Talk is cheap.
We can prattle away about a problem until we’re red in the face, but unless real steps are taken, nothing ever gets accomplished.
In fact, there’s such a disparity between talk and action, most people are familiar with figures of speech like “all talk and no action” or “talk the talk vs. walk the walk.”
It’s such a common problem, it seems like we don’t even think twice about a strategy that never quite gets put in motion, about New Year’s resolutions that slip through the cracks, about making plans with friends that don’t ever come to fruition.
- People talk about losing weight but never go to the gym.
- They talk about continuing education but never enroll.
- Our daily experiences indicate that talking about something we want to do (or would like to see done), but not following through with action is pretty par for the course.
It’s ridiculous! Are we just deluding ourselves? Is talking about a plan a way to make ourselves feel better, to gain a sense of accomplishment without actually accomplishing anything?
PLANNING TO PLAN
Now, there is plenty of value in planning. Talking at length about a project or goal before diving in can prevent a lot of problems. There is absolutely nothing wrong with diligent and thorough preparation. However, if planning is as far as the process gets, what’s the point?
Taking action is the hard part, but it’s also the only way to see real results. In the business world, implementing a new policy or making a significant change to company processes is a massive undertaking – but it has to start somewhere. Leaders need to be willing to wade through the trenches to get things moving.
This is a lesson that goes far beyond corporate change, though. This applies to every aspect of our lives! Change can only come through action – and it takes motivation to step out of our comfort zones.
We need to become dissatisfied with talk, or rather, we need to recognize it for what it is: the first step in the process, but a single component of the development of positive change.
So, how do we get from the planning stage to the action stage?
The same methods work on both the individual and company-wide level, so whatever changes you’d like to see, here are a few ways to get in motion:
GRAB AHOLD OF THE PRESENT
Ask yourself, “What can I do to make progress right now?” Even one small action can be enough to kick start a whole process. If you have the time to think about something you want to get done, you have time to start doing it!
Action in the present moment helps reduce some of the anxiety brought on by large, multi-phase plans or overwhelming projects. Get one small thing accomplished and move on the next.
In most situations, planning arises out of real desire – you only start planning something because you truly want to see it happen. Instead of getting bogged down in the details of the plan, though, keep that hunger alive in the front of your mind.
If you truly want to see something accomplished, let the desire burn you up inside! The more actively you’re thinking about the outcome, or the problem you need to solve (instead of the arduous process to getting there), the more taking action will start to feel like a necessity. You won’t be able to help moving forward.
MAKE A CHOICE
You don’t actually have to do anything. You could sit perfectly still every minute of every day. You do, however, make conscious choices to do all of the things you do in a given day, so why not add something new to the list?
Get rid of the feelings of obligation that take away your sense of control. Do things because you want to, because you choose to, because the end result is something you actively want to make happen.
Become the master of your own actions!
Action takes courage and motivation, but it is by no means impossible. In fact, taking action is habit forming! It only takes one step in the right direction to start manifesting the improvements you want to see, and once you start, there’s no turning back.
Picture thanks to http://mountainbreezedevotions.blogspot.com/2008/03/talk-is-cheap.html