Will to Prepare
Everyone wants to win; everyone wants to succeed. But the most important ingredient in getting there may surprise you! Hint: it’s not how bad you want it!
Right now it’s in the fall and I’m a big college football fan. My team is the Northwestern Wildcats and they’re having a great year. I’m thrilled! In the process of watching college football, I get to watch a lot of games. I was watching one recently where it was one of those exciting games and it was back and forth and back and forth. Who was going to win? Then the announcer kept saying “The team that is going to win this game is the team that has the will to win.” And he used that phrase several times. Well, after the game I was watching the post game interview with the coaches and one of the coaches was asked about that. “Did you win because you had the will to win?” Or something like that. And he just shook his head and said, “No, you understand that he will to win is that big of a deal. At this level, everyone has the will to win. Champions are those how have the will to prepare to win.” And he said it a couple of times. “Champions have the will to prepare to win.” And it really struck me. He said, “You know, those are the guys who put in the time Monday through Friday so that on game day they can do their best. They put in the time studying the film and working out in the weight room and running their drills and really practicing to be their best. They put the time in and work hard then so that at game time they can step up and win.” It’s interesting because studies have shown that the most successful people in any field be it sports, or business or the arts or some other area are the ones who put in the most time in preparation. If they’re giving a speech or a talk, they put more time into developing their content. More time into developing how they’re going to say what they’re going to say, and more time practicing their speech so that when they give it, it’s a home run. They put more time into preparing for meetings so that when they come in they know what the issues are and what the options are so they can make better decisions. The end result of that is that the quality of their work is significantly better than those who don’t prepare or spend less time in preparation. Or especially better than those who just kind of wing it. Now it’s that kind of preparation that increases the quality of what people do, but it’s not easy. It’s harder work and it’s not as exciting. It’s never as exciting to prepare for the talk as it is to give it. It’s never as exciting to work in the practice as it is to play in the game, but it makes all the difference in the results. It takes more time, but it’s worth it if you want to be successful. The quality of what you do will improve. If you want to be successful, take the time to prepare well. Champions have the will to prepare to win. Not just the will to win.