Preparation: the Path to the Prize
I remember, when I was in High School, we had to memorize this poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
I have reflected on this poem often…I am not much of a poetry guy…but this one has stood out to me in regards to life and success. Often referred to as “The road less traveled”…this, in my opinion, is the clear issue in regards to success…the path or road that leads to the prize is Preparation…and yet so few actually travel that road. I have a few quotes and ideas to think on today.
First, ask yourself this simple question: What are you, or should you be, preparing for? If you are just getting by in this life than you must stop here and fully answer the afore asked question…the rest of this blog makes no sense without it being honestly answered.
“Everyone has the will to win, but it’s only those with the will to prepare that actually do win.” -Bobby Knight
Here are a few thoughts in traveling the Path of Preparation:
1. Go Devoted
If you are not committed to the journey…then you might as well not go. Devotion to the path, where ever it may lead, is critical. Excitement might get you going…a new adventure…a new direction…but devotion is what keeps you going. Devotion will push you when the path gets steep…or rocky…or unsure. If you aren’t willing to devote yourself to the Path of Preparation…then you will never attain the Prize of Preparation.
2. Go Deep
Shallow investments never produce deep insights. If I “prepare” by skimming material or even cramming lots of material…more than likely, I have no deep insight. Depth, not width, is the game changer. Many miss it on this point…just because you have an opinion does not make you an expert. Don’t mistake practice for preparation…you can practice the wrong things over and over and never be prepared. You must go deep. Know your Path…and dive deeply into the preparation to obtain the prize!
3. Go the Distance
If you are passionate about the path you will endure…you will go the distance. Take the word “quit” out of your vocabulary. I do believe there are things you should quit…like excuses, bad habits, victim mentalities, fanny packs…you get the idea…but the Path of Preparation should never be quit. As the old saying goes; “you can never be too prepared”! Push yourself beyond the normal preparation…go the distance!
If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail!
What are you preparing for?
What steps can you take today on the Path of Preparation?