October has been a busy month (which is always a good thing when you’re self-employed!), and this past week I spoke at two schools—Center Elementary in Plum, PA, and Altoona Area High School. Both programs went really well, and I’m very happy with the product I was able to deliver.

As I developed my program (Addicted to Excellence) curriculum, I thought back to the most important success principles I had written down over the years. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taking notes. I never really knew what I was going to do with those notes, but I knew it was something. I used to joke and tell my former students to save their graded papers, because someday I’d be famous! I’m not near famous; my point is my mindset. I was living my life in a way that, should I be fortunate enough to pursue my passions, I’d be ready.

This brings me to one of my Elements of Excellence…PREPARATION. Preparation exists in many forms—physical training, mental training, financial planning, learning by doing, listening, thinking, envisioning—the list could goes on.

Both of my school programs last week were a bit different than I had envisioned. I hadn’t anticipated how much energy it takes to keep a gym full of kindergartners entertained, and I had never spoken in front of an auditorium full of 1200 high school students before. BUT I was prepared. I knew my content inside and out, and I am comfortable with myself as a speaker to handle any curveballs thrown my way.

What’s the takeaway? 1. Reflect and identify your ultimate vision. 2. Live your life in a way, that should that opportunity arise, you’ll be ready to seize it.

Sometimes you gotta zig and zag on the fly, but as long as you are prepared and your shoes are tied tight, you’ll have no problem!

*Thanks for the pic Mr. Stoudnour’s Science Class!