Next Step: Action
The last post we shared with you was in regards to Vision. If you didn’t catch that, you can do so here.
Once the direction is established, action must be the next step.
Too many people have shelves lined with self-help books and walls plastered with motivational posters. They visit blogs and websites that tantalize them with the things they want, they have friends on social media who are doing the things they want to do, yet they can't or won't do the first thing necessary towards achieving those things.
Taking action far and away the most important step. Even more important than your vision. After all, vision is the daydreamy part of the process. Things in vision may look better than they actually are. Only by taking action will you get closer to what you seek and gain clarity on what that really looks like and what that means to you, allowing you to continually refine that vision and future.
Too often people wait for everything to be perfect to take that step.
“When I retire…”
“When the kids are out of the house…”
“When I save “x” of money…”
“When I feel confident enough in my skills…”
“When I lose “x” amount of weight…”
The problem with these qualifiers are multi-fold:
You’re not promised tomorrow. Bluntly, you could get hit by a bus and never get the chance to reach for the dreams you envisioned. Less bluntly, your life could change drastically due to another unforeseen event that throws you off course forever.
Small aside here; people tend to use those complications as excuses to not follow their dreams instead of the opposite.
“What if I quit my job, lose my insurance and then get really sick?”
Yeah, that definitely could happen. But what if instead, you spend the next 30 years worrying about that, continually putting off your action, the worst case never happens and then you’re statistically way more vulnerable to life-altering disease, thus dramatically shortening the amount of time you get to spend working on achieving your hopes and dreams?
2. Those qualifiers keep getting pushed back, usually out of fear. The amount you want to have saved only gets bigger, the qualifications you want to have only get more grandiose, the deadline only gets pushed back further.
3. The time you spend lamenting and putting things off only take away from time you could be spending getting your new life in order.
So instead, start by figuring out one step you could do to move in your new direction right now. Like now now. Even if it’s just a little step, it’ll shift your course in the direction you want it to go. Buy the book you need to get more information on the trip you want to take, the business you want to start, the venture you want to begin. Buy the plane ticket, tell your family your plans, etc.
It should be noted that as you get going, it will be confusing and scary at times. In fact, if it’s not confusing and scary, you’re probably doing it wrong. This is normal. It’s like trying to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night in a hotel room. At first, you’re disoriented and terrified. Your first few steps are cautious and you contemplate just getting back in bed until the morning, despite your discomfort. Then your eyes start to adjust, your steps get more confident, and it becomes just like normal.
It should also be noted that as you take strides in this new direction, you’ll understand the vision you had much better. So even if you’re not 100% clear on what you want, by taking steps in the general direction, you will gain that clarity. You just have to try some things to know if you want to keep going down that path. A lot of the time, you'll start towards something, realize it's not at all what you thought it was, and you'll adjust your course. Don't be shy about embracing the failures in this. If you aren't failing, you aren't trying.
Lastly, you should know that you’re going to get a lot of resistance from friends, family, strangers you don’t even know, and more. You’ll get a lot of support from those who care about you, but more than anything, I promise that you’ll get way more pushback than you hoped, so prepare for this.
What you need to remember is that 90% of people do not do what you’re doing. They stay in their same rut for the entirety of their lives. They live in constant fear of doing what you’re doing, that’s why they stay doing what they do. So they’ll be the first to point out that you’re taking a huge risk, that you should really reconsider and that you should stay in your safe little bubble where it’s all the same.
Then, when you succeed, they’ll be the ones finding all the reasons that you could do it, but they can’t, or how “you’ve changed”, or whatever.
So prepare for your action with confidence. Stride boldly into your new life. Get your vision, then take your action.
Take that step, know it’s going to be scary, but do it anyways.