People often say that our thoughts become things and that our mind is literally one of the most powerful tools and resources, which we have available. And once we understand how to access its power, it”s from that point on that we truly begin living.
Take a moment to think about that.
You’ve just got to look around you to see how so many of the things we take for granted, started from an idea. A thought. One that was born out of the mind of an individual or collective minds of a group, and realised through the actions taken to make it a reality. The device that you’re reading this post on, the social media tools and applications you use on a daily basis, and the clothes you enjoy wearing inside your wardrobe.
What I’ve learnt over the years, is that while thinking (and thinking BIG!) is great and the starting point of all success, nothing is learnt or experienced until massive action is taken. Taking action can be incredibly rewarding as it allows us to begin a journey of self-discovery and learning – something which simply can’t be taught in a formal classroom.
A baby for example, doesn’t learn from a guide how to walk, but by doing: from standing up and falling down continuously, to finally walking on its own. In fact, it takes most babies around a 1,000 hours of practice from the moment it can stand to walking unassisted.
As we ‘grow up’ however, we tend to come up with reasons pretty quickly as to why we can’t do something rather than focusing on what we can do. Maybe it’s the fear of stepping out of our comfort zone and into unknown territory? Or that we’ve developed such strong beliefs about what we can and can’t do as a result of what society tells us?
But unless you’re ready to get comfortable with the discomfort of the unknown and stop living someone else’s life, you won’t begin to realise what you’re capable of.
If I didn’t take action on my thoughts of becoming a qualified coach, I would not have signed up with The Coaching Academy and met some of the most awesomely inspirational individuals. If I didn’t take action to land my first job in the City despite having to resit my second year of university, I would’ve accepted the belief that it was because my grades were simply not good enough. And if I didn’t take action in making this site a reality, you wouldn’t be reading this today!
When you look at some of the most successful figures in our society, you’ll notice that massive action has always been accompanied by an unshakeable belief that their ideal outcome was possible (note: not certain or guaranteed, but possible).
Take Sir Richard Branson for example. Can you imagine what his shareholders and engineers were thinking when he told them that Virgin would be the first private company to offer space tourism?! Fast forward nearly nine years later into 2013, and by the end of this year, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo will be taking its first passengers into space.
So many businesses, individuals and governments expect spectacular results from very little belief in the outcome, that the actions undertaken are tiny. Logic dictates that if you put in half the effort, you should only expect to reap half the rewards.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
With this in mind, there are a couple things you can use to help you focus on relentlessly reducing the time between having a great thought and putting it into action:
- Reframe limiting beliefs into the positive. We have around 60,000 thoughts a day, many of which come and go so quickly that we’re not aware of them. And how many of these prevent us from fulfilling our potential? This is something only you can answer. Some of you may say “I’m too old to …” but how about telling yourself that “There’s no better time than now?” Or if you’re thinking, “I hate my job. I’m just not happy these days,” how about telling yourself “I’m responsible for exactly where I am today as the result of my thoughts. I therefore have the power to change my situation for the better.”
- Have action points written down that are visible. Begin each week by writing down 3-5 actions that you will take over the next seven days (e.g. sending out those emails you said you were going to do weeks ago). It’s important for them to be both achievable and a contributing factor in moving you forward. I’ve a whiteboard on the front of my fridge, so what I like to do every Sunday evening is to take a black marker, and do this exact activity to kick off the new week. And given its location, what’s written down remains visible at all times!
- Be a Possibilitarian. Nice new word for you right here! This word describes someone who looks for the possibilities in everything, no matter how difficult things seem or actually are.
- Remember past successes. Reflecting back on your previous achievements will help remind you of the resources you have within you to overcome any obstacles and challenges you may face, and to begin putting your thoughts into action. Be bold. As Jim Rohn states: “The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.”
Have you followed through with the things you said you were going to do, weeks or even months ago? How long will you wait until something you “should” do become something you “must” do? What is stopping you?
There’s no better time than today to start. If you’re someone who’s waiting for the time to be just right before you begin anything, guess what? You’ll be waiting a very long time! Reduce the list of things you’re putting off until later, because later often becomes never.
I’d love to hear how you get along with some of the above or how you motivate yourself towards taking action. Drop your comments in the box below and I look forward to connecting with you!
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