The torch of preparation

Benjamin Franklin - Founding Fathers of the United States 

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Abraham Lincoln - American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States  

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.  

William Shakespeare - English playwright, poet, and actor  

All things are ready, if our mind be so. 

Bobby Knight - American former basketball coach 

The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.

Muhammad Ali - American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist 

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. 

D.C. Gonzalez - D.C. Gonzalez

A champion always prepares to win. 

Ernest Holmes - American writer

Prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer.

Darren Hardy - American author, keynote speaker, advisor, and former publisher of SUCCESS magazine

The (Complete) Formula for Getting Lucky: Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = Luck

Louise Lynn Hay - American motivational author and the founder of Hay House

I have noticed that the Universe loves Gratitude. The more Grateful you are, the more goodies you get.

T. Harv Eker - Author, businessman and motivational speaker known for his theories on wealth and motivation

What you focus on expands.

Walter Mischel - Austrian-born American psychologist specializing in personality theory and social psychology

What we do, and how well we control our attention in the service of our goals, becomes part of the environment that we help create and that in turn influences us. This mutual influence shapes who and what we become, from our physical and mental health to the quality and length of our life.

Jose Silva - Mexican-American self-taught parapsychologist and author of the "Silva Method"

The greatest discovery you'll ever make, is the potential of your own mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century

People only see what they are prepared to see.

Paulo Coelho - Brazilian lyricist and novelist, best known for his novel The Alchemist

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.

Pema Chödrön - American Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, former acharya of Shambhala Buddhism and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. 

Brian Tracy - Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author

The only real limitation on your abilities is the level of your desires. If you want it badly enough, there are no limits on what you can achieve.

John Milton Cage Jr. - American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher

If the mind is disciplined, the heart turns quickly from fear to love.

Blaise Pascal - French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer and Catholic theologian

All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Ryan Holiday is an American marketer and author

Stillness is what aims the archer’s arrow. It inspires new ideas. It sharpens perspective and illuminates connections.

Denis E. Waitley - American motivational speaker, writer and consultant

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.

Todd Henry - Author, international speaker, consultant, and advisor

You must get comfortable with eliminating things in your life that are getting in the way of clarity and focus.

Todd Henry - Author, international speaker, consultant, and advisor

You need to go beyond hacks and quick fixes, and instead develop practices.

James Clear - Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, which has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide

If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.

Peter C. Brown - Writer and former management

It’s not just what you know, but how you practice what you know that determines how well the learning serves you later.

Peter C. Brown - Writer and former management

Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful. Learning that’s easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow.

Peter C. Brown - Writer and former management

Practice that’s spaced out, interleaved with other learning, and varied produces better mastery, longer retention, and more versatility. But these benefits come at a price: when practice is spaced, interleaved, and varied, it requires more effort. You feel the increased effort, but not the benefits the effort produces. Learning feels slower from this kind of practice, and you don’t get the rapid improvements and affirmations you’re accustomed to seeing from massed practice.

Josh Waitzkin - American chess player, martial arts competitor, and author. As a child, he was recognized as a prodigy, and won the U.S. Junior Chess championship in 1993 and 1994. The film Searching for Bobby Fischer is based on his early life

The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. Usually, growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety.

Josh Waitzkin - American chess player, martial arts competitor, and author. As a child, he was recognized as a prodigy, and won the U.S. Junior Chess championship in 1993 and 1994. The film Searching for Bobby Fischer is based on his early life

In the end, mastery involves discovering the most resonant information and integrating it so deeply and fully it disappears and allows us to fly free.

Amy Cuddy - American social psychologist, author and speaker. She is known for her promotion of "power posing", a controversial self-improvement technique whose scientific validity has been questioned

Preparation is obviously important, but at some point, you must stop preparing content and start preparing mind-set. You have to shift from what you’ll say to how you’ll say it.

Robin Sharma - Canadian writer, best known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series. Sharma worked as a litigation lawyer until age 25, when he self-published MegaLiving, a book on stress management and spirituality

The farmer has patience and trusts the process. He just has the faith and deep understanding that through his daily efforts, the harvest will come. And then one day, almost out of nowhere, it does.

Jocelyn K. Glei - Obsessed with how we can find more creativity and meaning in our daily work. She created the online course RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday, and hosts Hurry Slowly, a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient by slowing down

Like it or not, we are constantly forced to juggle tasks and battle unwanted distractions—to truly set ourselves apart, we must learn to be creative amidst chaos.

Jocelyn K. Glei - Obsessed with how we can find more creativity and meaning in our daily work. She created the online course RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday, and hosts Hurry Slowly, a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient by slowing down

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

Og Mandino - American author. He wrote the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World. His books have sold over 50 million copies and have been translated into over 25 languages

I determine to render more and better service, each day, than I am being paid to render. Those that reach the top are the ones who are not content with doing only what is required of them.

