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Quotations for Motivation #51 --- Preparation

Updated on April 8, 2011

Quotations on Preparation

Personal preparedness includes not only scrupulous regard to the requirements of physical hygiene. It also includes the establishing of sound moral standards.

This kind of preparedness, the developing of character and high ideals, is preeminately a task which should be undertaken by parents. It is in the plastic period of childhood that good moral habits are most readily formed, to give a guarantee for the success in the struggles of adult life.

Lacking such early preparation, a man may have [a great] physique ... and ... intellect, ... yet make a sad mess of existence and become a burden or a menace to the nation of which he is a part.

Nay, unless the morality is strong, the most vigorous and the wisest of men may in time be reduced to a condition of physical and mental weakness.

This is demonstrated every day by, for example, the many nervous and mental breakdowns which may be directly traced to lack of moral control.

The man who habitually allows his feel overwhelm him, giving way to fears, doubts, anxieties, equally with the man who habitually yields to desires, is a living illustration of failure in moral preparedness. And this failure carries with it a heavy penalty.

Happily we are so constituted that, even if our parents have neglected to prepare us morally for life's battles, we usually have it in our power to avert defeat and suffering. Our means of escape is through SELF-EDUCATION OF THE WILL.

To educate our will successfully, the most important thing we need to do is to readjust our environment so as to offset as far as possible all weakening influences.

We need to recognize that our behavior is always the resultant of ideas imported to us from without–ideas coming to us from our companions, from the books we read, the things we see and hear.

We must, then, begin by taking stock of our daily routine. Especially must we analyze the places to which we go for amusement and recreation, and the friends by whom we are surrounded.

If our analysis reveals to us that these places and these friends radiate ideas making for a weak morality--ideas of selfishness, animalism, general laxity of thought–it becomes imperative upon us to form new associations and eliminate the old ones from our lives.

We must find friends whose unconscious influence will help us rise, not help drag us down. We must frequent places, cultivate amusements, that will inspire us with loftier sentiments, nobler desires, than those we have previously entertained.

This we can always do, for the world is as full of elevating agencies as it is of degrading ones. And we may rest assured that in proportion as we subject ourselves to agencies that elevate, we shall find our will power growing and the difficulties of life diminishing.

To this same end of education of the will, physical exercise is also helpful. Weak wills and sluggish circulations too often go hand in hand.

But the great thing is the readjusting of the environment. To put oneself in a good environment is the surest means of effecting moral preparedness.

—H. Addington Bruce, Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, April 15, 1916.

To know what is the right thing and when is the right time is the secret of success; the secret that so few find. This is where preparation comes in. The man that is always prepared knows when the time is right. Whether our experiences are successes or failures depends to a great extent on whether we are prepared to react to the happenings of life. If we make it a policy to prepare ourselves for life, we can more easily direct the happenings of the day into useful experiences. Under normal conditions the person that has prepared himself for a position is more successful in his quest for a livelihood than the unprepared person.

—Kenneth L. Duke, East Central States Mission Bulletin, Louisville, Ky., February 1943.

Preparation is extremely important to any achievement. Some people have said that we should not cross our bridges before we come to them. However, if we study the achievements of the great military commanders, we find that all their bridges were crossed long before the armies ever began to march–in the minds and plans of commanders.

—Frank H. Wirig, Easterner, New York, N.Y., April 1965.

We must carefully plan to be effective or we can inadvertently and thoughtlessly plan to be ineffective. Planning is not just putting everything that needs to be done down on paper, but it is to write the things in an order that will conserve time and give the greatest amount of accomplishment. Write down the necessities of the day, then fill in time in between, in the area in between. When we plan properly, our planning gives our preparation guidance.

—William H. Dunlop, Westate, Denver, Colo., August 1964.

Preparation presumes discipline of our time and energies. It requires us to set priorities, to establish goals and objectives, to learn to plan ahead and be prepared for contingencies.

—J. Earl Garrett, Excalibur, Arcadia, Calif., August 1970.

