Mastering The 'Action' Habit
The goal of this article is to close the gap between learning and applying what has been learned. Many people learn a lot of things. The challenge is then applying everything useful learned. To do this, it requires what I call the 'action' habit.
Some people are prone to just think about something endlessly without a whole lot of action. If you want real results in your life, you must master the action habit. Results only come from action, not by idly thinking.
The action habit is the habit whereby you employ a 'do-it-now' philosophy. The action habit is where you think about what you want to do, make a written plan, and then execute it immediately. The people with the 'action' habit avoid unnecessary delay. They take calculated risks and they move forward in their lives.
You see, I used to be a computer scientist. Yep, that's right. While I was doing my master's degree in computer science, I thought and thought some more. I thought a lot. I wrote papers. I did experiments after much painstaking, (over)analysis of the problems. Hey, that's what computer scientists do. That's the nature of the profession.
The challenge was that I took this "Think without much action" approach home with me. I studied numerous self-help programs. The problem? I did not apply them. In my mind, I imagined wonderful results if only I could get myself to take action. I fast became a learned self-help 'academic'. This meant I knew all the techniques and concepts but did not apply anything. I wasn't getting any true results in my life by just studying.
The way to get real results is by action and I'm here to show you a specific method to take charge of your life and get the action orientation down. Language gives us insight into our mindsets. Changing our mindset creates corresponding changes in how we speak. How we speak is a direct result of how we think. The opposite is also true. Changing our language and how we speak changes our thoughts and thus our mindset.
So to master the action habit, let's change our language. First of all, let's eliminate the phrases such as "I think" or "I believe" from our language. They lock us into the inactive mode. What is more powerful to you? "I think I'm going to go to a movie tonight," or "I'm going to a movie tonight." Try it out by saying it in your own mind. Notice the difference. I'm not at all suggesting that we abandon thinking. It is necessary and useful. Let's just think and then go for it!
How else can you create the action habit with your language? Well, you can begin to use active words. Here are a few examples below:
"Let's jump on this proposal and run with it."
"Crank it up a notch to get more done."
"I've got to roll now and I'll talk to you later."
"Let's grab some lunch now."
What do all these active words have in common? They are physically oriented actions. Integrate these physically active words into your language. How you speak to yourself and others influences your unconscious mind.
Compare those examples with these drab, boring sentences:
"Let's advance this proposal and go to the next stage."
"Increase your performance and you will accomplish more."
"I must get going now and I'll talk to you later."
"Let's get some lunch now."
For all of the above sentences, none of them have verbs that communicate any real, physical action. That's the challenge I have with them. Use active words and you'll naturally notice the difference.
- Eliminate the "I think" or "I believe" to stop pontificating and start acting
- Employ the 'do-it-now' philosophy with a sense of urgency
- Integrate active words into your vocabulary to close the learning-applying gap
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