I was reading a running magazine the other night that gave a simple, powerful piece of advice.
"Train to race. Don't race to train."
That's good counsel for other areas of our life too. I've often exerted so much energy getting ready for something that I don't have the reserves I need to be as successful as I want to be. This doesn't mean that I shortcut my preparation, but that I carefully focus my energies to make the most of training with an eye on the big day. This is a necessary balance between engaging fully in the art of preparation and recognizing the main objective of the big moment. It helps me to develop a pace that builds strength over the long haul and brings greater success when the time is right.