Taking action is one of the most important factors that will determine your success. Regardless of what you want in your life, whether you want to get rich, build a multi-million dollar business, travel the world, or own a luxury house, you need to take action. Taking action is the only thing that will connect you to your results, period.
Unfortunately, most people do not take action. They dream about what they want and they talk about their goals, but at the end of the day, if they did not put in the work and pour in the effort, their dreams and their goals will never come true. Nothing will come to you automatically. It is not like money is going to fall from the sky or you wake up the next day and find that you have your dream car sitting in your garage.
Things are not going to happen out of a sudden. And when it comes to getting the results you desire, the law of cause and effect is as real as the law of gravity. The law of cause and effect says that everything happens for a reason. If you want to win the lottery, you must take action to buy the tickets. If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you must take action to build the business you want. If you want to own the sports car you have been thinking about for the last five years, you must think of a way to own it and take action on your plan.
How Steve Jobs Took Action and Started His Career
In 1985, Playboy interviewed Steve Jobs on how he started his career and managed to land a job in HP. Everyone knows that Jobs has an intense passion for technology and design. And so at the age of 12, Jobs was curious and wanted to build a frequency counter, but he did not have the parts. What happened was that he somehow got the idea that someone in the industry may have the parts that he desired.
What happened next was that Jobs thought Bill Hewlett might be able to help him on getting the parts. What he did was that he checked out the telephone book for Bill’s number, and then called that number. To Jobs’ surprised, Bill answered the phone and then the young Steve Jobs talked to Bill and requested the parts from him. After about 20 minutes of chatting, Hewlett agreed to give Jobs the parts, and he also offered him a summer job at HP, for assembling the frequency counters.
This is how Steve Jobs got into HP, kick-started his career, learn about computers, and the rest became history.
The 12 years old Jobs might not know what is happening back then, all he knew was that he wanted the parts to build the frequency counter. And like all other successful people around the world, they are fearless in taking action.
The “Ready, Fire, and Aim” Principle
You do not have to wait for the perfect timing to take action. Most people are trying to learn and plan as much before they take action. So much so that they are paralyzed by information overload and never do anything.
Adopt the “Ready, fire, and aim” principle rather than the old “Ready, aim, and fire” method. Take the gun and make the shot, and then see where the bullet landed. If the bullet is five inches below your target, aim a little higher and take the shot again. This is how you learn. You improve through actions and you learn through the progress.
If you wait until you are perfect to start, you will never get started because by the time everything is ready, new things will be introduced by other people and yours will be outdated. This is especially true in the business world.
While this is not to say that you should not spend time on learning, improving and planning for what you want, action should come first. Learning and planning have their own time, but what is more important is to take action. Richard Branson says it well, he said, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
You can always allocate time for learning and planning, however, please understand that too much of planning and learning will cause information overload and you will feel reluctant to take action. Instead, take action first, and then you learn and improve along the way.
Stop Daydreaming and Start Taking Action
Yes, you should stop dreaming so much and take action instead. The majority of people are not successful because they only dream about what they want, but they are not doing anything about it. Always remember this quote, “You are what you do, not what you say you do.”
Anyone can tell you their grandest dreams or how big their goals are, but if they are not working on them, they will never achieve them. And the same goes for you. If you are not working on your dreams, you will never produce the results that you desire.
Chuck Wepner, the underdog did what no one thought he could do. On March 24, 1975, Wepner went 15 rounds with the world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali. According to report, in the ninth round, he managed to hit Ali’s chin and knocked him the champion down to the ground, shocked the audience and the world. However, Ali went on and won and retained the title at the end.
At this time, a struggling actor named Sylvester Stallone watched the fight on TV and was inspired by the match. After watching the fight, he got a pencil and began writing the entire night. Three days later, he completed the script for Rocky. With the manuscript, Stallone starred in his own movie, Rocky, which eventually won him three Oscars awards, and also launched him into his multi-million dollar acting career.
