The Importance Of Preparation

by Lance Ekum on · 15 comments

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharp­en­ing my ax” ~ Abra­ham Lincoln

Prepare: to make ready before­hand for some pur­pose, use, or activity

Ath­letes do it. Sports teams do it. Air­line pilots do it. Pro­fes­sional speak­ers do it. Musi­cians do it. Event plan­ners do it.

Suc­cess­ful peo­ple do it.


It’s not always fun. In fact, some­times the hours may seem long. And it might not feel like you’re mak­ing any progress. Yet, suc­cess comes from prepa­ra­tion. The hours you spend prepar­ing make for more pos­i­tive, more uplift­ing, more suc­cess­ful hours in the time when it counts.

Plan For Success

Part of the prepa­ra­tion phase is plan­ning for suc­cess. This is about get­ting your­self into a state of belief. Belief in your­self, and that you can accom­plish the task before you. To take this one step fur­ther, beyond a belief in your­self, it’s also believ­ing you can be excel­lence. We see what we tell our­selves is real.

“What­ever the mind can con­ceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill


Dur­ing your prepa­ra­tion, it’s impor­tant to focus. Focus on what’s impor­tant to know and do. Focus on those things that you’ll need to do to be suc­cess­ful. Work on them until you feel good about where you are. And no mat­ter what it is you’re prepar­ing for, look at both the men­tal and phys­i­cal realms that will need your focus.


Under­stand what you are prepar­ing for. Ask your­self the ques­tion “Do I know what it is I’m try­ing to accom­plish?”. Answer it hon­estly. If your answer doesn’t make sense, or if it seems out of align­ment with what you see the end result is, then focus more on under­stand­ing the scope of what you’re tack­ling. Some­times tasks/projects/games can be ambigu­ous. When you encounter ambi­gu­ity, take the time to under­stand. Under­stand­ing will then lead back to the focus you need to con­tinue on.

Pace Your­self

Prepa­ra­tion isn’t all about see­ing how fast you can get it all done. It’s more impor­tant to focus on doing it right. Pre­pare for suc­cess by pac­ing your­self. This might mean going over one par­tic­u­lar area many times, in an effort to get it “right”. That’s okay. Prep time is exactly for that — for smooth­ing out the rough edges.


If you do all the steps above, you are ready for the big “game”. Suc­cess will be wait­ing for you there. Remem­ber also that at “game” time, as much as you’ve pre­pared, you may still be faced with some­thing you hadn’t thought of. That’s okay. You do the best you can given what you know. Will you suc­ceed? That’s a ques­tion only you can answer. Suc­cess is wait­ing. This is a jour­ney we’re on. And one worth keep­ing at. Through it all, remem­ber why it is you’re doing these things you’re doing. What­ever it is, it should be some­thing you want to do.

Be Great!

Your moment is now! Find those things in life that have mean­ing to you. And as you’re get­ting ready to do these things — pre­pare. Pre­pare and put it all out there on the table. No regrets! This is your life. Be great!

by Lance Ekum

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum

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