Take Action on
By Peter Aursnes
Chances are you’ve read countless books and articles on how
to improve yourself, professionally and personally. You may have
even attended a self-improvement or business enhancement workshop or
two. But if you’re like the majority of people, despite all this
knowledge, your professional and personal life has not changed at
all. What went wrong?
As with all things in your life, you have a choice to make.
In this case your choice is clear: Are you going to apply what
you’ve learned in pursuit of a better life or business, or are you
going to file this knowledge away and stay in your comfort zone?
Realize that action is the key to making positive changes in
your life. Without action, knowledge is lost. Inaction will not
result in fulfillment. There is only one thing standing in the way
of achieving all that’s possible: You! If you make the conscious
choice to sit back and watch the world go by without ever making an
attempt at achieving your goals, you will experience profound regret
in your life.
Unfortunately, many people remain idle in the face of
challenges and make the decision to stay put in a life of
discontent—to remain in a job that brings them no satisfaction and
to remain in a world of unhappiness. These people take a passive
approach to life. When opportunities present themselves, these
people don’t act. They’re not prepared. It’s one thing to know what
to do; it’s something entirely different to put that information to
good use and turn knowledge into action. If you don’t take the
necessary action, you will be left watching opportunity after
opportunity pass you by, wondering what might have been.
If you’re ready to take action and make some serious changes
in your life, keep the following four points in mind.
Don’t let fear hold you back: You cannot let the fear of the
unknown or the fear of failure prevent you from taking the necessary
action to succeed. You must stick with your vision even when times
get tough. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich (Hill
1987), put it beautifully. “There is no substitute for persistence!
It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! … Those who have
cultivated the habit of persistence seem to enjoy insurance against
failure. No matter how many times they are defeated, they finally
arrive near the top of the ladder.”
So do not go on believing that the path to success will be
without obstacles and challenges. You will certainly have tough
times. But don’t let any misconceptions lull you into inaction and
eat away at your dreams. Know that all great accomplishments come
despite hardship, not in its absence. You have to be aware and
prepared, and you must match your vision with action.
The regret of never
trying to make the most of your potential will far outweigh any
bumps you will encounter along the way. There really is no limit to
what you can do with your life. It is sometimes hard to imagine what
you will not get out of life if you do not take action. That
is a difficult concept for people to get their head around.
However, when faced with the idea of finally taking action, many
people quickly create a long list of what could wrong and why they
should stay in their comfort zone. In fact, most people would
never run out of reasons when asked to point out all of the reasons
why they shouldn’t try to do something. Yet, the moment you
ask them to create a vision for what they want out of life, they
suddenly lose their creative prowess.
When it comes to their approach to life, too many people
don’t think about what they are losing, because they never had it.
This is a flawed way of thinking. You can be whatever you want to
be. It is never too late or too early. And make no mistake, by
choosing to sit idly by without taking responsibility for what
happens in your life, you are giving up a tremendous amount. Just
because you might not be able to touch it yet doesn’t make it any
Look at your life in totality: If you are looking for
professional and personal fulfillment, you have to look at the whole
picture, your daily life in totality. You will be unable to block
off ten hours of your day for work and then expect to live the rest
of each day in happiness, forgetting about work completely. Work is
a part of life; therefore, to live a true life of fulfillment, you
must make work part of the total equation. This does not mean you
can’t lead a happy life if your job isn’t ideal. It simply means
that you can absolutely make your job part of the larger vision for
your life where work is exciting and anticipated instead of
unfulfilling and dreaded.
So make the time to learn about yourself. Find your purpose.
Put in the effort to create a specific vision. Develop the goals and
the plan that will turn that vision into your reality. And most of
all, take action. Don’t stop with a dream. Take the action that will
truly define who you are. Separate yourself from those that only
talk about things. You are unique, and you have unlimited potential.
These gifts can only be offered to the world if you take action. You
were meant to express yourself and contribute your talents. You will
make yourself happy, and this will undoubtedly be radiated to those
Incorporate more meaning into your life: Everyone has moments
of happiness that they experience. When you can add that extra
element of meaning, you will take yourself to a higher level
altogether. Think about your job. Have you ever found yourself
asking, “Why am I doing this?” Well, if you are not really very
interested in what you are doing, you will not truly care about your
job, and it will show. But how do you behave when you are excited
about something or truly care about the result? Do you act
differently? You bet you do. You don’t even think about the time or
effort you put into reaching your goal. You just do it. Period. No
Let’s say you are into woodworking. Is it a chore for you to
build an addition to the back deck? Of course not. Why not? Because
you love doing it. You are excited about planning it, getting the
materials, and hey, you might even need to go to the hardware store
and buy a new tool! These are not inconveniences; they are
requirements, and you don’t mind a bit. Now what if you were then
asked to build an addition to a wildlife rehabilitation clinic and
you happened to have a passion for working with animals. Now you are
talking about real fulfillment. The feeling associated with such a
scenario is what you give up when you settle for a life of the
Take Action Today:
discover your purpose, create a vision, and set your goals, but if
it is not followed up by action, it is meaningless. Action is the
critical component that leads you to a fulfilling life. As obvious
as it might seem, taking action is the part of the equation that is
most often overlooked. Nobody is going to do this for you.
There are three reasons why you need to picture the life of
your dreams. One is to help clarify what it is you really want, two
is to create your destination and the road map in getting there, and
three is to make you realize just what you are giving up in choosing
not to take action. This does not mean that the life you are
currently living is any less valid than the life of anyone else. It
simply means that you have the capability to make changes and create
a life for yourself that is in keeping with your purpose.
Remember the words of Earl Nightingale, “Success is the
progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” This is an ongoing
process. It will take effort. Taking action is hard work, but it can
be fun too. That is why it is so important to be involved in
something that you believe in. Because if you feel as though you are
working hard out of sheer necessity, and not by choice, you will
understandably feel discouraged.
So make the decision to act. You will be glad you did.
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