One of my all-time favorite Coach V sayings is,
“If you’re early, you’re on-time. If you’re on-time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re forgotten.”
It sounds cool, and he says it really well. But, what exactly does it mean? Let’s examine attending a karate tournament as an example. Suppose you are scheduled to compete at 10am. Let’s look at some possibilities:
1. You arrive ‘early’, at 9am. You have plenty of time to register and because you are early, the line is very short. You have time to find a spot to put your things and get the lay of the environment. You have plenty of time to see if your ring is running on time or delayed. You have time to talk to some friends, stretch, and get mentally prepared. When your ring is called, you are ready to go. You are on-time and fully prepared to do your best.
2. You arrive ‘on-time’, at 10am. It is crowded and you are in line to register. You hear your ring being called as you are rushing to get checked in. You run to put your things down anywhere and rush to your ring where they have already started. You did not have time to stretch out and get ready and feel rushed and not prepared. You are late.
3. You arrive ‘late’, at 10:30am. The parking lot is very full and finding a parking spot is difficult. On the plus side, you can get through checking-in quickly because no one else is doing so because they were on time and already done. However, you feel panicked because you know you are missing the competition. When you finally arrive at your ring feeling completely frazzled, you see that they started without you and you missed your competition. You are forgotten.
What is the bottom line?
The answer should hopefully be obvious. Always strive to be early to your appointments and meetings. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to wherever you need to be and remove the stress of rushing everywhere from your life. Make sure you schedule your time so that you don’t have to rush from one event to another. You will find that you will be able to be at your best for whatever meeting or appointment you are at, and interestingly enough, opportunities will present themselves that might not otherwise happen. Often times the first people to arrive get extra questions answered or get taken early or get first choice of something.
So, remember this catchy saying and choose to be early (on-time). I am willing to bet that this will be an extremely positive difference maker throughout your life.