Being a diligent student of principles and patterns has helped me identify a crucial trait in people who realize and maximize their potential. It is pretty obvious, which explains why it can be deceptively easy to overlook its consequences.
Nothing explains it better for me than Paul “Bear” Bryant’s words – “It is not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It is the will to prepare to win that matters.”
A little straight talk here – You only deserve the success you are willing to prepare for. Nothing more, nothing less.
The common thread that runs through my studies on success and peak performance is the law of preparation. You have heard that cliché; Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Just what do you think is the implication of preparation in the achievement of your life goals? You will find out in this post, the 3Cs that will keep you motivated for preparation.
Imagine the life of an Olympic athlete. Preparation for an Olympic event of the next four years starts well in advance of the event. Thousands of hours of practice and early rising by 4 or 5am are the norm. A strict regimen of diet is crucial, mental exercise is regular. This happens almost on a daily basis. Some even sacrifice sex.
I once read in the dailies of a world boxing champion who attributed his success to staying off sex from his beautiful wife so he can prepare for a major fight. Of course he resumed his duties with his wife after the fight, but that is how much some people are willing to sacrifice to achieve victory.
First, I will agree with you, preparation is very hard. It is hard because it involves delayed gratification. But know this that the same feelings plague successful people but they do what they have to do because the strength of their purpose is subordinated to the desire and pleasures of the present moment.
This is the secret to delaying gratification. You must have a strong “why” or else preparation will look like work to you instead of an investment.
Now are you aware that the future you desire has a price and it must be paid in full? As good as God is, he didn’t launch Jesus Christ into public ministry until He had prepared him behind the scene for a large number of years and He even sent him into the wilderness to suffer the devil’s temptation just after announcing him to the public. God and life won’t spare you the process of preparation for greatness (Hard truth!).
What then are the benefits of a life of preparation so that you can have a strong “why” to embrace it?
It is reverently true; success is the outcome of preparation meeting opportunity. Malcomm Gladwell in his book, Outliers mentioned that the average outlier we celebrate today has probably had 10,000 hours of practice at what the world celebrates him for. In short they have built an ever-increasing capacity to make things happen. Your capacity to translate vision to reality is limitless but you must work on it.
Confidence comes from the inner peace that is produced when you know you are doing your best in any area of your life. Please don’t get to a point where you know what your best is. Avoid perfectionism, but strive for mastery. You are always a work-in-progress; your best is yet to come.
Preparation is the base line requirement for success. But success is predictable only through mastery. Those who prepare develop competence and as such they deliver superior results than the average person and more so, predictably. This makes people trust them and give them more responsibilities (translating to more income right?).
I will say it again; you only deserve the success you are willing to prepare for. Let Abraham Lincoln’s words encourage you, “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” What if your great opportunity will come tomorrow? Do you now see why you should prepare today?
Make today count. I believe in you.
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About Layi Adeyemi
Layi is a consummate speaker, author, trainer and peak performance coach. As a management consultant, he is currently involved in helping various SMEs realize their full potential in the development of their human resources and in achieving business growth.