Preparation Promises Productivity
Hi Family, we're back at it again!
About three (3) weeks ago I received an invitation from the Ministry of Culture - Antigua to attend a Literary Arts & Book Fair Fest, in light of Black History Month. I thought it to be a nice gesture, and also thought of the exposure and experience that would further contribute to my journey as a developing Author, and promotion of my recently published book - In Isolation: Preparing the Potentials in You - so I accepted.
Prior to the invitation, I had a conversation with myself about the need to be always ready, which would require me to be disciplined enough to rid my vocabulary and conversations of excuses, and be purposed and intentional about my actions and pursuits. As a result, apart from my devotions, daily, I spent at least two (2) hours reading, studying, conducting research, practicing my 'elevator pitch', pretending to speak to audiences, and answering questions about my book, personal aspirations, and life on a whole.
One afternoon when I returned home from work, I devoted a few minutes (which I always do) to checking my emails and realized that I had been invited to promote my book in Antigua, at the aforementioned event. I was ecstatic. My hard work seemed to have been paying off.
Let's fast track a bit...
Upon arriving at the hotel in Antigua, I began receiving several calls concerning the schedule of events (which were not mentioned to me prior to my arrival). I was shocked! If I can be completely honest, I was scared. I started feeling all kinds of butterflies...and immediately came down with the cold. How? Why? Why now? These are some of the questions I asked myself.
While I paraded the streets of my thoughts and unanswered questions, I was gently reminded of all that I had been doing prior to the invitation. I had been studying, reading, conducting research, practicing my 'elevator pitch', pretending to speak to audiences, and answering questions about my book. Truth be told, the events required of me to do all I had been preparing and practicing to do. So why was I so afraid?
I was humbly overjoyed as countless persons approached me at the Book Fair and asked, 'are you the author of this book', 'are you Esther J. Thomas' - followed by their remarkable testimonials about how In Isolation: Preparing the Potentials in You, was easily relatable and spoke directly to them. Some spoke with tears streaming down their faces, while others were amazed at the fresh perspective from which isolation was written. I stood, listening, often times wondering how it all happened. One of my main concerns while writing In Isolation was, 'my name is not a household brand; neither am I popular. Who's really going to buy a book with the name Esther J. Thomas written on the cover'. However, it is quite evident that potential and preparation both shared sentiments contrary to my feelings of inadequacy.
Then...twas the night of the big event.
As I sat in my seat after being introduced to the Ministers of Government who were in attendance at the Writers' Networking Cocktail, I felt honored, and at the same time a bit uneasy, as I was the youngest Author in attendance. There was an age gap of about fifteen (15) to twenty (20) years.
As if the age difference wasn't enough to be worried about, most of the authors had in excess of ten (10) to twenty (20) years of writing experience. And there I was...patiently in hope of celebrating one year of my first publication, come September 2018. LOL!!!
A few minutes later, the ceremony began.
Oh how the butterflies resurfaced as the Master of Ceremonies delivered her welcome, and then mentioned the presence of "our featured speaker from St. Kitts - Mrs. Esther J. Thomas".
I believe at the moment, I died multiple deaths. It was unbelievable. Who would have thought that a book with the name Esther J. Thomas written on the cover would have received so much recognition?
Alas! It was time for my speech and the launch of my book. I gracefully arose from my seat, and walked to the front of the room (I will admit; I was nervous). As soon as I held the microphone in my hand, it was almost like magic. Anxiety left; and those annoying butterflies were nowhere to be found. It was as if preparation collided with opportunity. I smiled as I spoke, in awe of God and all that He has been doing, but also amazed at how what I actually wrote about was personally practiced and bore great results.
Returning to my seat, the commendations were amazing. I was congratulated and encouraged by the veterans that I was initially intimidated by. But even so, I understood even more and respected the purpose and importance of preparation.
So my question to you today is simply this: what have you been heavily promoting but spend little to no time preparing for?
What is the possibility of you being able to effectively deliver if an invitation is extended to you, today, to execute the talents and gifts that you brag about every day? Are you prepared? Have you been studying? Have you been practicing?
I'll leave you with an excerpt from my book:
"Potential speaks of one's ability to effectively perform once sufficient training and preparation have been received. Even after the ability to do becomes existent, the next step is to test the ability to determine its functionality. It looks good, it sounds good, but how good is it really?"