November 16th, 2010
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” TS Elliot.
I recently moved forward on sending a query letter out to literary agents for my book idea…before I had the proposal completely finished. I got some response and then had to scramble to get the proposal completed. Although the agent I so wanted to work with was not interested in pursuing the project, I received some hugely valuable advice that will help me to more forward and create a much better and more marketable book. At first I was critical of my approach and second guessing why I sent out the query before I really had the proposal nailed. But I honestly believe it is all part of the process. By moving forward and taking action, even when I was not quite ready, I received valuable insight that in the end will help me create an exceptional book that will impact many more people.
I find sometimes we are afraid to act, afraid to move forward and really take something to the next level. We always tell ourselves we are waiting for everything to be perfect before we act. Well sometimes we can end up waiting forever and never really pursuing our dreams. Why do we keep telling ourselves we will do it later? Why don’t we take action now?
To climb over the obstacles that block our progress in life we have to first understand what they are. The most common is fear. And of all the fears the fear of failure or of looking stupid is high up on the list. Another obstacle is a perceived lack of time. Note how I wrote perceived, because when you think about it we all have all the time there is 24 golden hours in a day. Some people accomplish great things with their time and others sit around complaining about how they don’t have enough time. The other hurdle is the “if onlys” if only I had better qualifications, more money, more experience, more connections etc, etc…
The first obstacle fear can be addressed by getting the facts about a situation. This fact finding often reveals that the fears were not warranted. The fear of being unpopular can be so strong that it prevents people from truly reaching their potential. Don’t stay in the shadows worrying about what someone might think of you. Follow your dreams.
The obstacle of time can be addressed by critically looking at how much time we waste watching TV or updating facebook. If you have a dream of getting in shape or writing a book, schedule time for it and do it consistently.
Any time you use the phrase “if only” you are robbing yourself of the power to change your destiny and your life. Sometimes to be successful you have to pursue things before you are really ready and learn as you go.
I think it’s important to take the initiative to take action, don’t wait for everything to be perfect, momentum can often be your friend. A lot of the greatest business people in the world wait until they know about 80% of the important information and then they will act. I think if you’re waiting to be absolutely 100% sure, you’ll never do anything.
Norman Vicent Peel said that, “Action is the great restorer and builder of confidence and inaction is not only the result but the cause of fear”. Benjamin Franklin who constantly reviewed his virtues said, “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as we do at conclusions.” And I love this Chinese proverb that says, “He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.”
It’s interesting, a great idea and a couple of bucks will get you a Starbucks coffee but unless you actually take action on a great idea, it will never amount to anything. Whatever great ideas you have and really want to pursue, just do something to move it forward. If you have a goal or a decision that you’ve made, the decision is not really established until you take action on it.
If you do something immediately it proves that you’re serious about your decision. Say you feel like you’re a little bit overweight and you make a decision to lose a couple of lbs, do something immediately whether it’s contacting Weight Watchers, writing down what you eat, or signing up for a fitness program. It could even be going to the cupboard and pulling out all the chocolate cookies and triumphantly flushing them down the toilet, whatever it is, do something to take action immediately to make a difference. Ideas are worthless, intentions have no power, and plans are nothing unless they are followed with actions, so do it now. Take action.
What ideas and intentions do you have that you haven’t acted on yet?
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