In life there are no shortcuts when it comes to preparation. There are many ways to train your body, mind, and spirit…but it is difficult to achieve great results if you constantly cut corners. I am not saying that it is impossible to accelerate your results, learn from others experience, or find a better path to success. Rather I am saying that hard work pays off in visible ways. I know it has for me.

I offer my results running the Army Ten Miler as evidence of this truth. I have run this race many, many times with varied results. If I look at my finish times, there is a direct correlation between my performance and my training. My best times were earned through hard training and proper preparation. The years that I did not train as hard resulted in slower times. Pretty simple – better training equals better results. For example, I trained well in 2013 and 2015 and had good finish times. In 2014, I was injured from playing soccer, and was not able to train nearly as much. The result – much slower time. Oddly enough, this year I trained well, but ended up getting injured just a few days ago, so I was unable to run the race this morning. I will talk more about dealing with injuries next week.

I encourage you to think about this principle and apply it to your own life. Train and prepare – whether it is for school, to play a sport, or an instrument. The bottom line is that hard work coupled with tough training and proper preparation equals success. At times, failure is our own fault. We must be honest with ourselves. Ask the hard question – did I prepare myself properly? Did I do all that I can to succeed? If the answer is no, then we know what we need to fix for the next time. Our training, and our preparation.

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
– Colin Powell

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