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 a moneyed family, or 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, which might even be you! They have got the “right” degrees and seem to have all the right answers and have all the trappings of success, but they really don’t seem to achieve much. It’s all talk, talk, talk! They talk a lot about achievement and, perhaps like your proverbial know-it-all brother-in-law or college professor, seem to have an opinion about everything. However, look behind the veneer and it’s all talk!
Well, 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. Therefore, becoming action-oriented will ultimately perfectly align with our biological and evolutionary design; it is the way we are meant to be.
It may feel strange at first, particularly if you are overly concerned by the opinions of others. However, over time, become a person of action will align our mind and body, our unconscious mind becomes connected to our evolutionary need for movement, and great energy and courage will spring forward, moving us to great heights of achievement, accomplishment and self actualization.
Why is action so important?
Firstly, action is the only way anything gets done. Nothing else can move the needle or get you closer to your goal than action. Whether your goal is to become a great athlete, musician, parent, lover, businessperson or student, no accomplish can take place without positive 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. This state change can enable us to literally move forward, out of fear and into a state of calm accomplishment.
Thirdly, action creates momentum. It literally gets the ball rolling. Have you ever noticed how one little action can open up the flood gates and 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 programs 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.
Finally, 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 Tips 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 that requires physical movement to get started.
- Avoid telling people what you plan to do, and 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.
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.