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Prepare to Win.

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

– Colin Powell

As the New Year has approached us, I have still been in a strong sense of reflection of what has happened through 2013. There have been smiles, moments of frustration and great lessons learned through 2013. However as last year came to a close and I was approaching our current year I thought of something that took place in 2010 which has inspired me for 2014.

In 2010, there was a drum competition recognized as the Next Great Drummer. This competition allowed drummers from all skill sets to display their craft and to be able to get needed advice from drummers and other musicians that are doing amazing things within the industry in order to build upon their craft. I was encouraged on multiple occasions to participate in this competition, but due to apprehension shaded by fear I opted out of the idea, until I went to an event and who was there, the representatives of this competition. In that moment I knew that I needed to do this drum competition. When I decided to do this event, I knew that I could not sign up for beginner or intermediate, but the only way that I could be of any good to myself was to sign up for the advanced division. Again, when signing up I did not sign up thinking that I would win, I signed up hoping that I would survive and gain an opportunity to display my skills. However, in good fashion, I practiced my routine just to not embarrass myself in front of those that may have been present.

Lo and behold it was competition day and there were some amazing drummers and musicians in the building. To be honest many of these individuals that I have been able to rub shoulders with and truly have a great respect for their craft. So in all honesty it was just a little intimidating. So I think I was about third out of seven or eight drummers and stuck to my routine and received great compliments on my playing, but to my surprise received a perfect score. Now this is the kicker, two other drummers had received perfect scores. So we all can not get first place, so there was a three way tie breaker.

Now I run into two crazy situation, I am not prepared for this tie breaker, because I did even think I would win in this advanced category. Can someone say Jeff your fault!! I had the great opportunity to put my heart on the set to attain something that I wanted to however I held back. Again my fault!!! After the two drummers and myself faced off, I left the drums a little disappointed and I did not win first place. However I received a great lesson.

The lesson that I learned is that whenever I go out to do something of a positive nature that will produce growth, I should always prepare myself to win. Why Not? What would have happened if I did not hold myself back from what we could have seen as negative thinking and really put my heart into it? So many questions, but I have no answer.

My biggest encouragement for whomever may read this is to yes enjoy the moment, but to prepare yourself to attain the proper results that you are looking for and not to just go day by day not expecting to achieve a goal that you are really trying attain. I am truly appreciative of the learning lesson now. In addition, I am not saying I have this preparation thing down packed, however I know that in order to get the positive and solid results that I am looking for, then I need to prepare myself accordingly.

My hope for you is that you would build yourself up and not just go into any situation blinded, but to understand that it does take more than talent to become the best you. Discipline, consistency and the will to persevere are attributes that you need to attain in order to become the greatest individual that you can become. I ask that you learn from my situation and understand that when you don’t prepare yourself for the best results you leave room for second best knowing you want first. If you attain the goal without preparation then thank the Lord for this thing I would like to recognize as grace. I ask that you identify a goal of growth, create a feasible game plan and continue to on the proper path to attainit. If by chance you fail. Find the mistake, fix it and keep trekking in order to attain the goal that you need to meet.

Just know it is close to game time. Prepare to win.

Yours Truly,


#Preperation #Hardwork #Lessons #Growth

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