“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”
George Bernard Shaw
One of the biggest mistakes I believe people make when trying to improve their lives is one of the simplest. They just don't take action based what they learn from blogs or books.
And that's no good at all.
If you aren't already taking action and doing so consistently you really need to start now. Here are five powerful reasons why.
1. No one is coming.
This may sound a bit harsh. But the sooner you realize that no one else will do this for you the quicker you will improve your life.
Personal responsibility is essential to improve and control your own life. Without that what you want will stay a dream or a sporadic activity/dabbling that leads to pretty much nothing in the long term.
You can blame your problems and lack of success on anyone you like and waste your time and energy. You can get help from family, friends, books or blogs. But your life is your responsibility and it's up to you to create in the way you choose to.
2. Apply the knowledge or it is pretty worthless a lot of the time.
Yeah, reading this blog, other blogs or books can make you feel good. You are learning about all of this awesome and useful information so it kinda feels like you are making progress and improving your life.
Now, reading positive and helpful material can help motivate you in a world where you may be surrounded by more negative inputs like the news or people around you. Nothing wrong with that. I personally find it to be a good habit to spend a bit of time with a good personal development book rather than an extra half hour a day watching the news.
But I believe that many people fool themselves into thinking that reading in some way will replace action. That reading will take care of your problems in some magical way. I used to think so. It´s at the same time a pleasurable and frustrating headspace to be in. You tend to read a lot and think that the next thing will be the magic pill that will finally solve your problem.
3. You understand by doing.
There are no real magic pills of course. That idea is created by immaturity in person who still thinks to him/herself: “Mommy, it want it now!”.
When you read a lot you think that you understand things. But you never really understand anything until your experience it. Yes, knowledge can help you to avoid pitfalls and improve quicker. But it can't relate how it feels to experience something. And it can't relate how you experience something since we are all a bit different from each other.
When you start doing things you might also discover that things are often a bit more messy in real life than in books where it may seem like you only have to follow a clean ten step method to get the results you want. But that's part of the fun of living life rather than just thinking and reading about it.
4. You raise your self-esteem.
One of the hardest things to do in life is to do the right thing. What you think is the right thing. Not what you friends, family, teachers, boss and society thinks is the right thing.
What is the right thing? That's up to you to decide. Often you have a little voice in your head that tells what the right thing is. Or a gut feeling.
It might tell you to get up from the couch, stop eating those snacks and go to the gym instead. Sometimes you will put your exercise clothes on and go. Sometimes you will not.
Creating a habit where you take action every day and do the right thing is not just important to get the results you want. To me it's very important to raise self-esteem and keep it up.
If I do the right things today I feel really good about myself. If I don't then I don't feel good about myself.
A common question that I get is: “How can I raise my self-esteem?”. The answer is not an easy answer of course (otherwise people wouldn't have so much self-esteem problems in the world today). I believe that taking action and doing the right thing consistently (your self-esteem not something you can just “fix” by doing one thing one time) is a big part of the answer. Because when you do the right and (often) hard thing instead of being lazy or wuzzing out your esteem of yourself goes up.
5. Time will pass no matter what you do.
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
Your life is not endless. Your time is one the most important things in your life. Don't waste a huge chunk of it. Start taking action towards what you really want out of life today.