The Importance Of Preparation

by Lance Ekum on · 19 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
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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Mertz September 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

Too often, we just jump in and then wonder why we don’t make enough progress! Especially for the purposeful actions in life, some thought and preparation needs to be into it. It helps us for the long hauls as well as savor the achieved milestones. Great points, Lance. Thanks for keeping us centered! Jon
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Lance Ekum September 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

And even when our thoughts and preparations don’t end up playing out as we had “planned” – there’s still so much good in going through this, and in being prepared. Whatever happens – because we’ve put the time in upfront, the rest just goes smoother (and is more meaningful).

Thanks for the comment!


Jody - Fit at 54 September 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Such great advice Lance – we know it but don’t always do it! Thx for the reminder & wise words!!!
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Lance Ekum September 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for being here Jody – it’s great to “see” you!!!


David Stevens September 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Hi Lance,
I enjoy playing the Game of Life…getting involved, not being a spectator. Prepare to play….thanks for this
be good to yourself
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Lance Ekum September 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Here’s to getting involved – and really playing the game of life!! I love it!! Thanks David!!


Crystal @ Broke-Ass Mommy September 3, 2012 at 2:33 am

I’ve been working on a speech on and off for a couple of months. Preparation has been minimal overall and now I am super stressed. So I can’t agree with this post more…I really should have made myself get ready even more…
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Lance Ekum September 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

You’ll do great – I know it!! And great point, too – there can definitely be some stress that comes when we’re not prepared – and that’s not any fun…which is a great reminder on one of the real benefits to preparation!


marquita herald September 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Great article Lance! Each one of your points is so valuable, but I have to say what really hit home for me was your comment about “get­ting your­self into a state of belief.” Belief serves as our foundation – we have to believe we have the personal power to achieve our goals, and the authority to create our own life experience. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Lance Ekum September 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hi Marquita,
That’s a big one for me, too – the idea of “belief”. That foundation is so key to everything else – and when it’s there – the other pieces just fall into place so much better.

Thanks for being here today!!


Deone Higgs September 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

Great sharpening article here, Lance. Preparation is truly a foundation we must lay to ensure our success. If we are to make our attempts at any form of success, in any aspect of our lives, without preparation; we’ll quickly realize why it’s essential to consider. Thanks for the sharpening, mate! 🙂
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Lance Ekum September 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

That’s it – success is not haphazard – it’s the process we go through that make true and lasting success – starting with our preparation.

Great to have you here today!!


chanikacha September 16, 2012 at 4:16 am

That’s a very informative article! Well we always need to prepare for our future. We also need to have a will to do things to be more success. I do agree with you about taking Focus in every work we made since it is one of the best way to do things correctly.


Lance Ekum September 16, 2012 at 6:12 am

Preparation, focus, and commitment go a long way towards success, don’t they!!

Thanks for visiting!


aidah August 4, 2016 at 2:38 am

Ive really learn t something and will really focus on planning.


Glen Cannon October 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Hi Lance,
It’s about taking the time for adequate preparation and making sure you have clear and specific goals in alignment with your core values. Make some time for yourself and do an online personality test to gain some more clarity around what your core values are and go from there.
Glen Cannon´s Last Fabulous Post ..Beginners MeditationMy Profile


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