Preparation – The Key to Success

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

There is no substitute for preparation. Some people pride themselves on their ability to “wing it,” but when it comes down to it, those who prepare more often than not have the upper hand in relation to the inevitable elements of surprise that come up in life. Preparation does more than prepare you for what you expect, it puts you in position to handle what you didn’t see coming.

The first part of preparation is acknowledging that everything you undertake is important. You may not recognize the value of what you are doing now, but every well-handled experience has a way of coming in handy at a later date.

The second part of preparation is handling what comes your way in a timely manner. You cannot prepare effectively if you are behind.

The third part of preparation is recognizing the linkages between now and what is to come. Just as rhythm, balance and pace set the stage for a graceful transition from walking to jogging, there will be certain identifiable leverage points in any shift that lies ahead of you.

The fourth part of preparation is anticipating and creatively diffusing potential points of conflict or frustration. Equestrians straighten and supple their horses by riding curves rather than attacking the problem head-on. Dominion is far more effective in the long-run than domination.

The fifth part of preparation is realizing that no matter how much you prepare, you will always benefit from continuing to think on your feet. While the future casts its shadow on the present in many ways, it remains largely unpredictable.

Over-preparation is the foe of inspiration.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

15 thoughts on “Preparation – The Key to Success

  1. Vihan Shah

    I am really inspired by your post and will use it in my day to day life. I am a student and many a times I felt that ‘Preparation is must’


  2. Colin

    You are absolutely correct. A balanced person is one who knows how much to prepare, which allows them to relax when it is time to relax, and move when it is time to move. Thanks.


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  4. Brad

    I love this post – everything from Bell’s quote, the 5 parts of preparation you point out, to Bonaparte’s quote…you’ve noted quite a bit to consider here – particularly interesting to me is dominion over domination, this is a topic i would like to hear more on.


  5. Joshua

    In the Painting industry, the quality of the “Finish coat” reflects how thorough the preparation was, skip or miss a step and you’ll clearly see it revealed in the unsatisfactory end result. That being said, the over-prep can also produce negative effects on both timeliness and cost. As with everything there is certainly a sweet spot, that with experience one becomes very familiar with.
    Thanks your timeliness in pointing this out, great consideration as I prepare for a glorious day!


    1. Gregg Hake

      Good to hear. The message is only valuable to the degree that you move from recognition to realization as you put the principles to use in relation to the circumstances you meet.


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