The world is full of people with great intentions. They dream about all the wonderful things they would like to have and do in their lives, as soon as they get around to it. They get ready, they get everything in order, and they even have plenty of opportunities. They set specific goals with detailed plans on how to accomplish them. They read books, listen to audio programs, and attend seminars in their field.
But, in most cases, little, if anything ever happens. Their plans never get off the mark. Weeks, months, and years pass by and very little happens for most of these people. They end up like the great majority of people, living lives of quiet desperation.
What separates successful people from those who are not? When you examine all the characteristics, qualities, and behaviors of successful men and women throughout history, they all found the key to success. It is simply this: People who are successful think, plan, and then they take action. People who are not successful, think, plan, but never take action. And in most cases, that’s all the difference there is.
The world belongs to those who reach out and grab it with both hands. It belongs to those who do something rather than just wishing, hoping, and praying. It belongs to those people who take action today, rather than those who intend to do something someday, when everything is just right.
Successful people are not necessarily those who make the right decisions all the time. No one can do that, no matter how smart he or she is. But once successful people have made a decision, they begin moving toward their objectives step-by-step. They begin to get feedback or signals to tell them where they’re off course and when course corrections are necessary. As they take action and move toward their goals, they continually get new information that enables them to adjust their plans in large and small ways.
There are no guarantees in life. Everything you do, even crossing the street, is filled with uncertainty. You can never be completely sure that any action or behavior is going to bring about the desired result. There is always risk. And where there is risk, there is fear. Whatever you think about grows in your mind and heart. People who think continually about the risks involved in every action they take become preoccupied with fears, doubts, and anxieties that always hold them back from taking any action in the first place.
When you begin to take action on all your goals and objectives, you will find that something remarkable will begin to happen. New doors of opportunity will open for you everywhere. But these doors of opportunity will never open for you without taking action. They will never open for you if you wait for some assurance before taking action.
It takes a great deal of willpower and personal organization to set a goal and then make a plan to achieve it. But that’s where the work begins, not where it ends. Now you have to do something. Now you have to pick up the telephone and set up an appointment to see the person who can help you achieve your goal. Now you have to risk your time, or your money, or your energy. You have to risk your emotions and lay it all on the line. You have to be willing to take a chance, knowing that it might not work. You might hit a wall of disappointment and fall flat on your face. And you might very well find your selfback to square one, having made no progress at all.
But this is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful people. Successful people know that you only have to succeed once. You can fail over and over, but as long as you succeed big just once, all the previous failures will be irrelevant. All those people who have been telling you to play it safe, and that what you’re doing won’t work, will now tell you how lucky you are that everything worked out.
If you want to achieve success faster, then you have to try or do more things. Take more action and put the odds in your favor. According to the Law of Probability, the more things you try, the more likely it is that you will try the one thing that will make the difference in your life.
General Douglas MacArthur once said, “There is no security in life, only opportunity.” What this quote means is that if you look for opportunity, you’ll find all the security you need. However, if you look for only security, you’ll end up with neither opportunity nor security. The truth in this is all around us today. Thousands of men and women who sought nothing but security are finding themselves unemployed for long periods of time because of corporate downsizing and restructuring.
Once you have a goal and a plan to achieve it, you must immediately take action. And once you start moving toward your goal, don’t stop. You must do something every day that will move you closer to achieving your goal. Never let the size of your goal or the length of time it will take you to achieve it stop you from continuously taking action. During the planning process, break down your goal into small tasks and activities that you can do every day. The important thing is for you to always be making progress, every day, every week, and every month to the achievement of your goal.
The most important single quality for success is self-discipline. This is the ability to make yourself do what you need to do to achieve your goal, whether you feel like it or not. You have to force yourself in to motion and stay there. Once you make a plan and set a schedule, you have to stick to it.
It’s easy for you to do something when you feel like it. If you want to, or if it makes you happy, or you have lots of time. However the true test of your character is when you do something you know that you must do, even if you don’t feel like doing it.
You can always tell how badly you really want something, and how capable you are of actually achieving your goals, when you begin taking action even when you feel tired, discouraged, or when you feel like your not making any progress. But very often, this is the exact time when you will break through to great achievement.
The secret of success has never changed: Set a clear goal, write down a plan for it’s achievement, and then take action on it. And once you get started, never give up. When you do this, your success is guaranteed.
Copyright© 2005 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.