Business AdvicePersonal Advice

3 Ways Actions (Not Dreams) Lead to Success

Define who you are by taking action

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

There is a tremendous amount of power in this statement. There’s also a great deal of irony. If you do a quick search for this quote, several places attribute it to Thomas Jefferson. However, it was actually a Polish author named Witold Gombrowicz who said these powerful words. Strange how people attributed a quote about defining oneself to the wrong person!

Introverts like myself have a tendency to ponder. We mull over decisions and think carefully over them before taking action. While consideration and care are extremely important to making tough or complex decisions, it can also lead to procrastination, which only breeds inaction.

It’s very difficult to discover your passions, focus on them and become a success at them when you are too busy thinking about your next step. Lately, I have been trying to come up with ways to stay focused and keep moving. Here’s how I am working to achieve this, and I hope it leads to success in your life and business.

1. When thoughts start to bog you down, write them down. What is so funny about this tip is that people who love to visualize their achievements often forget that writing these down are the primary method of turning thoughts into goals and goals into actions.

2. Find a time management method that forces you to act immediately and purposefully. This one has been tough for me. Currently, the Pomodoro method has worked best. Essentially you take 25 minutes and focus one task. When those 25 minutes are up, take a short
break and move on to the next one. Ideally, you add a few minutes to the next time block until that is achieved.

I’ve been using the Untime app for this on my iPad. It’s very simple and a good way to visually gauge how much time you have remaining. This can work from anything as simple as folding clothes to working on your business’ marketing.

Another method that aligns with the first step is to set goals and write them down in places where you will constantly seem them, such as calendar or e-mail reminders. There are several online companies such as Lifetick that helps with this. I have attempted to use Lifetick, and it’s a great resource, but these goal reminders are very easy to ignore or forget.

3. Even with an accountability partner, only personal drive will get you to act. I am taking a long sigh as I type this, because it’s just a hard truth. If you don’t want (insert goal here) badly enough, no amount of self-help books, counseling, urging from family, friends or colleagues will work.

You have to get to a point where the desire for this goal to be accomplished outweighs the benefits of putting them off. What encouraged me to remember this and try the Pomodoro technique is this great video about how your brain encourages you to procrastinate and what to do about it.

I’d write more, but well, I have things to do.

What do you do to take action and be successful? Comment below!