Your inability to take action.
There, I said it.
One of your goals for a number of years now has been to learn a skill — walking on stilts to use a poor example.
That clown you saw at the fair looked so ridiculously elegant doing it you thought to yourself you’d like to be able to do it too.
So you put ‘learn stilt walking’ on your ‘to-do list’ and tell yourself you’ll get down to it ‘some day’. That day almost inevitably never comes.
Does the above sound familiar and apply to your own life? If so, you have a chronic inability to take action. You know what? So do I, and I’m calling myself out on it.
What is action?
Taking action is a term that could mean different things to different people. We are all unique after all.
Let’s just be clear though, certain actions do not by themselves lead to the outcomes that you are striving to achieve, even though you may think you’ve taken a big step with those very actions.
For one, responding to calls to action at the end of Medium posts don’t quite count.
Let me explain why.
Such calls to action usually implore you to subscribe to a regular series of posts on your topic of interest, written by an influencer you follow.
You click through, subscribe and may even get a free e-book on stilt-walking techniques out of it, telling yourself that once you read the e-book and all the regular posts, you’re well on your way to being able to stilt-walk.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You may have actioned upon something (responding to a call to action), but it didn’t bring you one step closer to actually walking on stilts because you’ve only read about it.
What then, is the real action you need to take?
In this case, it could be a combination of going out there to buy some stilts, sign up for a stilt-walking course and actually attending it, or learning to walk with your newly purchased $10,000 diamond studded stilts while watching a YouTube instructional video.
For action does not lie in the mind, it manifests itself physically.
It’s not what you know, it’s what you DO with what you know.
As I type this, I’m sitting in the middle of a convention hall in Singapore as a participant in this year’s National Achievers Congress, where speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk and Chatri Sityodtong will be taking the stage.
I am joined by my assistant and before the event, I told him that it won’t matter how much inspiration or motivation we get out of these two days if both of us don’t take the additional step of converting motivation and the knowledge we’ve learnt into concrete action.
No amount of learning about 5-step systems, 4 or 7 key factors to success is going to make a difference in our lives unless we apply what we’ve actually learnt in some way or another.
Speakers who have already taken to the stage have mentioned as much.
99% of the people who harbour ambitions of becoming successful never actually do. What do the other 1% do?
They take meaningful action.
They also do so on a consistent basis, but that’s a topic that I’ll reserve for another day.
One of the speakers here, Rajiv Talreja, author of ‘Lead or Bleed’ put it best.
‘Change Requires Action’.
If you want a better life for you and your family, the easiest and sometimes the most difficult thing you can do is to take action.
Not just any superficial action.
It has to be meaningful enough and put you firmly on the path to achieving your goals.