If you want mind dazzling performance or mind blowing success then take the assistance of relentless preparation. Preparing like mad is the key habit of many successful athletes and world champions. CEO’s of top companies, brilliant managers and other high-performing executives, all know the importance of preparing and practicing until you can do a thing perfectly (or better than most others) with your eyes closed.
Practice can make the difference between being good or being awesome, being mediocre or magnificent. So what exactly is practice? Anything which trains your mind and body to perform a task effortlessly, smoothly, gracefully, beautifully and efficiently. Regular practice has an exponential effect on your abilities and skills. You better your skills with practice, which in turn gives you more confidence and helps in the overall growth of your personality.
Top performers, orators, professionals — just before any big event where they are expected to perform at their best, practice and practice dozens of times. Then they practice some more. They do it in their minds, in front of mirrors, with colleagues or friends, while they are alone. They keep practicing whenever they get the time. They keep asking what is wrong or flawed in their performance and how it could be bettered. They keep pestering their friends or whoever has the misfortune of being present during their practice, what did they do wrong and what did they do correctly.
They ask these questions not just from others but also from their own selves. They want to know in as much detail about their performance as possible. They want to perfect each and every fine detail or aspect of their performance or act. Most of the world’s leading performers, in any field, are like this — relentless, ambitious for improving themselves, demanding the best from themselves. They are not satisfied with ordinary performance or just getting done with the act. They want themselves to stand out from the crowd.
As such they are never satisfied with their practice or preparation. They will always try to practice once more, if time permits them, before the showdown — the big event. If they had practiced a thing 100 times, they would want to do it 10 more times before they get to bed at night. Then the next morning they would like to do it another 5 times. They will not let the people who are close by rest in peace, and would keep asking them to check their performance and critique them. You may find this trait in almost all successful people, regardless of age, race, sex, background or professional field.
Relentless, untiring preparation and attention to the tiniest of details are some of the stuff behind dazzling performances which can leave spectators gasping for breath. Talent, skills and knowledge play a big part too. Without them, all the preparation and practice in the world may not do you much good. But even with all the required knowledge and skills, practice is still an essential component. Otherwise your performance might show shades of genius, and there may be times when you shine brilliantly like a diamond while performing, but overall it would probably not be what it could have been had you put more time and effort into practicing, just like most of the world-class champions do.
Do you have to give a presentation, conduct a training session, participate in a meeting, meet an important client? Follow this formula — give at least 4 times the amount of time for preparation that you need for the actual work. If you have to give a presentation for 1 hour, prepare for at least 4 hours. If a meeting with a client is likely to last for 2 hours, you need to prepare for it for at least 7–8 hours going over every possible detail like what you would say to the client, what could be his/her questions or objections and how you would respond in each case.
When you are thoroughly prepared and practice again and again, you might find the actual meeting or the performance going very smoothly and beautifully. In the end it will feel that all the hard work done during preparation was really worth it.
If you want to be absolutely top-notch then don’t just rely on your skills or talents alone. Polish them up with hard practice. Go all-out with the practice and preparation part. Do not stop after practicing 10 times or 20 times. Do not stop at the 100th time. If there is still time available to you to do it once more, by all means go for it. At the same time, it might be better to stop practicing a few hours prior to the actual event. Don’t practice at the last moment if that makes you nervous!
A Few Practical Examples of People Who Practiced Like Crazy & Were Then Unstoppable
I was recently reading a blog post where the blogger mentioned that he had to give a 30 minute presentation in front of an audience. He practiced maybe 20 times before that. He would do it in front of his wife or standing in front of the mirror. He practiced so much and so hard for a speech lasting only 30 minutes. So do not underestimate the improtance of practice and preparation.
Michael jordon, the world famous basketball player, would practice every fine detail of his matches in his mind. He would picture himself with the ball, imagine opponents coming at him and making their moves to get the ball from him and what he would do in response. He would imagine the opponent trying various tricks and what he would do in response to each to keep the ball with him and aim for the basket. This was in addition to the actual physical practice that he would do with his trainers or team mates.
You would hear this about most top athletes, sports stars or other high achievers. They practice a lot not just physically but even mentally.
It is said for every hour of work, you need four times the preparation. So are you doing it???