One of my most favorite quotes states “In order to reach your destination, first and foremost, you need to go”. It emphasizes the importance of taking action. People usually ask "What is the main secret to success?" and argue about the various answers to it. In reality, it is very simple; it is taking ACTIONS.
People who achieved the most in life are not certainly the most intelligent, or the most talented, or the ones who have the greatest amount of resources. They are simply people who take more actions than the average people.
At the end of our lives, we all will be judged by one simple fact – how many actions we took. Nobody will care about all the plans, the hopes, the fears, and the doubts that we had; nobody will take them into account. At the end of your days, you will be judged by the number of actions that you took.
It may sound simple, but some core principles will help you put this general idea of taking action into a practical application. In this article, I’d like to share with you the 3 most important principles that will help you to live by this statement.
1) Start Where You Are, Start Now
Let me share with you a story about a guy that I know. He is nowadays a chess grandmaster. When he was a 15-year old boy, he got interested in chess and he wanted to develop his career in this sport. But he lived in a small city, where there were no coaches and no prospects for advancement in his desirable career.
Therefore, he moved to another city, being 15-years old, and he lived there all by himself, simply because he wanted to train with a good coach. He lived in an apartment that his parents rented for him and he was trained by a good coach.
Years later, that coach met his parents and asked them “How did you dare to let that 15-year old boy live alone, all by himself, in another city?”. And the guy's father replied that “Of course, myself and my wife were nervous about our kid living alone. But we knew one thing – you cannot kill a tree”.
What I liked the most about this story is that just that 15-year old boy didn’t complain that he is too young (a lot of people would complain that they are too old in their situation). He didn’t wait for a perfect time, nor did he complain about the fact that he is living in a small city, where there aren't many opportunities.
He simply took immediate action. That is the first and the most important principle of bringing this idea into life - take action right now, starting from where you are.
2) It Is Better To Move Badly Than To Sit Perfectly
In light of the quote that I'd mentioned in the beginning, it is more important to move, even if it is not in a perfect way, rather than to sit perfectly in the same place.
Now let me share with you a story about Stephen King, who is one of the most famous writers in history. But it’s interesting how he started. If you don’t know it, it’s quite interesting:
One day, his wife found a draft of his book inside a trash bin. And she convinced him to continue even though he wasn’t particularly thrilled by his book, but anyway he decided to give it a try. He finalized the book, gave it to the publishers and ultimately, it became a successful book.
It brought him 200,000 dollars which allowed him to quit his day job and to focus on writing, and later on, to continue this career.
This first book that he wrote was not the greatest hit, nevertheless, he just kept going. He kept taking actions, didn’t let his perfectionism stop him.
Here is another cool story to illustrate the same point. It’s the story about Richard Branson, the British business tycoon you might have heard of. He is one of the most famous personal brands.
When he was 16-years old, he started a magazine business for young people called ‘Student’. Soon after that, he realized that young people were more interested in music rather than magazines.
And that’s how he shifted from his first business venture to his second business, which was a mail-order record business; it is selling music CDs, which brought him the fortune.
But as he said, without starting a first, not very successful business, the magazine 'Student', he never would have come to realize that he needs to start a second one, the music business.
It shows that when you move towards your goal, sometimes, it’s not going to be just straight lines. You will try one idea, and then another one. It will not be that much of a straight line, but it’s still way better to keep moving rather than to sit and keep planning and keep preparing and keep thinking that you are not ready yet.
3) Create Your Daily Ritual
The problem that a lot of people face is that once they have a certain dream/goal, they get enthusiastic about it and they think “Wow, I’m going to crush it!”.
And next Monday or from January 1, they get super-excited, super-busy doing this new thing, but then after a little while, they don’t get great results instantly, of course, and so their interest and enthusiasm start to fade away. And after a little while, they just shift to something else in life.
But when you look at the successful people, you will see that they develop a certain ritual, have a certain benchmark for themselves to stay on track.
Stephen King, the writer that we already talked about, created a benchmark for himself that he should read and write for 4-6 hours a day and that he needs to write 2000 words every day.
Another famous Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami, came up with a similar benchmark to write for 4 hours every day. He also set another benchmark for him to exercise regularly as well since he loved running.
All in all, people who have achieved great results in life, couldn’t do it instantly or after one quick rush. Rather, they developed a certain ritual that they kept and followed every day, throughout the years. And that ultimately allowed them to achieve some enormous results in life.
Now think about this – how can you implement these 3 simple tips into your life? It may sound easy, but a lot of people don’t follow it because there are so many distractions. And there are so many different things to focus on.
But if you know what the main thing to put your focus on is and how you can push yourselves to take more massive actions, then you know where you need to dedicate your energy and time.
I hope these tips help you. Let me know in the comments below what you think about them.