“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
-– Leonardo da Vinci
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to perpetually be winning, moving forward all the time, despite the fact that they may not have gone to the “best” school, or come from the “right” circumstance, or quite frankly, even be that bright? However, those people seem to be able to attract success to them in an uncanny way, always doing things and constantly moving in the right direction.
Others seem to languish. They have the ‘right’ degrees, and seem to have all the right answers and have all the trappings of success, but they really do not seem to achieve much. It’s all talk, talk, talk! . However, look behind the veneer and it is all talk!
I believe the difference is action!
Talk is cheap, while action is priceless. The difference between these two types of people is that the talker is busy describing what he plans to do, while the action taker is busy actually doing it.
Nothing happens without action. Action is like the fuel in an engine. An engine can have lots of potential energy but can only be turned into kinetic energy and forward movement once fuel is added. Without fuel, it will sit there, looking pretty for a while but eventually all the other cars will pass it and it will slowly rust away. Action is the fuel of everyday living.
We human beings are kinetic – we are literally built to move! Every fibre in our body, every sinew, every organ and every one of our senses are designed to make us a living, moving, action oriented being designed to achieve things. This is the natural state of affairs. Inaction goes against everything we are designed to do.
It may feel strange at first, particularly if you are overly concerned by the opinions of others. However, over time, becoming a person of action will align your mind and body, causing great energy and courage to spring forward, moving you to great heights of achievement and fulfillment.
Why is action so important?
Firstly, action is the only way anything gets done. Quite simply, nothing else can move the needle at get you closer to your goal than action. Action is the critical path item necessary to accomplish great goals.
Secondly, action helps overcome fear. You have probably heard the expression of being ‘frozen by fear’. It is very true, if you have ever been in an emergency situation or under extreme pressure, there is a tendency to freeze up. Actions, however small, releases us from the fear, gets our mind and body moving, and moves us into a new and positive state.
Thirdly, action creates momentum. It literally gets the ball rolling. Have you ever noticed how one little action can open up the flood gates, it can be a catalyst for doing something great. A well placed phone call starts a sales process going. The road to financial freedom can be signing up for one seminar. Weight loss program can start with a single walk around the block. Action gets things going.
Fourthly, action provides feedback and makes things better. We can theorize all day about the consequences of doing something, but we really don’t know until we try. Action is a feedback and self-correcting mechanism. For instance, say you wanted to buy your first home and study all the right books and look at lots of listings. If you want to get a very quick and clear sense of buying a home, then take the action of making an offer. You may not get the home, but you can learn from it and try again, this time better informed and more experienced. You learn 80% of what you need to know the first time you do something and then spend the rest of your life learning the other 20%
Finally. Action is empowering. It literally moves the power from someone or something else to you. When you are being acted upon, you are out of control and can become a victim. By taking action, however small, you move the power back to yourself and therefore, control your own destiny.
Action is the one way to truly express yourself and your gifts. If you don’t take action the world, family, friends and external circumstances will define you and you will not achieve your full human potential. Action, in a positive, enlightened and worthwhile form is the one way to show yourself, God and the world what you are truly made of, what you can accomplish and what you did during this short time we have on earth.
10 Steps on how to become a Relentless Action Taker:
- Make it a habit by taking daily, regular and consistent actions.
- For small decisions, don’t over analyze. Decide immediately and move on quickly.
- For large decisions, set a deadline, make an action plan and start immediately.
- Complete something each day that you have being putting off.
- When very fearful, take an action, particularly one requires physical movement to get started.
- Avoid telling people what you plan to do, impress with results not talk.
- If an action does not pan out, seek the learning from it, course correct and act again.
- Focus your actions on high value, productive activities, while avoiding time consuming people and activities.
- Don’t confuse activity or being busy with productive action that moves you forward towards a worthwhile goal.
- Avoid analysis paralysis; gather sufficient information and then act
Getting into the habit of taking Massive Action is the best way to stay focused, overcome obstacles and achieve big goals. It’s the hesitancy, or lack of commitment from over analysis that causes the problems, breeds fear and holds us back. Better to keep moving, fast or slow, by moving forward none the less.
Eamonn has a B. Eng. (Electrical) from Lakehead University, MBA (Finance) from University of Toronto, and has completed Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. Follow him on twitter @EamonnPercy