridge team struggled with this. The Oxford team had already prepared for the possibility of rain. They had a standby pump that would suck the water out of the boat and all they did was to switch on the pump! Even their faces showed that they were not prepared for anything else other than a clear win. Indeed, they won the competition with a large margin. When journalists interviewed the team captain and other senior members of the team, they all said they were thoroughly prepared for any eventuality and all possibilities of situations.
When I was at St. Patrick’s Seminary in the early 1990s, our School was very good at English Drama competitions for schools among other areas of focus. From the 1980s, the school used to be on top three at regional level and making it to the finals at national level where again they used to do very well every year. It is not easy for a school to make it to the national finals almost every year for a long stretch. I observed that our drama club made it every year because they practised what we are calling here the Principle of Inevitability. They had a great playwright and they would start rehearsing the competition play several months before the competition. Their plays typically depicted traditional Malawi life which most students were very familiar with and comfortable with plus that resonated well with the judges and audience. The drama club would rehearse at least three times a day, daily – in the morning, at lunch time and in the evening. They used every bit of their free time rehearsing the play in the recreation hall, in the hostels and even in corridors— everywhere they got the chance!
You can also apply the Principle of Inevitability in any competition or challenge that you take on so that you guarantee for yourself the chance for winning or success. Good luck as you embrace the Principle of Inevitability. n