“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”.
These words were spoken by Alexander Graham Bell, whose legacy still rings out in our modern world (please forgive that terrible pun!). As a matter of fact, it was a mishap during one of his experiments and a call for assistance, that led him to realize that his invention of the telephone had actually worked! But what led to that moment was countless hours—years—of preparation.
But preparation is so under-appreciated! So few of us like to study and too many of us succumb to cramming rather than cultivating a culture of consistent study. Very few of us like to practice, whether on a musical instrument or on the athletic field. How many of us have marveled at the sight of a new building or skyscraper, but totally ignored the gigantic hole in the ground that seemed to sit there for weeks or months? Yet that ugly hole in the ground represented the preparation needed to sustain the mighty structure that would come out of it. I’ve had mentors tell me, if you’re going to build high, you’ve got to dig deep.
Preparation is not glamorous. It occurs away from the bright lights; off stage; in back rooms or quiet spots. It is sometimes tedious, sometimes dirty, sometimes frustrating and often lonely. It takes sacrifice—I remember having to practice the piano within earshot of my friends playing outside! It takes determination—people like Bell & Abraham Lincoln are noted to have failed hundreds if not thousands of times. And preparation takes time—no one wants to eat an under-done cake...it takes time to prepare!
So, please don’t fall into the web of our “instant gratification” society and gloss over your need to prepare. Don’t settle for being a flash in the pan. Take the time to dig in, to grow, to learn, to “become”...to prepare. And remember this terrific quote: “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
(Robert H. Schuller)