Saturday, April 17, 2010

Curious about Preparation: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance – It That True for You?

Definition of Preparation: The act of preparing or fitting beforehand for a particular purpose, use, service, or condition; previous arrangement or adaptation; a making ready. The state of being prepared; preparedness; readiness; fitness. That which prepares the way, or introduces; a preparatory act or measure. Accomplishment; qualification.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius, Chinese philosopher

I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” - Oprah Winfrey, American entertainer

As a girl scout, I was always told to “Be Prepared.” I just finished one of the best books I have read on preparation. It is David Allen’s, Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life. He is a master of productivity and preparation for “anything.” Allen is succinct, straight forward and an excellent task master.

As I started work on this week’s blog, I realized how important proper preparation is to me and how it has colored my life and accomplishments for years. In college I wasn’t a crammer – I was a reviewer. As a speaker and storyteller I am prepared with more information than I need and extra stories just in case. As an instructor – either in fitness or continuing education classes – I feel better practicing ahead of time and arriving early to set up everything. Yes, I do write out lists along with using many of Allen’s project techniques.

I found so many glowing and helpful quotations to remember and follow:

  • I'm a big believer in the fact that life is about preparation, preparation, preparation.” - Johnnie Cochran, American lawyer
  • If you don't have talent or preparation for whatever you want to do, you will not be successful in anything.” - Alicia Machado, Venezuelan celebrity
  • It is only after years of preparation that the young artist should touch color - not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression.” - Henri Matisse, French artist
  • One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” - Arthur Ashe, American athlete
  • Preparation for old age should begin not later than one's teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.” - Dwight L. Moody, American clergyman
  • You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation.” - Roger Maris, American athlete
  • There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation - veneer isn't worth anything.” - George Washington Carver, American scientist

And a few more with a bit of a twist:

  • Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” –
    Robert H. Schuller, American clergyman
  • Running a school where the students all succeed, even if some students have to help others to make the grade, is good preparation for democracy.” - William Glasser, American psychologist
  • Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren't enjoying today's sunshine.” - William Feather, American author
  • Stretching was a major part of my preparation.” - Edwin Moses, American athlete
  • But to me the bottom line is the more education you can give yourself, and the more preparation you can do, the less chance of failing.” - Stuart Pearce, English coach
  • Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” - Richard Kline, American actor
  • Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.” - John Dewey, American philosopher

So, how much do you prepare? I would love to hear from you.