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The Power of Preparation

For the past few decades of college football, there is one analyst who has stood out for years. His name is Kirk Herbstreit, and he’s often deemed the voice of college football. A while back I listened to an interview with Herbstreit where he was asked about his level of preparation, which has now become his calling card in the industry. He shared that while he can’t control everything, he can always control his preparation. Simply put, he makes an effort to be the most prepared person in the room.

I found that very inspiring, because even people who might have more talent can fall short of someone else with an insatiable work ethic. If you’re able to be prepared, you can outwork others in a healthy way. I think many of us overthink this because getting to a level of expertise (especially in our careers) occurs from a willingness to work and prepare for success. I love how the businesswoman Barbara Corcoran said it, “Every successful person I know is overprepared. They make it look easy, but they are just overprepared.” At the end of the day, success is tied to preparation.

The same mentality applies to faith as well. As the apostle Paul says in Colossians: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.*” As Christians, our level of work ethic is tied to something greater than ourselves, which is our service to God. How hard we work should be obvious to others, but the key is that we are not just doing this to get a pat on the shoulder from a boss, a payraise, or a promotion. The importance of our work is to give God our best. We are working in light of eternity.

I’m still figuring out many aspects of my career, but I’ve found that a good starting point is to be overprepared. It doesn’t matter if we are the smartest or the most talented -  we can be known as someone who is always willing to do the best with what they have. And when we are asked what fuels our work, we can be ready to share why.

*Colossians 3:23-24

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