In any endeavor, preparation increases the chances for your success. The more an athlete practices, the better their chance of winning. Actors and actresses relentlessly rehearse before the actual performance. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, along with other professionals devote countless years to their education in preparation for their careers.
Success rarely occurs by accident. Anyone who is good at what they do has invested lots of time and effort in preparation. It is hard work, not magic. Although it's great to have natural ability, tenacity is more important than talent.
Preparation is a process that begins with an understanding of what it takes to be successful in your chosen endeavor. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Study other successful people in your field. Discover the process they went through to order to get to where they are.
Save yourself time by duplicating winning formulas. Follow what has worked for others. The more you prepare, the more luck you will have. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
Life is fluid. The road to success is filled with twists, turns, challenges, obstacles, problems, and setbacks. Preparation gives you a real edge in your journey. However, you must adapt and adjust as needed when encountering the unexpected.
In order to be successful, failure is not an option. Failure only occurs when you give up. It's certainly frustrating when things don't go as planned. Rather than becoming drained, use your energy to figure out the best way to adapt to a change in circumstances. You can't control your environment but you do have control over your response.
Adapting may require additional preparation, a change in expectations, moving a deadline, utilizing additional resources or perhaps even altering a goal. It's no different than driving a car. As you travel down the road, you adapt to changing conditions such as traffic, weather, and obstacles.
You also must make appropriate adjustments as needed. When driving, you adapt to a change in weather by adjusting your speed. If you don't, your risk of running off the road increases dramatically.
Aspects of your journey that may need to be adjusted based on circumstances include speed, patience, determination, attitude, and effort.
Some journeys can’t be rushed. Asking someone to marry you on the first date is rarely successful. You may have a desire for financial independence. But unless you win the lottery or receive a sizeable inheritance, it won’t happen overnight. Putting an unreasonable time limit on reaching your goal leads to frustration. Success takes patience.
Attaining your goal is what matters. The exact time needed is irrelevant. When something is taking longer than anticipated, you have to adjust. Patience is essential for success.
It’s wonderful when things go exactly as expected. But if things don’t go as planned, strengthen your determination. Success is only possible by persisting in the face of adversity. Remember that failure only occurs when you give up. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” is the way dreams are turned into reality.
Keep adjusting your attitude to keep it positive. A negative attitude only worsens a situation. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that being negative is being realistic. A positive attitude is essential for overcoming adversity.
Life requires effort. Ironically, it takes as much effort, if not more, to suffer as it does to succeed. Putting extra effort into preparation is much more effective than the effort required to fix things later. “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, where will you find the time to do it over?” is a good question to ask yourself before cutting corners. Prepare first. Then adapt and adjust as needed to stay on your course.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden