Victory happens before the winning shot is launched into the air. In fact, it happens way before the game ever begins.
When I think of greatness I picture those emotionally charged moments that are destined for the highlight reel. I picture Michael Jordan pulling off an impossible shot at the buzzer. I see Peyton Manning throwing a pass through heavy coverage to convert that game-winning touchdown. I think of Steve Jobs standing on stage in his black turtleneck and jeans announcing the release of the next life-changing device.
I’m as much a sucker for these moments as anyone else.
But, the question is…”how did these superstar get to that moment?” Clearly the answer is that they prepared for them in a way that makes most of tired just thinking about it.
I love studying high-performing individuals because of what they have to teach us. Probably the single biggest take-away from my studies is the amount of “off season” work the greats put in.
Larry Bird was one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Nobody can deny his God-given talent. But what set him apart from his peers, all of whom were blessed with truckloads of raw skill, was his work ethic. He was famous for spending countless hours alone shooting free throws long after his teammates, coaches and trainers had hit the showers.
Victory from preparation!
Hard work and preparation like this is almost universally common among champions…among the best of the best.
Now, I’m a big advocate of taking action. After all, you can read about fitness all day long but eventually you are going to have to put down the book and do a pushup. No getting around it.
But, execution without preparation is just busy work!
If we don’t know what we are working toward…if we don’t have a crystal clear outcome in mind, we will never get where we truly want to be.
The key is setting clear goals, based not only on our desires, but that are consistent with our purpose…our calling. Then relentlessly working on the high-impact behaviors that move us incrementally toward our destiny. This is preparation!
Six years ago my wife and I were in a financial mess. We had vague goals of being “financially free” or “retiring comfortably”, but neither of us could have told you exactly what that mean. We were simply stumbling along, fingers crossed, hoping for the best.
No surprise…that strategy did NOT work!
While we didn’t have knock-down-drag-out fights about money, the discord from our financial drifting was woven into the very fabric of our lives.
Fast forward to July 2016. We’re sitting in an attorney’s office closing on a home for which we paid cash. This represented the final leg of our journey to win financially. This meeting was the “game-winning shot” that would put us on the highlight reels. All told…we paid off almost $300,000 in debt, including our home.
That was certainly a fun day. But…the real victory was in the daily, weekly and monthly behaviors that changed our outcome in such a huge way. The preparation for that moment was learning to communicate about money, distinguishing between needs and wants, carefully planning our months and years and generally seizing control of our financial lives.
Victory from preparation!
We developed a plan that was consistent with our values and worked together to make it happen.
Do you have a plan? Is it working for you?
Fact…you are where you are because you planned to be there, whether you are aware of the plan or not. If you want to be somewhere different next year…you need a new plan.
Don’t let life just happen to you. Don’t let your money habits control your destiny.
Take control…and win!
Like Larry Bird, you have a ton of God-given talent, whether you are aware of it or not. Unlike the NBA superstar you probably don’t have the sheer will to grind away on a particular skill hour after hour.
That’s okay. You don’t have to do it the hard way.
The easy way is to partner with someone who can teach you, guide you and hold you accountable so you can meet your goals quickly. If you are serious about winning with money, I can be that partner for you.
Click the button below to schedule your free 30-minute “Money Mastery Strategy Call” and start preparing for an awesome financial future.