“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
Robert H. Schuller
Good morning, friends! I hope your weekend was a blessing and the best is yet to come this week. Let me not hold you up! Let’s get to it!
I’ll bet you’ve never heard the name of Mondo Duplantis. It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. But Mondo (real name: Armand) has recently been burdened by a NY Times article, “The Tiger Woods of Pole Vaulting”. Mondo is 17 and recently vaulted 19 feet, 4 ¼ inches. To quote NY Times, it set the US “high school record, a world junior record and the highest jump at any level of international competition so far in this outdoor season. A vault of that height at the Rio Olympics last summer would have won a bronze medal.” He sounds like a natural, right? Like a shoe in for success, right?
Not so fast. The story of Mondo’s hard work is not so legendary. His efforts to prepare rival any international pole vaulter much more his senior. And he does all this work with knowledge that success in his field typically comes in the mid to late 20’s. His remarkableness is not in his current achievements but in his dedication to the unrewarding work of unspectacular preparation.
I sometimes wish success were a pill, or a purchase, or a one-off action, but then I wake up and realize that were success easy then it would not be worthy of recognition. It would be commonplace. It would be Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. And there is no such thing as success.
Right this moment I can think of a number of areas in my life where I would like success. We all can. Yet the deeper, more relevant question is, “In which areas am I willing to commit to sustained unspectacular preparation?” The more I think about it, that’s where success should be measured. Luck can create the occasional good outcome, but preparation will win more often than not. What are your areas of desired success? Which ones are supported by sustained unspectacular preparation? Expect the most and best from those areas. I do for me and you! Have a great week!