Ben Bergeron trains some of the world's fittest athletes. A former Ironman triathlete turned CrossFit Games competitor, Ben has coached athletes to six world championships

Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.

Ben Bergeron trains some of the world's fittest athletes. A former Ironman triathlete turned CrossFit Games competitor, Ben has coached athletes to six world championships

As an elite athlete, there are only five things that you can truly control -- your training, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and mindset. If it doesn't fall into one of those categories, I tell my athletes, forget about it. Control the things you can control, and ignore everything else.

Jocelyn K. Glei - Obsessed with how we can find more creativity and meaning in our daily work. She created the online course RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday, and hosts Hurry Slowly, a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient by slowing down

The way to get better at a skill is to force yourself to practice just beyond your limits.

Jocelyn K. Glei - Obsessed with how we can find more creativity and meaning in our daily work. She created the online course RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday, and hosts Hurry Slowly, a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient by slowing down

It’s hard to be your own coach, but not impossible. The key thing is to set up structures that provide you with objective feedback—and to not be so blind that you can’t take that feedback and use it.

Shane Snow - A science and business journalist and the co-founder of Contently, one of Inc's fastest growing companies and Crain's and Ad Age's best places to work in America

Build up potential energy, so that unexpected opportunities can be amplified.

Angela Lee Duckworth - American academic, psychologist, and popular science author. She is the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies grit and self-control

It soon became clear that doing one thing better and better might be more satisfying than staying an amateur at many different things.

Barbara Oakley - American professor of engineering at Oakland University and McMaster University whose online courses on learning are some of the most popular MOOC classes in the world. She is involved in multiple areas of research, ranging from STEM education, to learning practices

The biggest lie ever is that practice makes perfect. Not true—practice makes you better. 

John C. Maxwell - American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership

If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want do when you want to do them.

Matthieu Ricard - French writer, photographer, translator and Buddhist monk who resides at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal

One is not born wise; one becomes it.

Matthieu Ricard - French writer, photographer, translator and Buddhist monk who resides at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal

I have also come to understand that although some people are naturally happier than others, their happiness is still vulnerable and incomplete, and that achieving durable happiness as a way of being is a skill. It requires sustained effort in training the mind and developing a set of human qualities, such as inner peace, mindfulness, and altruistic love.

Orison Swett Marden - American inspirational author who wrote about achieving success in life and founded SUCCESS magazine in 1897

The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.

Thomas M. Sterner - Founder and CEO of the Practicing Mind Institute. As a successful entrepreneur, he is considered an expert in Present Moment Functioning 

Progress is a natural result of staying focused on the process of doing anything.

Thomas M. Sterner - Founder and CEO of the Practicing Mind Institute. As a successful entrepreneur, he is considered an expert in Present Moment Functioning 

Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort of refining our motions. When the proper mechanics of practice are understood, the task of learning something new becomes a stress-free experience of joy and calmness, a process which settles all areas in your life and promotes proper perspective on all of life’s difficulties.

David Rock - Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer NeuroLeadership Institute. Dr. Rock has authored four successful books including Your Brain at Work, a business best-seller, and has written for and been quoted in hundreds of articles about leadership, organizational effectiveness, and the brain which can be found in Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., USA Today, BBC, The Boston Globe and more

A study done at the University of London found that constant emailing and text-messaging reduces mental capability by an average of ten points on an IQ test. It was five points for women, and fifteen points for men. This effect is similar to missing a night’s sleep. For men, it’s around three times more than the effect of smoking cannabis.

Michael Phelps - American former competitive swimmer and the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals, Olympic gold medals in individual events, and Olympic medals in individual events

You can make a million mistakes, just not the same one twice.

Steve Chandler - Author of 30 books that have been translated into over 25 languages. His personal success coaching, public speaking and business consulting have been used by CEOs, top professionals, major universities, and over 30 Fortune 500 companies

It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re confused. When you simplify your life, it gathers focus. The more you can focus your life, the more motivated it gets.

Steve Chandler - Author of 30 books that have been translated into over 25 languages. His personal success coaching, public speaking and business consulting have been used by CEOs, top professionals, major universities, and over 30 Fortune 500 companies

Groucho Marx once said he found television very educational. “Every time someone turns it on,” he said, “I go in the other room to read a book.”

Matthew Syed - British journalist, author, broadcaster and former table tennis player. He competed as an English table tennis international, and was the English number one for many years

The extraordinary dedication of the young Mozart, under the guidance of his father, is perhaps most powerfully articulated by Michael Howe, a psychologist at the University of Exeter, in his book Genius Explained. He estimates that Mozart had clocked up an eye-watering 3,500 hours of practice even before his sixth birthday.

