To Do or Not To Do

Written by  on October 21, 2004 

It truly amazes me that people decide that something can’t be done before they even give it a try or have a go!!

Take writing for example. Now I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination but I write. Nearly every week I hear the comment from someone, “I wish I could write, but I don’t know how to or have anything to say”

Well right now I want to tell each and every one of you. There is absolutely no reason NOT to do something that you wish to do. Be it writing, speaking, changing your job or just starting to do something different.

The first step in all this is to learn this maxim…

Action is the enemy of thought

In other words, if you start doing something you won’t have time to worry about it because you are doing it. When you start doing an action, you find ways and means to continue. You find ways to get over any hurdles and you achieve something in regards to the very action you are taking.

While you keep thinking about something, nothing gets done apart from some thinking.

The one trick that apprentices are taught when they are learning a trade is that you can’t build a house by thinking about it. It takes an action. The first action might be to pick up a piece of timber. This leads to another action like “nail it somewhere” and so on… The point being that each small action creates a house.

Sure we have to think, we have to use the grey matter inside our head but combined with an action we get progress and it is that progress that creates a forward motion. A step in the right direction is doing something about your dream. Thinking about a step is what we are all only too familiar with.

We are taught not to run until we can walk. Not to bite off more than we can chew. Our system frowns on doing anything that may be risky. We are becoming a race of over cautious people and this is affecting the way we approach anything in our life. We are told to make sure we don’t make a mistake, yet it is our mistakes that provide us with our greatest learning. Think about the mistakes you have made?

What happened afterwards? Rudyard Kipling said “Of all the liars in this world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”

The fact that you are reading this shows us that whatever disasters you have created, you are still here now to enjoy the rising of the sun.

Thomas Edison is quoted as saying “We haven’t failed. We now know a thousand things that won’t work, so we’re that much closer to finding what will”

This is action. This is creation. Don’t sit back and say you can’t do something. You will prove yourself right by not doing anything. Edison went on to say “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”

Now we have found that you can go out and do something, there is another point to keep in mind. You will notice a number of people around you will pass off their fears onto you. They will say things like “you can’t do that, you aren’t trained” or “you could lose a lot of money” or “it’ll cost you in the long run”

Take note, because these people are draining your spirit. They are a stop in the way of progress. Yes sure, you may need to get trained but that is something you will find out as you go about doing this dream of yours. The reasons why you shouldn’t do it are never reasons to not try. Some of the greatest progress of any generation has been by ordinary people doing something… and we aren’t talking about you redefining the world here (although, please be my guest.) We are talking about you doing something that you wish to do.

With these people it may be best not to mention to them what you are doing. Let them be impressed when you complete your dream rather than letting them derail the dream before it gets started. Find some other people to tell, people that will encourage and be excited for you. These are the people that will be there for you when the going gets tough. Rather than telling you “I told you so” which has a tendency to make you give up, they will be encouraging you to keep on your track. They will provide you with support and offer a listening ear rather than a cutting comment.

So let’s recap

1/ First of all you have the idea to do something

2/ Next comes taking some action, any action with regards to you doing something about it

3/ Make yourself aware of the comments around that try to stop or hinder your progress. Try and restrict these comments and the people they come from.

4/ Surround yourself with positive people. These are people who will be positive in their thoughts and actions towards you and your project.

There is one more point which involves one more quote

Abraham Lincoln said “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”

In all this, you will thrive if you are happy and you can make up your mind to find the happy parts in everything you do. Sure, there are tough bits but if you concentrate on the good, on the happy parts then you will find something to be happy about.

Far too often we can end up concentrating on little things that go wrong which detract from the overall results we are achieving. These little points can develop into large areas of concern when all our efforts are focused on it. Just imagine how much progress can be made if we concentrate on good stuff (while taking care of the areas of worry)

Another trait worth considering is when we think about our weaknesses and fail to acknowledge our strengths. We seem to enjoy focusing on areas where we aren’t as strong and put a lot of undue attention on these areas. If we strengthen our areas of strength then we actually diminish these weaker areas… and our overall demeanor improves as well.

So let’s move to this place. Let’s become more focused on doing and achieving and leave the worry to the worrywarts. Let’s start being happy because we can. Let’s start taking steps to doing things we dream about and do them with people that encourage rather than put down.

If you wish to write, then write. If you want a new job then takes steps to get one… don’t moan about the job you are doing… take steps!

Let’s develop all that potential you have inside you into action

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said

“What is success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life breathed easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.”

Go and action your dreams!!!

Until next week

Cheers…. Bill

Bill Gray

Bill is a Business Coach. Working with Individuals, Businesses and Organisations to create better environments and to develop and enhance business ”potential”, into successful business practices.

Sydney, Australia

Ph +61 413 949 521

Copyright ©Bill Gray billgray.biz All Rights Reserved 2004.