All of opportunity does not belong in the time of preparation. In the heat of the battle is the hour of opportunity; if there be a greater hour still it is after the smoke of the battle is cleared away, and in the calm of old age, one can gather up the wounded and the wrecks of battle, and correct in a calmer moment the havoc wrought by mistakes.

But let no man think that preparation can be slighted. Unpreparedness makes men perish. ... There is ever opportunity aplenty through life; readiness to embrace it is the lacking thing.

Besides the race track of life sat a mighty giant, impotent with blindness. Along that way came an Argue-eyed maid; and they ran, she furnishing sight while he furnished strength--hand in hand they ran and won the race. The giant was Opportunity, and the maid was Preparation. But many other giant opportunity still lingers and lingers on, for want of someone to come with preparation.

—Isaac C. Jenkins, Gainesville Daily Sun, Gainesville, Fla., Jan. 26, 1920.

The first step in any undertaking is preparation. Things do not come by chance. Every undertaking brought to a successful conclusion is the product of the most painstaking effort. ... The first step in the preparation [is] made in the ... heart. [Have] a vision. ...

The second step in the process consist[s] in gathering around [one] a few devoted men and women. ... It may be set down as an unalterable condition of success that somebody must carry the burden, and almost sleep with it. This is the price that must be paid in all truly great achievements, financial or otherwise. The crowd cannot be quickened into activity without the exhibition of self-sacrifice, and even desperate earnestness, on the part of the leaders. This [is] the second step in the work of preparation.

The third step [is] a definitely formed plan.

—J. Benjamin Lawrence, The Baptist Chronicle, Alexandria, La., June 15, 1911.

Lack of preparation for life is in most causes the cause of failure.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., May 30, 1917.

The man who looks for the best but is prepared for the worst is sure of an even break.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., May 16, 1915.

There can be no worthy achievement without preparation. Preparation spells efficiency when at length it is coordinated with the necessary experience.

—Elbert A. Smith, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, June 1914.

Efficiency comes from preparation. With assurance we approach a task for which we are prepared. We cannot have any confidence in ourselves if, for instance, we attempt to make a speech upon a subject concerning which we are ignorant. But if we have studied it and thoroughly understand some leading facts concerning it, we can have good grounds for assurance in attempting to treat upon it.

Preparation and experience give efficiency, and efficiency will surely give a sense of ability to succeed that is invaluable.

Do not dwell too much upon your weaknesses and shortcomings. Think of them just enough to take the necessary steps to overcome them. Do not brood over them and become discouraged. The discouraged man is defeated before he begins the fight. Think of yourself in respectable terms, as one who can and will succeed.

Fear unnerves us. Resolution and determination carry us forward. Men fear a great many things, many of which are imaginable.

—Elbert A. Smith, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, November 1920.

Preparedness is a policeman.

—Jack Warwick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa., March 3, 1939.

We make progress as we cease to depend upon luck and trust to careful preparation.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Sunday Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Feb. 23, 1930.

The origin of most bad luck is in lack of preparation.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 20, 1935.

The secret of effective work is intelligent preparation.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., July 21, 1937.

Every day is the day of opportunity for the prepared man.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 12, 1941.

Preparedness is the master of many situations we consider ourselves incapable of mastering.

—Willis J. Blaine, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, November 1963.

There is a vast difference between a man of the hour and a man for the hour. A man of the hour is largely the result of chance conditions but a man for the hour is one who is prepared for whatever contingency arises.

—John Edward Carver, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Oct. 11, 1937.

Nine-tenths of efficiency is preparedness.

—Frank Crane, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 4, 1916.

Victory or defeat is not determined at the moment of crisis, but during the long, unspectacular period of preparation.

—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., May 13, 1922.

Preparation saves perspiration.

—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., June 1, 1933.

The guy who attracts luck is carrying the magnet of good preparation.

—Purser Hewitt, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Sept. 19, 1968.

When opportunity arrives it is too late for preparation.

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., July 10, 1904.

Preparation begets confidence, and confidence begets courage.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 2, 1930.


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