“You hit home runs not by chance, but from preparation.” Rodger Maris
Preparation is one of the most overlooked and underutilized areas of success.
Most of the time it's because we are okay with being ready, rather than prepared.
I can remember multiple times when I didn't give my best performance in something from school, to sports, to delivering as a coach because of my unwillingness to adequately prepare.
Being ready usually gets done what needs to be done. You show up; you are ready to do what is asked of you. There isn't much thought of what you are going to do until you show up.
While being prepared is much different. When you have prepared you've taken time to think.
You've done your research on either your opponent, or the best way to complete and deliver the task at hand. You've taken time to rehearse and practice. You have a different level of expectation for yourself and feel a greater sense of responsibility for performing well.
So what stops us from being prepared over just being ready. I think it's a few things.
First, its arrogance. I remember the first presentation I did for the National Strength and Conditioning Association way back in 2003. I was a young, a little over-confident, and thought I knew the material so well I could walk in and do a great job in the presentation.
My boss and co-presenter at the time was a little older and wiser than me. He wanted to continue to rehearse our presentation. He wanted to practice on the car ride there, dinner, the hotel room, breakfast, basically any free time we had.
I thought it was ludicrous. In my mind, I'd done all these things so much I could walk out and talk about it to anyone.
And though the presentation went well, I remember thinking it could have been much better. There were things that if I just would have thought about and prepared, I'd have done a much better job. I left some on the table, and it still bothers me to this day.
Second is procrastination. Preparation takes a time, energy, and brainpower. It's like studying for a test in school. How many times have we put it off to the last minute, hoping for the best? You may be able to get away with that in school, but in real life, these things matter.
Third, is lack of desire. Those who prepare and prepare diligently have a desire to be the best at what they do. They leave no stone unturned. They are confident on the big stage because they know they have done all the work. Being ready, but not being completely prepared, is saying that you care, but not that much.
Coach John Wooden said, " Preparation doesn’t begin with what you do. It begins with what you believe. If you believe that your success tomorrow depends on what you do today, then you will treat today differently. What you receive tomorrow depends on what you believe today. If you are preparing today, chances are, you will not be repairing tomorrow."
Are you ready or prepared? Make sure you ask yourself this question before anything you do. Your success and how far you will continue to go will 100% depend on it.