As I blather on about seizing this opportunity to make a change, to come out of the crisis better than you entered it, I’m constantly making an assumption.
This assumption of action underlies everything, but maybe it needs a little explication, explanation, expansion. Why?
Because often we think that we’re taking action. Often we say that we’re taking action. And we’re really doing…nothing at all.
This thought crystallized this morning when I was reading some thoughts on free training. The author’s main point was, we often get caught in a cycle of doing freebies;
- Mini courses
- Courses from promotional giveaways
Some (many? most? all?) of us do it. We sign up for some ex-spurt’s freebie, get on his email list, skim the free content and then do…nothing.
And another ex-spurt comes to our attention, we sign up for his freebie, get on his email list, glance over the free stuff and then do…nothing.
The worst expression of this is what the incomparable Ben Settle calls “new product junkies.” People who (I’m paraphrasing here) go out and buy whatever new product comes along because they’re junkies. They get a dopamine hit from buying the latest product in whatever area they’re interested in, so that’s what they chase; the new product.
Now, they don’t actually use the product, because they’re not really committed to success. They just pay for the thing, because they get pleasure/satisfaction from the act of purchasing it. Kinda like “retail therapy.”
Are you committed to success?
If you’re committed to success, signing up for freebies, or even buying a product means nothing.
You have to take action. You have to do something in pursuit of your goal. It doesn’t have to be huge and life altering. In fact, I’ve repeatedly argued (quite forcefully) that huge, singular changes are doomed to fail. Start small, and dial it up incrementally.
All the books and courses in the world (free or paid) sitting on your shelves or your hard drive do NOTHING. The only thing that will move you to your goal is ACTION.
- Want to lose weight? Stop snacking after dinner. Then, after a couple of weeks, swap your morning bagel/muffin/toast for a hard-boiled egg. Then, after a couple more weeks, when healthy eating is becoming more habitual you can look at spending money.
- Want to get in shape? Take a 10 minute walk every day after lunch. Then, after a couple of weeks, extend your walking time. Then, after a couple more weeks, when daily exercise is becoming more habitual, turn the dial up. That’s when you go spend money.
- Want to fix your posture? Go here, learn the three linked exercises and do them every day for a month. If you can habituate that, then go pay someone.
- Want to learn to meditate every day? Go here, learn that little breathing exercise and do it three times a day for a month. If you can habituate that, then go looking for more.
- Want to become a better writer? Write. Every day. Keep it up for a couple of weeks, and then start spending time and money on courses.
It is pretty much a given that we all want to succeed. What altogether too many of us don’t realize that the biggest barrier to our success is most often the guy we see staring out of the mirror.
Don’t sabotage yourself by falling into the thought pattern that just buying the course, or reading the free report, or joining the webinar is you succeeding.
If you want to succeed, take action.
Show up and do something.