This one is a little long and has no pictures, but it’s IMPORTANT!
If I had to choose one quality that increases a person’s chances at success more than anything else, it would be TAKING ACTION.
ACTION is THE KEY to SUCCESS. Absolutely nothing is more important than being proactive.
No amount of positive thinking, studying, reading books, attending webinars (although these things are important) will EVER substitute your taking action.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m big on self-improvement and person development.
I constantly get caught in cycles of over-learning and under-doing. You don’t actually gain any real knowledge, perspective, and insight until you actually TRY the things you learn about. Then you can begin to build an applicable understanding of the subject.
If you are serious about being successful, never let a SINGLE DAY pass without you proactively getting your message out to your target market.
Do this CONSISTENTLY, day in and day out. Consistency in taking action is the dominant reason behind success in any business or skill.
ACTION TRUMPS EVERYTHING.
While almost everybody is looking for the next magic bullet, the next shiny object…the DOERS just keep on DOING.
If you do nothing else but focus EVERY DAY on getting something done to move your business forward, you wont be able to stop your eventual success.
The ability to JUST GET THINGS DONE supersedes intelligence, talent, and connections in determining the speed of advancement in anything.
Despite the simplicity of this concept there is a perpetual shortage of people who excel at putting ideas into action RIGHT NOW.
Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect for you to take action, because they will never be. Something will always feel off, and your subconscious mind will always justify complacency. You must BEAT your subconscious into SUBMISSION.
Practice doing things rather than learning about them. Like this article…this article took me 25 minutes of thinking to even open up my laptop and begin writing. THAT IS TERRIBLE. I finally realized that I need to be WRITING SHIT rather than THINKING about doing it.
The longer an idea sits in your head without being acted upon, the weaker it becomes. After a few days, details will start to become hazy. After a week, it is forgotten completely, and will likely never be touched upon seriously again. If you would have taken action on that idea, it could have ballooned instantly, bringing you instant success, fame, riches, but you will never know now because you did not take any action. You will only have a memory of having a decent idea, rather than the ability to test, experiment, learn, and grow with that idea.
Ideas alone do not and can not bring success. Ideas are important, but they are only valuable after they have been implemented. One mediocre idea that’s been put into action is infinitely more valuable than a dozen brilliant ideas that you’re saving for “some other day” or the “right timing”. If you have an idea that you really believe in, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Unless you take action, your idea will remain WORTHLESS.
Once you are in action, implementing ideas, it is hard to stop. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, and you want to use that to your advantage. After you get the ball rolling, you’ll build confidence and things will continue to snowball and become easier and easier. Kill your fear by taking action and then build on that.
If you wait for inspiration to slap you into action, your work sessions will be few and far between. Instead of waiting, start your creative motor mechanically. If you need to write something, force yourself to sit down and write. Put pen to paper. Brainstorm. Doodle. By moving your hands you will magically stimulate the flow of ideas and begin find inspiration in yourself, where it truly exists.
Focus on what you can do in the present moment. Don’t worry about what you should have done last week or what you might be able to do tomorrow. If you speculate too much about the past or the future, you wont get anything done. Tomorrow or next week turns into never more often than not.
Get down to business immediately. When I opened my laptop to write this article, I went around and sat on Facebook for 15 minutes, went through some emails and RSS feeds, and checked my to-do lists (as if something changed). Why did I do this? What a complete and utter WASTE of my time. I should have been writing this article to bring value to you! These distractions will cost you serious time and money if you don’t learn to bypass them and get down to business immediately! By becoming someone who gets to the point you’ll be more productive and people will look to you as their leader.
It takes real courage to take action without instructions, permissions, or support. Perhaps that is why initiative is a rare quality that’s coveted by managers and executives everywhere. Seize the initiative. When you have a good idea, start implementing it without being told to. Once people see you are serious about getting things done, they will want to join in. The people at the top don’t have anybody telling them what to do. If you want to join them, you should get used to taking MASSIVE independent action, with absolutely no support (or often, negative support).
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Great things seldom happen on their own accord.
Force yourself into accountability. Set it up so you will look like a complete and utter FOOL if you do not succeed. Tell people that you are going to do something and it will be very difficult not to do it, as you will not want them to be disappointed in you, and you will not want to see your reputation damaged.
You can’t think yourself out of procrastination.
Over-thinking is quite a nifty trick that you can play on yourself. It tricks you into believing that you are on your way to solve your problem. It keeps you protected against the perceived dangers out there in the world like failure, rejection, and embarrassment by keeping your actions, and thus your exposure and risk, to a minimum. It feeds your ego and tells you that you know more than others, that you are a clever person that has things all figured out in your brilliant mind.
You must find a way to force yourself through the artificial barriers of procrastination and over-analysis before they eat away all of your potential. Sometimes your thoughts will be babbling about something you think is important, or your emotions will somehow hold you back. There is always something that will be holding you back internally. You must find a way to break past thing and ACTUALLY MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.
In most cases, what feels unbearable is suddenly fun and exciting when you begin doing it. Trust me, I did NOT want to write this article. I am currently on vacation in Italy getting ready to go on a cruise ship for the week! I wanted to sleep in, have a nice relaxing bath, maybe some food, and then head over to the port just outside of Rome – BUT I DIDNT! After 20 minutes of going back and fourth trying to convince myself I didn’t need to write that blog article, that I would do it first thing when I got on the cruise ship, that I would do it the next day, that I would think of awesome things to put into this article until I actually wrote it…I finally just told myself to shut up and whipped out my laptop and started. Now, 1,300 words in, I feel the exact opposite! I am upset that I will have to wrap this up at some point now!
You are not your thoughts, and it is very important to understand that. You are the one observing your thoughts, the thoughts themselves are merely something that moves through your mind. It is not you. When this close identification with your thoughts starts to break down and you realize that they are often just ramblings that spin around endlessly, it becomes much easier to identify yourself with your actions. It is also very liberating to realize that you don’t have to obey or act in accordance with your endless thought loops or emotions.
Take control of your thoughts and emotions, before they take control of you.
Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the StartupBros About Page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!