Last week while I was with my dad at a shoot he was filming, he turned to one of the guests on the show and asked them if they were ready for their segment. They looked at him and said with a laugh that they were just going to wing it. He filmed several guests that day, whom to my untrained eyes did fantastic, but this one in particular was a complete train wreck.
Understandably so. To wing it is, by urban dictionary’s definition, ‘to do something with no preparation.’ (A moment of thanks for urban dictionary.)
Yet somehow, this term “wing it” has become this cool saying people declare with pride, with a shrug or a laugh. So blasé, I’m just going to wing it. This particular instance had me thinking of all the times I heard people declare that they were just going to wing it – the times in class before a presentation or before an interview. And our reactions have become just as troublesome – there usually isn’t a reaction. It’s become a social norm in our society we think nothing of it. Instead, we’ll smile or laugh with them.
But here is the thing…
No one you’ve ever looked up to has ever gotten to where they did by winging it. Think of someone, anyone, who you deeply admire for a minute and then tell me: did they wing it? My favourite Olympians did not reach the podium by winging it. My favourite authors, actors, leaders, role models etc. did not achieve their own success by winging it.
Instead they prepared. They spent a lot of time preparing, and they took pride in the long and testing road. They worked hard. They did the complete opposite of winging it, and the results of the work they put in were the polar opposite of what I witnessed that day. Although it does not guarantee success, it surely will increase the chances.
So stop winging it. Remove the notion from your vocabulary – the word and the action alike. Train hard, work hard, organize hard, prepare hard. Those are things to be proud of. Announcing you will be winging it is not.
Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned and in those instances, you’ll be forced to improvise, but know that winging it and improvising are two different things.
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