Just Take Action!

                                                  Photo by  Mikael Kristenson  on  Unsplash

                                                 Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

Ideas And Questions To Help You Take Action

When you say you’re going to do something, how long does it actually take you to do it?

I had a colleague a few years ago who said he was going to quit his job. At first, we took him seriously. A week later, he was still there. The next problem happened, and he said that this time, for sure, he was going to quit.

Ultimately, it took him two years after saying it first.

I understand it’s not always easy. It’s not black and white. But I can’t help but wonder why it took so long after mentioning it, and how emotionally stable he was during this whole time.

He was one of the smartest guys I knew, so it’s not like he couldn’t find another job if he quit.

How long does it take for you to take action?

I was talking to my mentee the other day about something I wanted to do/try. I scheduled a small block of time to experiment with the idea, and the next day I had done it.

He was amazed at how fast I executed on it. It’s a pattern he noticed in me: I act fast. I didn’t notice that until he mentioned it.

With that same company I mentioned above, when I said I wanted to quit, I did it the next week. I didn’t quit because I didn’t like it, I quit because I wasn’t learning as much anymore, and found something else that gave me that opportunity.

Impulsiveness

I bet that’s the first word that came to mind to you as you read that. Danny is just an impulsive guy. I like to think that it’s not the case. I very much follow this principle:

“Think things through then follow through” — Eddie Rickenbacker

For the thing I wanted to try that I had discussed with my mentee, I saw that I had a block of two hours to spare the next day. I spent half of it researching approaches on how to do it, and the other half implementing it. Or trying at least.

And that’s the key here: trying.

Experiment

The moment you realize that life is just a series of experiments, you’ll see that taking action isn’t that hard anymore.

Ask yourself this:

  • What’s the worst that can happen if you take action?
  • What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t take action?

A lot of times you’ll have fears. Some fears are legit, but here’s one I don’t believe in: fear of failing.

Failure

If you find yourself fearing failure, you’ve got this all wrong. There is no “failure”. Failure is the result of an experiment. It’s a learning experience. If anything, failure is the desired outcome many times.

Try things, fail fast, learn from it, try better.

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison

That pushes me to action.

“Who Cares” Attitude

If me taking action does not affect anyone negatively and I’ve got the time to experiment, I don’t see the point of inaction.

Who cares if I fail? Who cares if choosing Action A ended up not being better than choosing Action B?

I’m not always going to take the best possible decisions. Even when I plan really well.

But is not taking any action at all the best way to go if it doesn’t impact others negatively and you’ve got time?

Conclusion

The important lesson here is to realize that the consequences to actions are not necessarily as dramatic as you think they are.

Think about Rickenbacker’s quote. If you thought things through and it was sound, just do it.

Think about Edison. Do you see him as a failure? I hope you don’t.

To make things easy, ask yourself this:

  • What’s the worst that can happen if you take action?
  • What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t take action?

Think deeply, objectively. Answer these questions honestly, without any thought that one is better than the other, you can judge after reflection.

  • What have you been procrastinating doing that you know you should act on?
  • What’s holding you back?
  • What are your fears?
  • If you don’t try, do you even have a chance to succeed?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/just-take-action-c223f2262957