The Power of Preparation!

I wish you could have been there. A few years ago, I was asked to speak during the National Sales Meeting for a Fortune 500 Company at the Orlando Convention Center in Florida. Prior to my speech, I met with the Senior Vice President who was responsible for emceeing the conference. As we were reviewing the agenda, I asked if he had any questions regarding my introduction. I will never forget what he said; “Roger, I prefer to speak off the cuff,” it’s my style. His answer made me think of the great Mark Twain quote, “It takes three weeks to prepare an impromptu speech.” Nevertheless, it was his meeting, and if he felt more comfortable winging it – that was fine with me.

His introduction of me silenced the crowd, “Our speaker today has faced life with a physical challenge, (So far so good). He is a very accomplished tennis player despite being born with three legs, (three what?). The room went eerily quiet, and you could have heard a pin drop. The audience members were on the edge of their seats, looking puzzled as they waited for the three-legged motivational speaker to gallop onto the stage. Obviously, he intended to say three fingers, but in the heat of the moment, he confused body parts. I have never had a more attentive group in my career!

This experience reminded me that no matter what you desire to achieve, never underestimate the value of preparation. Here’s why… The quality of your preparation will influence the quality of your performance. When you are fully prepared, you can best utilize every possible resource needed to fulfill your potential. The best way to increase your level of confidence is to increase your level of preparation.

To prepare for success, vividly imagine yourself making the right decisions and saying the right things. When you mentally prepare, it strengthens the belief that success is not only possible but also probable. By visualizing your desired result, it will help eliminate distractions and focus your mind. Because you have mentally rehearsed a successful outcome, it will also reduce anxiety. Bottom line: to worry less, prepare more.

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson says, “Everyone has a good plan until they get punched in the mouth!” What I have learned from peak performers is along with visualizing success, they also prepare for potential problems. By anticipating adversity, they are not surprised by challenges and have figured out in advance how they will respond. Certainly, you desire a flawless performance, however, if something does not go as planned, you will already be ready for it. As a result, you are not discouraged or demoralized if setbacks happen because you have already prepared for this occurrence. Negative circumstances and positive circumstances will happen, and you can’t control either, but you can certainly be prepared for both!

The amazing opportunities in your future are too important to simply “wing it” and then hope for a good result. By being fully prepared, you increase your power and unleash your potential.

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