We live in a stressful, busy time where it is easy to put things off; important things that would make our life better, help our families to thrive and create a better world.
There are so many distractions and opportunities to waste time. A certain amount of those distractions, like our phones or TV are OK tools (to a degree) to de-stress after a long day.
There is a famous quote from a Spartan king in pursuit of his enemy who says, “Don’t tell me how many of the enemy there are, tell me where they are.” In other words, he only wanted the information that would help propel his troops into action. He didn’t want information that would create pause, more planning and thinking. That thinking would make him lose the initiative and possibly lose the battle.
We can change the trajectory of our lives by acting. The results of that action can be dramatic and long lasting. I read an article about a man in California; bearded, overweight and inactive. One evening he was watching TV and a sports reporter was interviewing the then Seattle Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch, famous for having little to say responded with: “I’m all about the action, boss.”
For reasons, unknown those words electrified the man. He was inspired to act and the next day purchased running shoes and began to exercise daily. He kept it up, extending the distances he ran, changing his eating habits and over time transformed himself into a trim, muscular athlete.
Since then I have wondered what would I need to hear to inspire me to act. For me to move ahead with my long-stalled plans to write a book or finish a new mantle over the fireplace and a myriad of other projects, big and small. Whatever it is that would move me out of my lethargy and take the actions that would change my life.
Often the greatest barriers to taking action is to stop and over think the decision to act. When thought, evaluation and judgement enter the picture we are stopping ourselves dead in our tracks; momentum flags, time passes and things remain unchanged. We have not acted.
In this moment go ahead and think. Think about the areas of your life that you desire to change, or try something new, etc. It may be regarding eating, exercise, relationships, finances or executing a will. It could be quite a long list.
After you have your list look at it carefully and decide what is your highest priority.
Put that top priority into your day planner or phone or even better yet pick up the phone and act on it right now. I assure you that you will feel better having taken an action step. And keep it going! Don’t let other obligations, or events stop you. Become unstoppable!
Take the next step, and the step after that until you have accomplished your goals. One at a time, one day at a time.
And in truth, success leads to more success. If you act and move something that has stymied you, you will have the confidence to take another action step. In that way, you will move from a passive life to one where you have had the experience of acting and feel the satisfaction of accomplishing your goals. You will thank yourself every day