“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
Some people seem to be perpetually 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. These people seem to be able to attract success in an uncanny way; they are always doing the right things and moving in the right direction.
Others seem to languish. They have the right degrees, the right answers and all the trappings of success, but they really do not seem to achieve much. They talk a lot about achievement and seem to have an opinion about everything. However, behind the veneer, it is all talk!
Talk is cheap, while action is priceless. The difference is that while the talker is busy describing what he plans to do, the action taker is busy actually doing it. Nothing happens without action!
Action is like the fuel for a car. A car can have lots of potential energy, but it can only be turned into kinetic energy once fuel is added. Without fuel, it will sit there looking pretty for a while, but eventually, all the other cars will pass by and it will slowly rust away. Action is the fuel of everyday living!
Human beings are kinetic – we are literally built to move! Every fiber in our body, every sinew, every organ and every one of our senses is action-oriented, designed to make us live, move and achieve things. This is the natural state of affairs. Inaction goes against everything we are designed to do.
Relentless action may feel strange at first, particularly if you are overly concerned about the opinions of others. However, over time, becoming a person of action will align your mind and body. You will develop great energy and courage to spring forward, raising you to great heights of achievement, accomplishment and self-actualization.
Here is why I believe action is so important:
Action Creates Energy and Movement. Nothing else can move the needle to get you closer to your goal than action.
Action Overcomes 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. Action, however small, releases us from that fear, gets our mind and body going, and moves us into a new and positive state.
Action Creates Momentum. It literally gets the ball rolling. Have you ever noticed how one little action can open up the floodgates? 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 start with signing up for one seminar. A weight loss program can start with a single walk around the block. Action gets things going.
Action Provides Feedback. You can theorize all day about the consequences of doing something, but you really don’t know what will happen until you try. Say you want to buy your first home. You study all the right books and look at lots of listings. However, 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%.
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 regain control OF your own destiny.
Action Is the Best Expression of Yourself. 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. Positive, enlightened and worthwhile action is the one way to show what you are truly made of, what you can accomplish and what you did during this short time we have on earth.
Here are 10 Steps on how to become a Relentless Action Taker:
- Make it a habit by taking daily, regular and consistent action.
- For small decisions, don’t overanalyze. 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 been 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. Impress with results, not talk.
- If an action does not pan out, learn from it, correct your course 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 toward 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