Stephen Guise - International bestselling author, blogger, and entrepreneur. His books have been translated into 18 languages. Guise is known for delivering highly actionable, world-class behavior change strategies in a humorous wrapper

“Care less about results. Care more about putting in the work. Care less about problems. Care more about making progress despite them. Or if you must fix something, focus on the solution. Care less about what other people think. Care more about who you want to be and what you want to do. Care less about doing it right. Care more about doing it at all. Care less about failure. Care more about success. Care less about timing. Care more about the task. In general, the idea behind imperfectionism is to not care so much about conditions or results, and care more about what you can do right now to move forward with your identity and your life.”

Jason Selk - One of the premier performance coaches in the United States, with dozens of professional athletes and Fortune 500 executives as his clients

Mental toughness is the ability to focus on and execute solutions, especially in the face of adversity.

Jason Selk - One of the premier performance coaches in the United States, with dozens of professional athletes and Fortune 500 executives as his clients

Do not let anything interrupt those tasks that are most critical for growth in the important areas of your life. Find a way, no matter what, to prioritize your daily process goals, even when you have a viable excuse to justify not doing it.

Rory Vaden - One of the top 100 leadership speakers in the world according to Inc. Magazine. He is a Hall of Fame motivational speaker, New York Times bestselling author, and has a TEDx talk with millions of views. Rory is a recognized expert and speaker on business strategy and leadership

Why do so many of us succumb to fear? Because it’s more convenient and more comfortable for us to let our dreams disappear than to muster up the discipline and the work ethic to go out and transform them into reality.

Gary Keller - American entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is the founder of Keller Williams, which is the largest real estate company in the world by agent count, closed sales volume, and units sold

More than anything else, expertise tracks with hours invested.

Ryan Holiday - American author, public-relations strategist, bookstore owner and host of the podcast, The Daily Stoic. He is a former director of marketing for American Apparel

What such a man needs is not courage but nerve control, cool headedness. This he can get only by practice.

Jorginho - Professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the Italy national team. He operates as a defensive midfielder or a deep-lying playmaker, also known as a regista in Italian football.

I fixed the ball, I took a deep breath and then I concentrated on the technical gesture that I train every day.

Gary Mack - Leading sports psychology consultant and counselor who has worked with athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA, and Major League Baseball vision definition

Discipline. It means doing what you have to do when you need to do it, whether you want to or not.

Gary Mack - Leading sports psychology consultant and counselor who has worked with athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA, and Major League Baseball vision definition

Learn from the past. Prepare for the future. Perform in the present.

Bobby Jones - American amateur golfer who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport; he was also a lawyer by profession. Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club, and co-founded the Masters Tournament

Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course: the space between your ears.

Magic Johnson - American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association

Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.

Matthew Kelly - Author, speaker, thought leader, entrepreneur, consultant, spiritual leader, and innovator

The reason most of us fail to achieve real and sustainable change in our lives is because we focus too much on the desired outcome and not enough on the progress we are making.

D.C. Gonzalez - Peak performance coach and a bestselling author

A champion always prepares to win.

Pete Carroll - American football coach who is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He was previously the head coach at USC, where he won six bowl games and a BCS National Championship Game

I’ve learned that possibly the greatest detractor from high performance is fear: fear that you are not prepared, fear that you are in over your head, fear that you are not worthy, and ultimately, fear of failure. If you can eliminate that fear—not through arrogance or just wishing difficulties away, but through hard work and preparation—you will put yourself in an incredibly powerful position to take on the challenges you face.

Pete Carroll - American football coach who is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He was previously the head coach at USC, where he won six bowl games and a BCS National Championship Game

It's about us getting ready to play. It's not about the other team. We'll beat ourselves before they beat us. That's always our approach.

Roy F. Baumeister - Social psychologist who is known for his work on the self, social rejection, belongingness, sexuality and sex differences, self-control, self-esteem, self-defeating behaviors, motivation, aggression, consciousness, and free will

The best way to reduce stress in your life is to stop screwing up.

Kelly McGonigal - Health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who is known for her work in the field of 'science help' which focuses on translating insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support health and well-being. creator of reality

You need to recognize when you’re making a choice that requires willpower; otherwise, the brain always defaults to what is easiest.

Kelly McGonigal - Health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who is known for her work in the field of 'science help' which focuses on translating insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support health and well-being. creator of reality

Meditation is not about getting rid of all your thoughts; it’s learning not to get so lost in them that you forget what your goal is. Don’t worry if your focus isn’t perfect when meditating. Just practice coming back to the breath, again and again.

Jason Selk - One of the premier performance coaches in the United States, with dozens of professional athletes and Fortune 500 executives as his clients

The noise of urgency creates the illusion of importance.

Scott Adams - American artist and cartoonist. He is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, and business. Dilbert came to national prominence during the downsizing period in 1990s America and reached a worldwide audience

The only way to succeed in the long run is by using a system that bypasses your need for willpower.