Back to Basics – Taking Action

Put your money where your mouth is.

Actions speak louder than words.

Put up or shut up.

The Choice is Yours

Your actions are yours to own.  No matter what circumstance you are in, the actions you take are a choice.  If you have big dreams but aren’t taking action to reach them, you will go nowhere.  It is blunt but true.  The key isn’t perfection or luck.  The key to what you want is the constant pursuit of it.

I am going to share an overall plan and add my own experience.  As with everything else, your mileage will vary.  At the bottom of this post, I will be sharing some books that go into much more depth.  The ideas below are meant to be basic principles you can follow and adapt to your own situation.

  • Begin by defining your goal, being as specific as you can.  Personally, my goal is independence.  I want the freedom to work from anywhere in the world and schedule life around ambitions rather than workplace hours.  By defining a goal, I have something to pursue and can begin taking actions towards it.
  • Identify an action to take.  One action I am taking is writing a blog.  Is it perfect?  Hell Naw!  Most weeks, I am still finalizing and changing the topics and structure the night before.  Despite being imperfect this blog is helping me move towards my goal.  
  • Look at your results.  This is the step I am currently on with my blog.  A couple weeks ago, I made an introductory post announcing this series.  As I put in more time and read prior posts, I am realizing that I need to make some changes in the future.  I am not satisfied with its current position.
  • Try out new ideas.  As stated before, I believe this blog “series” is too disorganized to be a true series.  Rather than getting discouraged by this, I am encouraged.  Instead of deciding to cancel it, I will finish it and try different formats afterward.

My experience is not unique.  Every individual who takes action experiences success and failure.  We learn what works, and more importantly what doesn’t.  Even individuals at the highest level of success struggle.  The difference is they are usually dedicated to taking constant action.  There is no reason we can’t reach the same level of success as our role models.

Words of Caution

As you start taking action and begin your journey to your goal, you will meet resistance.  This resistance appears quicker than you think.  It won’t be six months down the road, it will be within days of others learning about your actions and goals.  

Don’t ever let someone else’s doubt affect your decisions.  When you come across an individual that only wants to question your motives and talk about everything that could go wrong, there is no point in trying to change their mind.  Inactivity is the wrong decision.  Don’t worry about what could go wrong.  If we aren’t taking regular action, things are already going wrong.

Let your success speak for itself.  Once you start taking action, one of two things will happen.  Either they will shut up or they will go “hey… remember that thing I thought you were crazy about?  Well it seems to be working for you…” and begin to go for their dreams.

Only by taking action can we reach a destination.  Decide where you want to go, pick something that will help you get there you there and start.  Every obstacle you come across is nothing more than a detour.  Be relentless in taking action.

“Being relentless means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you, knowing that each time you stop, you can still do more.  You must do more.”

-Tim Grover, from his book Relentless

Book Recommendations

All the links provided are Amazon links.  I receive a small commission on any sales.  The price remains the same whether you purchase here or elsewhere.

The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller

Keller introduces “the focusing question.”  It is about deciding on what action to take based on your goal.  I highly recommend this book to every single person.

“What’s the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

The Now Habit, by Neil Fiore

This book helps you overcome procrastination.  It addresses the reasons we procrastinate and how to stop it.  He backs up his ideas with a lot of studies and surveys.  Recommended if you struggle with procrastination

Deep Work, by Cal Newport

Newport goes in depth on his theory of deep work and how it leads to better results in your professional life.  The examples he uses to demonstrate deep work are incredibly powerful.  I have read two books by this author and can’t recommend his work enough.

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