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How to Master the Art of Taking Action

Why You Should Stop Procrastinating and Just Do It Already

October 12, 2017

There’s something to be said for taking action. I’m an introvert, so I feel the need to mull things over in my head and prep and prime before I get to that point. But I envy those who can just work off the bat with an idea and I’ve always wanted to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants kinda girl, to reference another idiom. The freedom of being spontaneous is exhilarating. I imagine.

Of course there are many other benefits to being a bat girl. When you act right away on an idea, a thought or a feeling, you free yourself from the inner torment of not knowing.

The Endless Loop

Each idea or thought not acted on, opens a loop inside your mind. If you sit on it for a while, mulling it over, your loop just goes round and round, never ending.

Point is, you don’t get the closure from it and so it might weigh on you, at the back of your mind, becoming heavier and heavier over time. It might infiltrate your dreams affecting your sleep or it might just anguish your waking hours until you take some sort of action towards it.

Lemme Drop Some Science on you Son

It’s the whole Schrödinger’s Cat quantum theory, which if you’re like me, you first heard about it from watching The Big Bang Theory. Who says television can’t teach you anything?

Without going too deep into the sciencey part, a cat is placed inside a sealed box, along with a flask of poison, some radioactive material a geiger counter and a hammer. If the geiger counter detects radiation, the hammer breaks the flask and the cat dies. Until the box is opened and observed, the cat is both dead and alive. It’s not until you view it, do you know what the outcome is.

Until you take action on your idea, you don’t know what the outcome will be. Your mind goes back and forth maybe imagining all the possible outcomes. Or perhaps your mind has chosen a track and will assume one particular outcome and plan for it. When, in reality, it was wrong or impossible and you’ve wasted all that time on the wrong outcome.

Fantasy Island

Some people believe it’s better to not know. Some like to live in that limbo land. You know, like when you have a crush on someone and in your mind it is all perfect.

You build them up in your head and imagine what life would be like with them. But if you actually tell them and get rejected, your dreams of them are crushed. Some people like to live in the fantasy world of not knowing. They prefer that, than to face the reality of it not working out they way they want.

That’s also why you’ll often hear people say, never meet your heroes. It’s because your idols could never live up to the impression you have of them in your mind and you’ll just be disappointed.

I can understand how fantasy thinking can be addictive. And secure and cushy and safe. And warm and fuzzy. There’s nothing wrong with a little fictitious thinking from time to time, but when it starts to interfere with your real life, then it’s time for concern.

Wasted days and wasted lives

The reality of it is, your crush may be taking the place of someone real in your life. How can you move on if in your mind that loop is open-ended. The more you build on the fantasy, the deeper you get and the more you start to believe.

People waste years in this kind of thinking but it doesn’t serve them in any way. They can’t move on. Sure your imagination gets exercised, but it’s not based on anything real, so your real life suffers.

Alternatively, your crush could end up being your perfect life partner and instead of starting your lives together, you’ve wasted years admiring them from a distance. Some may miss out on finding that out altogether.

Either way, isn’t it better to know which one it is? Isn’t it better to get that closure and decide one way or the other so you can move on and move forward with life instead of standing still, stagnant in fantasy?

How many people do you know talk about the same plans they’ve had for years. Never actually making any move towards them. Sound familiar?

Reality Check

Don’t live or die with regret of what could have been. People know that life is short, but they never act like it. They never live their lives like it will end. They always think they have more time. But you don’t. It can all go away in an instant.

Sometimes the opportunity you have right now, won’t be available to you again. You need to take the risk or be prepared to lose the chance.

Sometimes we all just need a dose of reality. Especially when it comes to matters of business or major life decisions. There’s no point in dwelling on, will it or won’t it or, should I or shouldn’t I thinking. Save your mental capacity and brain matter for real life or more important real things.

Drive on

Truth is, the more action you take, the more momentum you have, especially with business. You’ll get through more ideas, know which ones work, release those that don’t and you could consequently achieve success a lot sooner than perhaps your 10-year life plan dictates.

“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed” – Tony Robbins

Momentum also gives you motivation. You’ll feel like you’re on a roll, that nothing can stop you. You’ll get excited at the opportunities you’re opening yourself up to and the development of seeing your ideas become reality. Seeing real results can be contagious.

Master the Art of Taking Action

So, how do you become a powerhouse of action; an action master, if you will?

1. Decide

First step… stop thinking so damn much! Easier said than done, I know, but you need to put a limit on your busy brainwork and make the decision to go ahead. This doesn’t mean you should rush mindlessly towards action, for the sake of it. Take a prudent approach but identify when you’re procrastinating through fear.

Understand that life is about risk. So don’t fear it. You can’t avoid failure, but in retrospect you can learn from it and adjust accordingly, so all risk is good risk in a way. But nothing happens without taking that first step and committing to a decision to go for it.

2. Goals

Then, set your goals, break them down into actionable steps and every day work on 2 or 3 of those actionable steps. Set them to a schedule, have a deadline, track your progress. It’s consistency that is going to get you moving forward. Hustle every day and before you know it, you’ll have your result.

3. Trust

Until the results are in, don’t second guess yourself. Worrying is not going to change anything. You’re just adding more fuel to the fire. Once you’ve made the decision, trust that decision. Trust yourself. You can handle whatever happens. You got this.

4. Adapt

Be flexible enough to adjust your plan if you need to. If the results aren’t what you expected but you still believe in your overall mission, then find another way. Be prepared to roll with the punches and learn to see opportunities in failure. Adapt accordingly.

5. Focus

Sharpen your focus. Be clear on your goal and why you’re doing it. Be crystal on your objectives and make them a priority. Hold yourself accountable. Be responsible and own your decisions, mistakes and failures, not just the successes.

If it’s important enough to you, you probably don’t need much incentive, but there can be times when we need to be patient, to ride it out, when things might get a little mundane and you start to feel a little lacklustre about it all.

So why not imagine your idea working out. Imagine the best case scenario of your actions and let that be your incentive. What would that mean? What changes will it bring? What would you do next? It should help keep you on track and on target. Before you know it… boom goes the dynamite!

Take That Quantum Leap

The consensus these days is, take that leap of faith. Be brave. Make a decision. Go for it. Life doesn’t come with a dress rehearsal. You may not be fully prepared, you may not have all your ducks in a row or know all the answers just yet. You may not be completely ready, but don’t let that stop you.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar

Have a plan, but don’t perfect it. Remember, there’s no such thing as perfection. Get it out there. Move forward and you can always adjust and modify as you go.

Life is passing you by. Your competitors are passing your by. If you want to be a contender, get out there and make changes or you’ll get left behind. It’s time I started taking a dose of my own medicine. It’s time to be a bat girl, make some moves and take some serious action. Life (aka time) waits for no woman. Who’s with me?

madeofmoxie.com: How to Master the Art of Action
madeofmoxie.com: How to Master the Art of Action

Your resident Moxie blogger in progress, is Megan. For 2 years in junior high, she lived on fantasy island over a guy 3 years older, whom, to this day, she has never spoken to and also in her teens crushed out on Jordan Knight from NKOTB (yes, she’s that old). Today she is working on taking action despite fear, by realising her dream of creating her own business (watch this space) and started Made of Moxie, to help other women do the same.

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