We talk a lot about success. Any young student who just started college is imagining their future. Maybe even planning it. But, most of the time, we forget an essential aspect of our success. Perhaps the most important part: taking action. Often, when we want to reach our goals, we have to do something about it. In other words, we must start to work for it.
There’s nothing in this world we can achieve without taking action, and the action is always physical (pick up a phone, write, speak, move), not mental. When we spend our time just daydreaming about things without actually doing something, we become scared and this attitude limits our actions to the bare minimum or none at all.
There are two categories of people: those who say "I want to feel good before doing something" and those who say "No, I have to do something in order to feel good." These types of thinking are very different, and they have a big influence on our success rate. Those in the former category are getting ready, but at the same time are afraid of failing, so they keep training over and over again. Why? Because they always expect their emotions to motivate them to take action.
Those in the latter category understand that action activates feelings, not the other way around. If we always expect our feelings to determine us to act, we will never get the prize. We will always end up on the second, third or fourth place. But if we discipline ourselves thinking, "If I do the right thing, I will feel good," then we will surely get to the top.
Indeed, action involves taking risks, and our greatest fear is that of the unknown. We're afraid of what happens after we take action. But we will never achieve success if we don’t get out of our comfort zone. Many of us are afraid to risk it, because we're afraid of failure. Let's take a baby as an example. When she starts to walk, she takes the first step, falls, gets up and tries again. She never thinks, "I don’t know how to walk, I'd better sit and plan how I should do it." People learn through actions. Act - see what you can accomplish or not, then reflect, correct and try again. Progress is only possible by expanding our comfort area and always doing things we’re not sure we can achieve.
We all have brilliant ideas, but we need courage to implement them. We have to get out of our "cave" so we can discover the rest of the world. The difference between failure and success is action! Without it, our ideas remain just simple ideas.
If the sailors fear the storms, they will never leave the harbors. The purpose of the ships is not to stay in the harbor, because that’s not what they were built for.
What and how we think greatly influences our actions. Before crossing the Alps to conquer the Roman Empire, Hannibal famously said, "We either find a way or make one". He started his action in his mind and then developed it in a practical way.
In the Epistle to the Philippians, Paul writes, “I run toward the goal, so I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done” (Philippians 3:14). Paul sets a target, then takes action. There are people who "run" without a purpose. Because they don’t have a dream, these people are distracted by all kinds of things, and they end up struggling, without having reached any goal.
In all His commandments, God never said, "Think about it". Instead, He urged His people to "Go and do what I’ve instructed you to". He urged them to act!
It is true that an emotion or a thought is essential when you want to start a project, but you can’t develop it further without action. You need a purpose, a dream – pray for it, believe in it and in yourself, and take action! Divide your big dream into smaller pieces, then take the first step.