“How much is an idea worth, by itself?” the professor asked. Quiet quilted the room. The workshop had generated many questions and answers, but for now there was only silence. The professor swept the room with his eyes.
“By itself, an idea is worthless,” he finally volunteered, and went on to explain that unless coupled with action, ideas didn’t grow bigger than the brain cells that hatched them. “Successful people understand it — the most observable and consistent behavior in successful people are not ideas, but action”, he concluded.
The professor was right. Most ideas never make it simply because they are not acted upon, and then forgotten. While ideas are important, the most powerful way we have to shape our lives and destinies is action. Taking action doesn’t always bring the desired outcome, but without it there can be no lasting results or happiness. Action is also a great anti-depressant. Fill your moments with action, and there will be little time left for worry. Once begun, action creates its own dynamic and often baffles expectations — including your own. Action creates momentum and you end up doing more than originally planned. The universe rewards action and when you get to work, so does the universe. Free yourself through action, rather than thought, and you might find it awakens the giant within you and liberates powers that had been dormant. Action sometimes only comes at the price of overcoming doubts and fears. If you have many great ideas, but few tangible results to show for it, maybe you just need more of an action orientation.
How to Build Action-Orientation
1. Do not think too much before you act. Put your goal in your mind foremost, and then act. Correct your actions as you go along, not before you start.
2. Begin whatever it is, now. Start with anything; don’t think of big or small, think only of action. Give yourself permission to do only just one small part of the idea.
3. If there is still no action, you have not really decided. Go back to the beginning —your idea — and decide whether you believe in it and are willing to do whatever it takes. “If you knew there was gold in it, would you keep digging?” If you don’t believe there’s gold in your idea, chances are you won’t dig very deep.
4. Do something every single day that moves you toward your goal. This is very important. An average plan consistently executed works better than a brilliant plan executed occasionally.
5. To know where to start, picture yourself at the beginning of a long trip across the country. The pursuit of an idea is much the same. First choose your destination (your goal). Next, know your starting point. Then get the equivalent of a road map to determine the very best way to get from here to there. Each day before you start out, locate yourself on the map relative to where you are and to where you plan to go.
6. Share your idea with three to five people. Does it touch, move and inspire others and specially yourself, when you read it aloud? If not, revise. You might find that you have a weak objective or strategy. (When I was in high school I made a decision to become a champion athlete. I realized that for this to happen I would need to train every single day, and not just once. I understood that I didn’t really want to be a champion athlete. Then I decided to travel the world for a year. I realized it would require major sacrifices, not briefly but for a long time. When I shared my idea with others, few people supported me. At times I felt like I was all alone, but I didn’t care. I REALLY wanted to go for it, and so I did ? and ended up traveling the world for eighteen months, 50 percent more than originally planned). When you know what’s truly important to you, take immediate action and never stop moving toward your goal.
7. Surround yourself with a group of people oriented toward action and success. We tend to be the average of the five people we spend most of our time with, and with the support of like-minded folks you'll get where you want to go much faster than ever before.
Beat “B@Coach” Schindler—originally from Switzerland, now based in Alpharetta, Georgia—is your guide to all things marketing, copy writing and self-development. B@Coaching empowers people to follow their bliss and build on their strengths. Meet him at Facebook http://profile.to/beatschindler/, Twitter http://twitter.com/BeatCoach or at www.be-at-coach.com.
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