Preparing Yourself for Success

The difference between proactivity and reactivity is preparation. Preparation is as important as what you are preparing for. In fact, it’s safe to say preparation precedes good sustainable success. Reproducibility of success wouldn’t really be a matter of discussion without preparation.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

What is Preparation?

Preparation can simply be termed as a state of being readily active mentally, physically, and emotionally for the success an individual is working towards.

Success is created by making plans for the future, then acting on that plan daily. Preparation on the other hand, is the spice to make it sustainable. Being prepared comes with some clarity that’s needed to make success a reality.

Clarity doesn’t mean there won’t be disruption on your path, it only gives you a heads-up and makes you a step ahead of the difficulties and challenges you may face.

Why do I need to Prepare?

Sometimes, success can come through other thin paths with no preparation, but one major advantage of being prepared is that you can manage problems more efficiently.

Preparation is the best vaccine against build-up of stress and anxiety.

Preparation or Planning?

Is preparation the same as planning?

Over the years, people have made the mistake of confusing planning to preparing. These two are interwoven.

Planning is a preceding event, preparation succeeds it. Once you are in line with the plans for the twists or turns, high or low; then you know best how to prepare.

Preparation gets you ready to actually do the work. Planning is good, preparation is even better. Preparation helps you follow through with plans.

Planning leads to awareness, preparation leads to readiness. You can plan and not prepare, but you can’t prepare without plans. Planning is level one, preparation is level two.

There are people who work on a project for a time span of 5, 7, or 10 years plus and when they finally get the big break, they are left in shock. They keep saying, ‘I never expected it’. Success with such individuals does not last. Planning can help you achieve success, but preparation can help you sustain and reproduce the success over and over again.

6 Steps to Prepare for Success

1. Define Success

How do you start a journey if you don’t know where the endpoint lies?

You need to define what you want your success to look like, so you can recognise it when it comes. Sometimes, we gain some milestones and they feel like success; without a true definition, you might be settling for less.

On the other hand, if success is not well defined, we unknowingly achieve it, yet keep striving for it.

Prepare the umbrella before it rains.

Malay Proverb

2. Make a Plan

Write down important details; focus on strength, identify the weaknesses, what matters, and angles to be worked on.

The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.

Planning comes in different ways.

I. Operational Planning

This deals with how things need to happen, it’s about setting guidelines of how to accomplish the mission. It can be either single or ongoing.

Single plans are created for events and activities with a one-time occurrence while ongoing plans include a system for approaching problems and procedures for a step-by-step process to accomplish a particular objective.

II . Strategic Planning

This talks about why things need to happen; here’s where the big picture comes in. Important components of a strategic plan are mission, vision and values.

III. Tactical Planning

This deals with what is going to happen. Tactical planning supports strategic planning. It includes tactics that you plan to use to achieve the outlined in the strategic plan. Tactical planning asks specific questions about what needs to happen to achieve a strategic goal.

IV. Contingency Planning

These plans are made when something unexpected happens or when something needs to be changed. Contingency planning can be helpful in circumstances that call for a change when difficulties arise. These plans point towards actions to be taken or what to fall back to.

3. Apply Motion

Put these plans to work, switch your plans into actions.

4. Balance Your Intensity

Some people searching for success view relaxation, relationships and recreation as downtime. This creates a mentality where your success pursuits are the only elements in life that fulfill your hunger to achieve.

Try to bring forward some of the intensity and drive you mastered to create a personal and lifestyle goal routine. Some doors to success are unlocked through networking.

5. Recognise little wins

As you analyse your current achievement level, learn to celebrate your current accomplishments and the wins you make along the way. Progress and success may mean your future goals eventually become your past achievements.

It is not the will to win that matter – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matter.

Paul Bear Bryant

6. Get an Accountability Partner

Find someone you can easily share your goals and progress with as soon as you get through them. Be accountable to someone. Choose the right people who spur you on. They should be able to give due appraisals, yet keep you on track.


Preparation is all about being intentional.

The angel of success is on her way, you should devote yourself to preparing her grand welcome.

If you are not ready when the angel knocks, she will flee. Who knows when she will make it back around to your door again?

How do you plan to prepare yourself for success starting today?


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