Tommy Newberry on the importance of preparationWhat sets NBA star, Stephen Curry, apart from his talented peers? Preparation.

There is enormous power in preparing for peak performance. While this should be obvious, too many people prefer to “wing-it” and just get by with average results. But tolerating average results is a very weak standard, and it’s the enemy of your full, God-given potential. 

Preparing for excellence is not mandated by law. It is purely optional; however, it is a decision that will change your direction and then, eventually your destination.

Exceptional preparation is a decision coupled with action. If the quality and quantity of your preparation is superior to your competition, you have the opportunity to earn much better rewards. You sow, you reap.

No matter how successful we are, most of us want to be even more successful. This is a good thing. This is how we challenge ourselves. This is how we keep getting better. This is how we keep adding value to the important people in our life. But the question is this: Are we willing to prepare to be successful?

Keep in mind, it’s not very hard to prepare for success. And it’s not very hard to neglect this effort either. When we reflect back, there are always reasons why we didn’t go all-out. Sometimes we got pressed for time. Sometimes we got distracted. Sometimes we procrastinated. Sometimes we got tired. Sometimes we got overwhelmed. Sometimes we got scared. Sometimes we got discouraged.

Both those who prepare and those who skip the prep share many of the same excuses. But, those committed to realizing their full potential recognize that success is not an accident and then choose to prepare in spite of their excuses. They prepare to perform and be at their best whether they feel like it or not.

Reading Resource: Before Choosing Goals. . . Define Your Purpose

The time to prepare is well before the game gets underway, before the test is passed out, before the presentation begins, and before the cameras are rolling. The time to prepare is before your opportunity arrives. 

Teenagers want to earn an “A” on their exam, but do they desire the high grade badly enough to prepare for it? Once the test begins, most students want an A, but were they motivated enough to postpone other more interesting activities and push through the possibly tedious subject matter before it was time to take the exam?

High school football players want to win on Friday night. With the crowd cheering and the band playing, who wouldn’t want to win the big game? But the better question is whether or not they wanted to win during last summer’s grueling workouts and during practices earlier in the week.

Everybody wants to win, but only a few are willing to prepare to win. If you become part of this magnificent minority, you can achieve results above and beyond your previous best.

Here are four ways to get started:

1. Pray for wisdom. Ask God for help. Minutes in prayer can save months of misguided activity. Rushing without praying is unwise.

2. Preview the optimal result. See yourself already in possession of your goal. Lock it in. Visualize the moment of accomplishment.

3. Prepare proactively. Think several steps ahead. Anticipate problems before they arise and develop a contingency plan. Identify the action steps or directions for getting from your current location to your desired destination.

4. Pretend it’s already over. Assume the mood and display the gratitude of your goal as if already accomplished.

NBA superstar, Stephen Curry, is not MVP by accident. His off-season training and pre-game rituals are focused and intentional. Everywhere the Golden State Warriors play, fans file in to the arenas early to watch him prepare for the upcoming game.

Dribbling two balls simultaneously, taking off-balance shots, visualizing new moves and more, Curry’s attention to preparation sets him apart from his already extraordinary peers.

To become great, assume greatness is possible, then prepare for it!

Read More: How to Find Your God-Given Genius

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