The other day I was having coffee with my esteemed co-author Ian, and we were talking about what each of us could do to help people become more effective. I flippantly said that one thing I do well is help people get in the right state of mind to take action. He pressed me to list some of the key principles of achievement. Inspired by the question, I rattled off seven steps that I use as a guide to help myself and others get things done. Here’s what they are:
1. Clearly identify your goal;
2. Learn the path others have taken to reach similar goals;
3. Do something!
4. Pay attention to your results
5. Multiply your successes
6. Modify or discard your failures
7. Do something else!
If you follow success systems at all, you’re going to hear a lot of echoes in my writing of the big players in success coaching, like Napoleon Hill, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, and others like them. That’s because over the past ten years, I’ve consumed massive amounts of their writings and teachings. I’ve compared what all the success leaders are saying with the wisdom of the ancient teachers of Asia and found that they have a LOT in common. If you can afford it, I encourage you to read the books written by these great motivators, listen to their speeches, and go to their seminars. If you can’t afford it, go anyway!
Here’s the Point
So, after that digression, let me get back to the one thing I really want to share with you today. I’m sure you’ve heard the old expression, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” If you study leadership at all, you’ve probably also heard of the book by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff called Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!: Ten Principles for Leading Meetings That Matter .
My suggestion to you is a little different. If you want to reach a goal, don’t just do something, DO SOMETHING! What I mean by that is that when you have a powerful idea, the most effective way to bring it into existence in the real world is to take action, take big action, and take it now!
Small Results Are Hard to Measure!
Small results are hard to measure. If you do something right, but it’s very, very small, you may need a microscope to figure out if it helped you get closer to your goal. But if you do something big, you’re going to know if it worked or not. And if it didn’t, you’ll be able to see what didn’t work about it.
Now, I’m not saying you should just willy nilly do something huge and crazy just to be doing something! You have to clearly identify your goal and learn what path will take you there. I’ll share a lot more about these two steps in the future. But the point I want you to take away from today is that if you’ve clearly identified your goal and figured out the major steps needed to get there, you can work out some major action to take to get you started. That’s the “something big” I encourage you to take on.
Ideas Have a Shelf Life
And, finally, do it now! Ideas have a shelf life. If you doubt me, go back and look at a newspaper or book from 30 years ago. It looks pretty quaint, doesn’t it? You don’t want your ideas to spoil because they’ve festered too long! Take the first opportunity to act, before doubts creep in, before technology leaves your idea behind, or before you get too caught up in your everyday life to work hard on the one thing that’s really important to you.
So … if you want to realize your dreams, don’t just do something, get out there and DO SOMETHING!