Little did Stallone knows that Rocky will shoot him to stardom and make him a successful actor in Hollywood. However, he took the action and did it anyway.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Some people are afraid to take action because they have no idea how to do something. They allow their lack of knowledge to stop them from moving forward. For example, if you want to build an e-commerce store but you have no idea how to do it, what should you do? Are you going to allow this to stop you?
If you are serious about achieving the things you want and live a successful life, you must be committed and be willing to do whatever it takes to realize your dreams. One very powerful technique you can use is to ask.
Most people are afraid to ask for answers, solutions, and feedback because they are afraid of being rejected. Now, there is really nothing to be afraid of. And you cannot improve your life, your relationships, your game, or your performance without getting feedback through asking.
The best-selling weight-loss book, Thin Thighs in 30 Days, was developed solely based on asking feedback. The author, Wendy Stehling worked in an advertising agency, but she hated her job and wanted to start her own agency. However, she did not have the capital to do and she knew she needed about $100,000 to get started. What she did was asking, “What’s the quickest way to earn $100,000?”
And the answer she got was, “sell a book”. And then she decided if she could write a book and sell 100,000 copies in 90 days, each earning her $1, she would have earned the $100,000 she needed. So what book she needed to sell? Weight loss books, the answer came. “Yes, but how would I distinguish myself as an expert?” she asked. And the answer she got was, “ask other women”.
Therefore, she hit the ground running and asked around in the marketplace, “If you could lose weight in only one part of your body, what part would you choose?” The overwhelming response from women was their thighs. Again, she asked them when they would like to lose the weight, and the answer came, “Around April or May, in time for swimsuit season”.
Wendy then went on to write the book called Thin Thighs in 30 Days and it was published in April. And by June, she achieved her target and had $100,000 in the bank. Wendy made her dream came true because she was willing to take action and ask for answers.
Procrastination is one of the main reasons people are not taking action. Whenever they do not feel like doing it, they procrastinate and delay doing the work. Hence, if you want to be unstoppable and to produce amazing results in your life, learn to overcome procrastination.
There are many factors why people procrastinate. One very powerful and effective technique to get rid of procrastination is to develop the habit of taking action. For instance, if you want to exercise each day but you always procrastinate on it, what you can do is to make it a habit. When an action becomes your habit, you will be able to do it without much resistance.
Everyone will have days that they do not feel like doing anything, including highly successful people. However, what makes successful people different from the ordinary people is that successful people choose to take action even when they do not feel like doing it. Perhaps, this quote sums it the best, “Success is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Therefore, learn to develop productive habits that will get you into action automatically. And the best way to do this is to start small. You want to develop the habit of getting started. Some actions are huge and they may require a lot of your energy and time to complete, hence, the best way to handle them is to focus on starting by doing one thing at a time.
For example, if you want to work out in the gym each day for an hour, what you need to do to develop the habit of getting started is to get changed. Yes, focus on changing your attire. The moment you change to your sports attire, you will build up the momentum and get to the gym without resistance.
Most people find it hard to hit the gym because they think too much even they act. They visualize themselves having to change their sports attire, drive to the gym, and work out for an hour, sweating, and then they have to drive back home and take bath. The process of thinking about doing all the things will make you feel exhausted.
Thus, skip all the thinking process and focus on the first thing you can do and begin right away, which is to change to your sports attire. Do this and repeat this process over and over until it becomes your habit and procrastination will never be an issue for you anymore.
Actions Connect Your Dreams and Your Reality
Now that you have learned why most people fail to take action and how you can overcome it. Finally, you have to understand that your action is the only key that connects your dreams and your reality. Whatever you want is outside of your comfort zone. You must be willing to sacrifice, take the necessary action, and venture out of your comfort zone to produce the results you want.
When you take action, everything will move. Whether you are taking the right action or the wrong one, you will be getting results. When you are not getting the result you desire, improve your strategy and do it again. And if you are getting the result you desire, congratulations, you are on your way to living the successful life you always dream about.
No matter what goals you are trying to accomplish or what dreams you want to realize, you must take action. What you think or what you know or what you believe is in the end of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what you do.