If you find yourself talking again about that thing that you are going to do, then you may be selling yourself and others on a dream, but you are not for real. Ultimately, you either do a thing or do not.
Taking action is what matters.
I am finding that this one trait separates people in the connected economy more than any other quality.
We have plenty of pundits that put ideas out there, but people that take action precisely and quickly are a rarity.
I am not sure why that is, necessarily. Some people get away with fooling themselves long enough and believe that their dreams are for real. They live in their imaginations rather than reality.
Others are just lazy and have a hard time getting to work. Sure, attach an excuse to it, but ultimately, it is a form of laziness. Just compare their words with their actions.
Talking about doing something repeatedly without action only discredits you over time. It’s a dangerous reputation to have if you want to be hired, called or depended upon.
Now, if you want to differentiate yourself, then set yourself up to move to action quickly. You don’t need a long drawn-out process. You have to shift to a mindset and systems that allow you to create movement with expedience. Here’s how:
1. Be An Idea Translator
It’s great to dream big and have ideas. This is important to expand a vision or look at possibilities beyond the immediate short-term limitations. However, as you dialogue with people, you must be able to get concrete quickly and turn ideas into actions.
This means asking the simple question of, “What is the next step?” This helps you get specific and tangible.
Write it down and ensure that you take full responsibility for the next step. Ownership is critical.
2. Put a Deadline On It
You will know if you are for real if you put a deadline on what you have to do and tell someone who will keep you accountable. The shame factor is highly motivating. Your reputation is on the line, and you can use the pressure to get to action.
When is a powerful question. Don’t overlook it. If you want to be a person of action, then use this question with yourself and others frequently. It takes the dream out of the clouds and makes it happen.
3. Get Real
If you keep talking about something …
… meeting new people
… leaving your crummy job
… losing weight
— getting out of a hurtful relationship
and you have not done something about it, then you are not for real. That’s not ok. It’s self-delusion.
The key thing is to name it and admit it. Just tell yourself you are not for real.
You then have two choices. You can stop talking about your dream.
Or you can start getting real with yourself. Take the next step. It’s pretty simple, but likely hard.
I think that a lot of people don’t move to action because they are either disorganized or unclear. When you are disorganized, then your life is set up where you are not able to take action. Maybe this is a great smokescreen to hide behind. But, it’s not going to help you in the long run to make things truly happen.
If you are unclear, then learn to make decisions and get clear. Otherwise, your broken process will drag things out, and you lose momentum.
It’s ok to get stuck. The question comes down to whether you are real enough with yourself to change how you are set up in your environment and in your mind to move to action quickly. That is, if it is important to you.
The world is divided mercilessly between people of action and talkers. Which one are you?