Op-Ed

Five reasons why men and women who take action triumph

Do you have a goal that you want to reach?

When we know what to think, we are ready to compete, when we know how to think, we are ready to win. Success is not guaranteed at birth, and work is required to achieve what we desire. As we grow personally and professionally, we should explore the five reasons why taking action is important.

In this article, I will teach you how to escape the world of mediocrity and share in the bounty of power available when we take action.

Let’s jump into the five core components of why action leads to triumph:

1. Action is the foundational key to success;

2. It’s easier to direct a moving vehicle than one that is parked;

3. ction is an antidote for pity party syndrome;

4. he more we do something, the easier to keep doing it;

5. ction puts failure in the rear-view mirror and places us in the driver’s seat.

Action is the foundational key to success

Newton’s first law states that, “the state of motion of an object is maintained if the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force. If we want to escape the world of mediocrity, we must embrace the power of taking action, by doing so we keep moving in the right direction.

“The Double Helix”, James Watson’s 1968 memoir about discovering the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), describes the roller coaster of emotions he and Francis Crick experienced through the progress and setbacks of the work that eventually earned them the Nobel prize. To read more about the story in detail, be sure to read my book, “The Eye Of The Needle: The Cost Of Success”. After the excitement of their first attempt to build a DNA model, Watson and Crick noticed some serious flaws. According to Watson, “Our first minutes with the models… were not joyous.” Later that evening, “A shape began to emerge which brought back our spirits.” But when they showed their “breakthrough” to colleagues, they found that their model would not work.

Dark days of doubt and ebbing motivation followed. When the duo finally had their bonafide breakthrough, and their colleagues found no fault with it, Watson wrote, “My morale skyrocketed, for I suspected that we now had the answer to the riddle.” Watson and Crick were so driven by this success that they practically lived in the lab, trying to complete the work.

Through exhaustive analysis of diaries kept by knowledge workers, the progress principle has been common. It seems that of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions, the single most important is making progress through action.

It’s easier to direct a moving vehicle than one that is parked

Think of productivity towards triumph like a stationery car, it takes force, and it takes will to push it into motion. But once its rolling, a gentle continuous push can maintain the motion. Sometimes all it takes is to start.

How do you get into action mode? Firstly, recognize that you are currently in no action mode. Recognizing you are in this state is 90 percent of the battle. Find the smallest, most low-energy task on your to-do list and handle that. Use that first task to give you momentum to get back into action mode. Remember, no task is too small. While doing this task, think about other tasks you need to achieve. I have found that when you are partway through one task, all other tasks seem more achievable. Use your momentum to guide you through your to-do list. Men and women who repetitiously use the feelings generated from the positive high and momentum gained from achievement, discover the secret to winning and ultimate triumph.

Action is an antidote for pity party syndrome

Pity party syndrome is an instance of feeling self-indulgently sorry for yourself. The earliest written instances of a pity party are a 1978 song by American country singer Barbara Mandrell. In the song, she sings about ‘having a pity party’ after her lover leaves her, at times portraying her loneliness as if she’s throwing a sad party for herself.

Mentally strong people act and as a result they are too busy to allow self-pity to sabotage their success. Instead, they use life’s inevitable hardships to grow stronger and become better.

The more we do something, the easier to keep doing it

Every minute you spend hosting your own pity party is 60 seconds you are not practising the habit of taking action towards your goals. Everyone can build mental strength and learn, by developing an increased ability. We can regulate our thoughts, feelings, and actions, this will subsequently help us to grow stronger and better.

Action puts failure in the rear-view mirror and us in the driver’s seat

In 1970, sociologist Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University wrote a book entitled “The Unheavenly City”, in which he described one of the most profound studies on success and priority setting ever conducted.

Banfield’s goal was to find out how and why some people became financially independent during their working lifetimes. He started off convinced that the answer would be found in factors such as family backgrounds, intelligence, influential contacts, or some other concrete factor. What he finally discovered was the major reason for success in life was a particular attitude of mind. Banfield observed that action takers took the future into consideration with every action they made in the present. He found that the longer the period a person took action, the more likely it was that the individual would achieve greatly during their careers.

You can also tell how important something is today by measuring its potential future impact on your life. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and take action. Decide what you want most in life and organize your time and activities so that everything you do is the most valuable use of your time in achieving those objectives. With your eyes on the front windscreen, you in the driver’s seat, and unimportant task left behind you, you can much more easily decide upon short-term priorities and remain in control.

Much stress that people experience in their lives comes from working on low-priority tasks. Understanding and applying the power of action is a fundamental key to success. Action is the anti-dote for pity party syndrome, creates momentum, makes achievement permanent, and puts us in the driver’s seat. Work towards the completion of your goals and feel an increased sense of personal value, inner satisfaction, and experience a sensation of self-mastery and control.

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

• Eliot Kelly is recognized as a serial entrepreneur, business coach and mentor and has been featured on CNN, BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss and an extensive list of magazines and articles. His five books have been translated in over seven languages and are sold in 29 countries, recently being shortlisted for Best Self-Help and Best Advice Books 2019 by The Author Academy.

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