I am not going to put quotes around that “quote” because I just thought of it, but it does illustrate the point that in order to accomplish anything of substance, you need to act upon what you learn.
That being said, action does include learning. To a certain extent, great action cannot be achieved without a knowledge base. The danger (and what this post is going to help you avoid!) is remaining in the realm of learning and succumbing to what is known as paralysis by analysis.
Even the worst writer is more successful at writing books than a brilliant man who never bothers to put words to a page.
The fact of the matter is, change doesn’t occur unless we put forth a consistent and practiced effort. Gardener’s don’t cultivate crops by reading about how to cultivate crops. Astronauts would be fired if they never intended to actually venture out into space, and your spouse might not remain your spouse if you keep telling them you will take out the trash but never actually take out the trash!
The dictionary definition of action is as follows:
“The fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.”
Let’s add to that a little bit by defining what positive action is: Doing something that brings about positive change for yourself and for others.
Throughout this post when I refer to action I will be referring to positive action. The idea isn’t to take action and quit your job, only to cause your family to suffer the consequences. It doesn’t mean never picking up a book again and sitting in front of the TV instead.
Positive action simply means using your existing knowledge base and aligning that with your goals to bring about change. It means getting your hands dirty, your fingers pained (from typing a book!?) or your muscles tired from preparing for a 5k.
Begin to lay the brick foundation of your future not by theorizing about how to build a brick house, but by going out there and laying brick.
So folks, let’s call it what it is.
Action is difficult! Gasp!
Stay with me.
It isn’t easy to take positive action to reach your goals. It’s so much easier to remain in the netherworld of relative safety. Fear is the number one derailer of successful positive action but it’s something many struggle with.
The good news is you are not alone. Even just starting this post I was struggling to take action by sitting down and typing it out. I kept saying to myself “okay Jordan, just sit down and start typing! Just let the words flow, it doesn’t even matter what comes out on the screen, just do it!”
Is it ironic that I struggled to complete a post about action? well, YES of course.
But the fact of the matter is that the struggle to take positive action is real.
I also know that the feeling of accomplishment of reaching a long term goal is phenomenal. When I finally published my first book out to the world the feeling was exhilarating. When my wife and I moved down south to get away from the cold it felt incredible. When I lost over 50 pounds after college I may have saved my life.
Positive action is hard, but doing it consistently will mean reaching your goals, finding bliss, and ultimately reaching your true potential.
There will be difficulties along the way, but you must remain vigilant in order to take action.
Taking positive action means having the courage to act when others might not. Having the strength and the presence of mind to see into the future and to work hard now to realize your dream.
Finding success is not easy, but with today’s technology and the ability to self-publish books, discover new cultures, and become just about anything you put your mind too, the excuses are dwindling. There is no one person nor no one thing that stands between you and your potential for greatness.
The map has been laid out before you, but it is your feet that will carry you up and over the mountain.
Why not start moving today?
The last thing I want you to do is read this post and go “man, that Jordan really knows his stuff. He is so cool and he writes so well. I never could be like that.”
Well the first thing I would say to your thinking is that I am really not all that cool. I struggle every day with taking action and writing my first book was a major struggle.
However, I finished.
Now let me show you how you can start reaching your potential:
Action Step #1
Now that you have a firm grasp of what I mean by “taking action” (again, taking positive action to bring about true change) brainstorm some ideas of what this might mean for your life.
What could you accomplish in your personal life if you just started to take action?
What might “taking positive action” mean for your relationships?
What goals do you have that you can begin working towards right now?
Do you need to take a step back and figure out what your goals are? (Hint, this is a fantastic place to start! I recommend reading Level Up Your Life by Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness for an eye opener into what your life could become if you start making and reaching goals. My wife and I are currently “leveling up” and we are immensely enjoying the process.)
I can’t answer these questions for you. Only you can decide how to apply “action taking” to your own life.
So stop reading, take a little action, and come back when you are done. Sound good?