The third step to achieve success with any worthwhile goal you desire is taking action. It sounds simple to say that you need to take action to achieve your goals, but it is also a step that stops many people in their tracks. Many people have great ideas related to their goals but they don’t take action and their ideas slip away.
“Only action is action.”
– Brian Tracy
This is part of a four article series outlining the steps to achieve success with any worthwhile goal you desire.
If you’ve set a goal, written it down, and think about it regularly, ideas to achieve it will come in different forms of inspiration. Inspiration ignites ideas that will burn brightly for a short time and if you’re willing to embrace the ideas with action you can convert them into success. However, if you just allow yourself to be momentarily amused by the inspirational spark, these ideas will fade and disappear.
Once you’ve set a goal and begin receiving inspiration, you must start taking action. It doesn’t matter how big or small the action is. It only matters that you start and you continue. Success will follow.
There’s an old joke told about a spiritual man named Matt who found himself in dire financial need. When he was laid off his job, Matt prayed to God “Please let me win the lottery.” Several lottery drawings passed but he didn’t win. As he was about to lose his home, Matt again prayed “Please let me win the lottery.” Several more drawings passed but still no winnings. One more time he prayed, but this time he asked “God, why have you forsaken me? Why won’t you help me?” Suddenly the heavens opened up and he heard a voice boom down to him “Matt, meet me halfway. Buy a lottery ticket.”
I’m not suggesting you spend your money on lottery tickets, but I am strongly suggesting that you need to take action. You may find that even the smallest steps will catapult you closer to your dreams than you thought possible. Without action, your ideas may simply disappear into empty dreams.
Taking Action Regularly
“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
Whatever goal you pursue, it’s important to regularly take action toward that goal. You don’t have to put 100 percent of every waking moment on achieving a goal, but you do need to regularly spend time with any goal.
As an example, if you want to stay healthy, many experts recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. However, if you miss a month of exercising, you can’t go to the gym and work out for six hours to make up the time. It just doesn’t work that way.
Additionally, after the month of missed exercising is past, you may find that you can’t even do the same level of exercise you did a month ago. If you’re pursuing a goal, spend time with it regularly. This keeps up the momentum. If you stop, you’ll lose your momentum and any progress may be lost.
Expect Obstacles When Taking Action
“Sometimes adversity is what you need to become successful.”
– Zig Ziglar
As you pursue any goal, you should expect obstacles to appear but it’s important to remember that obstacles are rarely roadblocks. An obstacle doesn’t mean that you should stop pursuing your goal. Instead obstacles are often opportunities to look at things a little differently.
There’s an old story about a farmer whose donkey fell down a hole that he had left uncovered. The farmer couldn’t think of a way to get the donkey out and ultimately decided the donkey was old and the hole needed to be covered up anyway. He enlisted the help of his neighbors and they began shoveling dirt into the hole.
At first, the donkey was braying horribly with each shovel of dirt that fell on him. But then he quieted down. The farmer looked down into the hole and saw that as each of shovel of dirt hit the donkey’s back, he shook it off and took a step up. As everyone continued to shovel dirt into the hole, the donkey continued to shake it off and take another step up. In time, the donkey was able to step over the edge.
When an obstacle to your goal comes up, your first inclination may be to fight it. However, if you’re able to shake off the nuisance of the obstacle, you may be able to use it as an opportunity to get closer to your goal. If you’re able to resist an urge to fight, you may be able to look at any obstacle from a different perspective.
One of the reasons people choose not to act is the fear of making mistakes. However, mistakes are a part of the learning process and part of what can move you forward. If you never try, you’ll never identify what works and what doesn’t. Making mistakes is good. The only problem occurs if you are unable to learn from your mistakes and you repeat them.
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