Have you ever ridden an “emotional roller coaster?”
This weekend I booked a ticket good for a ride of 3 straight days!
On Friday, I flew back in to my home state of New Jersey. Although I have not lived there in almost 3 years, there was no GPS needed as I made the drive from Newark Airport to the town in which I had spent 15 years building my family and career. Along the twists, turns (and Jersey traffic!) of the 45 minute drive, a number of emotions hit me all at once.
I was happy thinking about so many of the good times I had there, but also sad about how fast life had gone by and how I missed a number of my close friends. There was joy reminiscing about the birth of my kids and the purchasing of my first house mixed with angry memories of mistakes and missed opportunities. I was surprised to see how some things had changed and how others had stayed the same. When all of these emotions were added up it formed an interesting combination. The whole bunch filled me with love for my old home. I was reminded there are many places you can go in your life, but only one or two that you are really from. Even with this “love in the air” of the rental car, however, there was one other emotion that overrode them all. This powerful emotion is the one most people run from yet I constantly force myself to experience: FEAR.
On Saturday, I would be giving my last speech of 2015 to over 300 people. Because it was the first time I would ever give this particular speech, I was both nervous and afraid. You might think that these emotions would paralyze me, but they do exactly the opposite: they put me in motion to do the things I need to do in order to erase that anxiety and fear. As I sat holed up in my hotel room on Friday night going over my speech, I realized few people may understand how to use these emotions to deliver his or her greatest performance.
PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE
Everyone wants to be a success. Few are PREPARED to pay the price that success requires. I don’t measure the price of success in money. I often measure it in agony. A long time ago I learned being a success often has nothing to do with talent. Much of it has to do with your pain tolerance and how you respond to that pain. Years of training and hundreds of free speeches and articles taught me success is nothing but a combination of PREPARATION and agonizing hard work.
When I delivered on Saturday, no one saw the months of work that went into that hour talk on coaching. I am also sure no one would have said I looked scared. You see, all my PREPARATION had removed most of my fear! The fear of delivering a bad speech had me fearfully PREPARING every day for the last 12 weeks. In order to be ready, I read books on the topic, spoke to knowledgeable people in the field and defined exactly what I wanted to present. Each night I would chip away at the powerpoint until I liked the finished product and then I presented the speech weekly for anyone who would listen. When the speech ended on Saturday, a number of people told me it was my best yet. Accident? No, it all came down to PREPARATION.
When you think of PREPARATION, I’m sure you have heard (and can even recite) this little nugget:
“Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”
The problem with this PREPARATION statement is it has no value unless you know how to use it! Perhaps you think PREPARATION requires good luck. Success doesn’t involve luck. It follows a PREPARATION formula that has never let me down in 20 years. Regardless of your career, you can use the following 5-Step formula on any project to create your next great performance:
THE REAL 5 P’s OF PREPARATION
- Prematurely Plan
Cramming never produces high-end results. If you want to succeed, you have to plan far enough ahead to make sure you have the time you need to produce your next masterpiece. Failing to plan is not only planning to fail, but a great way to stress yourself out.
- Precisely Portray
World class performances never happen by accident. Until you clearly have defined what it is you want and the behaviors required to make it happen, your greatest successes stay nothing but your cherished collection of hopes and dreams.
- Proactively Plow
Nothing will work until you do. Once the planning and defining of your project is done, it is time to put your head down and plow ahead. Don’t let the start stop you. Start digging your well before you get thirsty.
- Patiently Persevere
Marinate in your work because success takes time. Rushing or forcing a result often leads to less than your best. If mistakes occur, welcome, learn from them and keep moving forward. Patience isn’t just a virtue, it is what you need to produce your next standing ovation.
- Perfectly Practice
If you are going to do something, do it well. Practice until what it is you desire is automatic. When something is automatic, fear has no chance to enter the picture.
Want to improve your powers of PREPARATION? In early 2016, I will be presenting a full day on personal development called Coaching Greatness. If you would like to increase your confidence, decrease your fears and improve personally as a coach and leader, join me for this unique experience. Spaces are limited and both events are already almost sold out.
==> January 16, 2016 Cornelius, North Carolina (18 Spots Left)
==> March 5, 2016 Fair Lawn, New Jersey (11 Spots Left)
When I flew home on Sunday, I realized the weekend was made up of some of the most emotional days I have had this year, but I was fearless because I PREPARED. Sometimes your emotions can take you by surprise, but now know the secret to keep those emotions in check: PREPARATION. Use the Real 5 P’s above to remove your fear and receive your next standing ovation! Putting in dozens of hours to produce one great moment isn’t easy, but I promise the applause will be worth every minute.