by Bonnie Ross-Parker, CEO and founder, The Joy of Connecting
Do these statements sound familiar? “I meant to call you.” “I intended to finish the project before the weekend.” “I’m sorry I forgot your birthday.” I had every intention of being on time.” “I’ve been wanting to take a class, write a book or volunteer.” The truth is we all mean well. The reality is even the most sincere intention has no value without action. The world is full of dreamers. It lacks doers. Intentions are a barometer of what is possible. Actions are putting your intentions in motion. Action, not intention, creates results. The expression, “Action speaks louder than words” is familiar to all of us because it’s so true. Telling me you’re going to do something and not carrying it out is intention; it is not action.
We measure someone’s character not by what they say, but rather by what they do. Action, on the other hand, always brings results. Results are measurable. Our lives are shaped by what we do consistently. Think of those times you put your dreams into action. How did you feel? Many people don’t actually do what they know needs to be done. Every time you put momentum behind your plan you are already ahead of the crowd! We learn by doing. It’s easy to sit up and observe what’s happening. What’s difficult is getting up and taking action. The stronger your conviction, the stronger your action.
For any intention to become a reality it has to be launched into orbit. To get ahead you have to get started. While the majority of people have ideas; only a minority do something about them. Thinking about what you want to do or hoping something will happen, gets you no where. If you don’t make things happen, things will happen to you anyway -without your consent. What have you intended to follow through on? What have you told yourself you were going to do but neglected to implement? What keeps you from moving forward? Every action is a step that will increase your strength, your skill and your confidence. Getting started has its own reward; action energizes. It strengthens one’s resolve to do more.
Putting your thoughts into action requires focus and determination. Begin where you are and go where you want to be. Implement a plan and get started. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Do what you’d rather not do to prepare for what you want. Choose performance over promise; choose action over intention.