Taking Action is the single most important aspect of getting results. Without this part of the equation nothing is realistically possible. It’s true that you need a goal, a sense of direction to work towards, but you can plan your path to your hearts content, but if you don’t then take action, all that planning isn’t going to materialise into your reality.
We have all been guilty of procrastinating, this often manifests as over-planning. keeping busy devising a goal, and perfecting a plan of action, then tweaking and re-tweaking.
Ultimately it’s prudent to have a goal, fashion a plan that can best be described as a “minimum viable outline plan”. Something that gives you a sense of direction, so that you’re not floating around aimlessly but allows you to retain some level of flexibility going forward.
You should progress with a open mind and open heart, and learn from your experience moving forward.
Successful software developers have long since understood the value of producing a minimum viable product, getting it out in the market, and enhancing it via feedback from customers. That way the market helps in the development process in a real world environment for which it was intended. This approach prevents wasted time developing and realising later it has been overdeveloped or developed in the wrong aspects. Letting the end user decide what they want makes sense commercially. Think of it as a collaboration between developer and customer.
And so it should be as you move forwards towards your goal, let the real world give you feedback as you progress. You take action and the world around you reacts in all sorts of unforeseen ways. Whether it be serendipitous encounters with influential individuals, or insights you could never of expected had you not taken action.
Purposeful right action is an even better way to describe it, because you are working towards something, you measure your progress or lack of, tweak and test as you go. Think of it as if you were learning a skill, lets take driving for instance, your instructor watches what you do, informs you when doing something wrong, watches you do it again, corrects if necessary or lets you know you’ve completed the manoeuvre correctly.
It’s true to say that some people are more naturally talented then others, they have physical attributes that might make it easier for them to be successful, but natural talent is just a head start, whether or not you are naturally talented there is no doubt that taking action or practice has it’s also known improves performance.
The 10 thousand hour rule is routinely quoted as being the time it takes to become an expert in most endeavours, a 20 hour rule is also quoted as being the time it take to become proficient at something. The fact is the more you purposely practice or “do” something the better you will get at it.
Ask the focus question as a compass
A good way of focusing your actions so that you don’t waste time doing none important tasks and as a result make sure you’re taking “right” action at all times is to ask this question…
“What’s the one thing you can do now such by doing it, everything else will easier or unnecessary?”
It’s a great question for bringing some perspective to each situation you find yourself in, using like you would a compass, when you feel lost or confused about what needs doing next.
Another way of ensuring the action you take today is moving you towards your goal is setting up mini-goals, that line up with one another like a pathway to your end goal. for instance have weekly goals that that leads towards achieving a monthly goal, that leads to a 6 monthly goal, that leads to a yearly goal that leads towards a 3 year goal and so on. Line each mini-goal up like you would when domino toppling, knock your weekly goals down and that automatically knocks the monthly goal down and so on.
So TAKING ACTION is an essential step in achieving any goal, it is probably the most important step, but taking action without direction and purpose is rather like floating at sea without a rudder. Have a goal and take action towards that goal. Have an outline plan but know that you should allow some flexibility as you go. Keep focus by asking the focus question, and use mini goals to keep you heading in the right direction. oh yes and enjoy the journey. Life is a journey, it isn’t a destination after all.
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