“Failing to plan is like planning to fail” once remarked John R. Wooden.
There is even a Malay proverb that says “Prepare the umbrella before it rains.”
This week I touch on a crucial aspect in pursuit of greatness and its accomplishment.
If for a moment you thought that you could achieve so much without going through your passes and sweating in the track of preparation, well, I am just about to erase that notion.
There is no shortcut to greatness. Great results are not made out of luck and chance. They are an outcome of perpetual effort and labouring.
Preparation is like an enzyme that speeds up your course to greatness.
To achieve success, foster a personal tenacity and willingness to prepare for the outcomes that you desire.
The word prepare is an action word and what it literally means is “to make ready in advance.” Possess the stamina to advance your personal organisation to the extent of being able to make yourself ready for the requirements of your future.
Make yourself ready for greatness in advance
I know that there is something big that you desire to do deep down in your heart.
You may not yet have gathered the guts to stand out and do it, but I know that there is a fire beginning to burn inside of you.
Do not just live in the hope that the future will bring you the greatness that you desire, rather start living it today.
So if you see yourself as an affluent, cutting-edge entrepreneur, start living, talking and thinking like a brilliant entrepreneur today.
Prepare yourself today by carrying yourself like an already established corporate guru. By so doing, you only open up more opportunities that can advance the fulfilment of your dreams.
Prepare for tomorrow today
The secret is out, this is a sure way of doing more and achieving more.
William Olser is well known for remarking: “The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.”
A lot of the problems that people struggle with are a simple result of their failure to prepare for the future.
Do not be the architect of your own demise. There is a correlation between planning and preparing.
Preparation is deliberately taking action for the advancement and the successful realisation of your personal plans.
It is good culture, to know, just before you sleep, the tasks that you want to accomplish tomorrow.
There is absolutely no reward that can be derived in waking up all confused and without a clue as to the things you want to do.
Disorganisation is a catalyst for failure. Counter disorderliness through a strong culture of planning and preparing.
You need to possess that clarity if you are to enhance your effectiveness and reveal your greatness.
Lessons from the butterfly
Butterflies are an elaborate example for the importance of preparation.
For a butterfly to break out of its cocoon, it struggles for several hours as it fights to force its body through a little hole on the cocoon.
At times it seems to stop making any progress and momentarily stops pushing before re-emerging.
The butterfly should never emerge from its cocoon easily and it comes out with a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings.
The butterfly’s inability to conquer the cocoon translates to a later inability to fly.
But if the butterfly conquers the cocoon, it emerges with strong wings ready to fly almost instantly.
Sometimes the struggles of preparation are exactly what we need in our lives to emerge as victors on the battle front.
Any academic would agree with the notion that it is better to be strained in many months of study than to sweat in the untold agony of confusion in a three-hour examination.
If you are entertaining any serious intentions of successfully accomplishing a goal, any goal for that matter, learn from the butterfly and fight your cocoon in the season of your preparation.
Prepare for your breakthrough
Whenever preparation meets opportunities, history is made.
Do not wait for your first car before you desire a driving licence. Likewise, do not wait for job offer abroad or a holiday opportunity before you apply for a passport.
Such seemingly little aspects of preparation can be the decisive difference between your accomplishment of certain goals and your failure to achieve them.
The hidden power of preparation is that it makes you more prepared to capitalise on opportunities that will come your way.
You do not want to beat yourself up for missing great opportunities simply because you were ill prepared.
You are a key determinant in the realisation of your breakthrough and you have a huge part to play in your quest to become great.
Avoid unnecessary surprises
There is nothing as embarrassing as being caught off-guard, but unless you master the art of preparation, you shall sure be found wanting more often than not.
Prepare yourself to avoid any unnecessary embarrassments that may erode your personality.
Do not march into a meeting without a clue of the matters under deliberation or without covering your bases of questions that may be thrown at you.
In every instance, ask yourself: “What do I need to do in order to best prepare myself for the task ahead?”
The beauty of preparation is that as you prepare your tasks ahead, you clearly identify potential areas that could go wrong and reflect on solutions that can be employed to mitigate such threats.
What this ultimately means is that preparation makes you more capable of formulating strategic solutions to impeding predicaments.
Lessons from footballers
Whenever footballers have a game, a task ahead, they go into camp to train, strategise and boost morale and momentum.
Footballers will often tell you that a game can be won before it is played, simply by judging the morale and the zeal within camp.
Even during a match, in the case of a substitution, a football star isn’t just thrown into the fray. Coaches often demand that these stars warm up and stretch their muscles.
In simple terms, footballers prepare before they compete.
The 90 minutes of the game is perhaps a short opportunity to exhibit the massive tonnes of work that these professionals put in at training.
Consider your area of work and expertise as your pitch. What do you do to ensure that you put up a good show in the time you have to exhibit your prowess?
Prepare yourself to advance your greatness.
- Chrispen Muyeche is a motivational author and conference speaker. Join Chris on Facebook and on firstname.lastname@example.org