Written by Rob Jarvis

Take Action Today – Not Tomorrow

I think its quite simple when you look at it. Whatever it is you are trying to achieve in your life, the critical component is the ability to get things done. Whether it’s in your professional or personal life, what changes our businesses and our lives is action.

Without action, nothing happens. Things don’t change and we don’t exert control. Like a boat without a sail aimlessly drifting to wherever the tides take us.

It’s important to act, but it’s imperative to act at the right moment. It’s so easy for us to say, “I need to sort out this problem…” only to follow it up with “…tomorrow”. This is a ‘some day’ attitude when we should be executing a ‘same day’ mentality.

In order to achieve objectives, goals or even ambitions, we need to shift this mindset in to a new ‘doing’ mentality. Before we can do this we need to understand what prevents us from taking positive, affirmative action in our professional lives.

When speaking to people about why they put off writing that email, phoning that person, or dealing with that issue, the resounding response is the dirty P-word, procrastination, the art of avoidance and self-delay.

Other barriers to action often include time, fear, motivation, confidence, understanding, hesitation and over-preparation. These factors can either individually or collectively contribute to not acting at the right time… And what happens when we fail to act at the right time, or even act at all?

Nothing changes. We stagnate, the situation becomes dormant and we do not allow for growth, progression and empowerment. We relinquish control and become that powerless boat in the ocean, drifting aimlessly. Without action we miss opportunities, we block the routes to our aspirations.

Action is scary; it sometimes requires bravery, knowledge and confidence, but the antithesis is far scarier. Inaction is a dangerous, but comfortable, state to find oneself in; it is self destructive and damaging. I believe John F. Kennedy summed this up perfectly:

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction”

All of the greatest business figures of our times took action. Yes, sometimes they failed, but the greatest achievers understood that every negative situation contained the possibility for something positive. It is how you look at failure and what you do that matters; more often than not, consistent, affirmative action achieves great things.

Sayings such as ‘strike while the iron is hot’ and ‘there is no time like the present’ are more than just sayings; they are the values of action.

Action provides us with results and the opportunity to analyse those results; which in turn fuels our learning and development. This allows us to grow, feel empowered and become motivated. And when we are motivated we are more likely to act, shifting that mindset to an ‘act now’ one, and repeating it until it becomes a habit… and if action becomes a habit, then we are winning in our lives.

We can change things, we can make our own path and find our own way. There is no predefined route our lives have to follow; instead our decisions and our actions will shape our futures.

So I challenge you all, strive to take action, to be brave and assertive enough to make big decisions and have the discipline and commitment to see them through. Avoid building up preconceptions of tasks or situations and don’t see things as problems – reposition them as challenges. This is all part of enhancing your mentality, moving towards an action based predisposition and achieving more.

I challenge you to, every day, demand more from yourself. You are not competing with anybody else, so totally forget that. You are competing with what you are capable of. Push yourself, be strong. Act now.