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

{ 14 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!


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