Many people will move out of the way for a person on the run; others are caught up in the wake. My activity will create a wave of success for the people who follow.Andy Andrews, The Traveler’s Gift
A few years ago, I put together a personal mission statement. The goal was to become motivated to act like the person I really wanted to be. I know sometimes this kind of talk sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but writing things down helps me take action.
Like the age-old chicken or the egg question, it’s difficult to tell if these characteristics came as a result of taking action or if taking action is what brings on these characteristics
But here are some characteristics I believe come with being a person of action. I hope these words might inspire you to take action.
There is a lot of power in the word “now”. Sometimes, when I’m under pressure, I have a tendency to start going philosophical, thinking about why I procrastinated, what I need to do differently next time, how next year we should change things, etc. After listening to me for a bit, my wife will finally say something like, “Yes, but right now, you need to get this list of stuff from Sam’s.” It’s the next step. It’s what’s in front of me this very minute. Right now really makes a huge difference. If you want to accomplish something, take some action – no matter how small – right now. Here’s more about the power of now.
To become a person of action is to have bold courage. We must remember, we can be comfortable or courageous, but not both. How do you need to be bold today? Ask people questions. Find out why things aren’t right between you and someone else. Go big. Take a chance. All these actions require a bit of being bold! I once heard someone say, “Today’s church prays for safety and the early church prayed for boldness.” I want to fall into the camp of praying for a bold life! Here are two questions you can ask to infuse boldness into your life.
Actions often come from making a decision. In a sense, indecision is also an action, but not one typically associated with moving forward and getting things done. I have a vague recollection of hearing my grandpa, who was a farmer, say something like, “Well, I guess I better get outside and do something even if it is wrong.” There may be times when the decision you make isn’t the perfect one, but to be a person of action, you must learn to make decisions. I haven’t always been the best at this – I’m a “P” on the Myers-Briggs and love keeping the options open. But I understand the importance of it and can look to times when I took a risk, made a decision and the payoff was incredible. Here are some insights into make decision that help your organization grow.
John Wesley was quoted saying, “Prayer is where the action is!” It’s too tempting to think of prayer as inaction. It’s too easy to think we will pray for a brief moment then get out there and work! Christians who invest time in prayer will find becoming a person of action much easier – because we are in step and in tune with God’s will for our lives. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do, I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Another saint said something like this: “I usually spend an hour each morning in prayer, unless I have an unusually full agenda for the day, in which I pray for two hours!” If you want to be a person of action, be a person of prayer.
A person of action has a sense of energy. When we put some energy behind us – in our work, our relationships and our disciplines, it really begins to snowball! We don’t want to be hyper about things, but a passionate, alive and awake life makes taking action easier. Here are some practical things you can do to bring energy to your organization.
Future Thinking, Present Living
Actions are sometimes motivated by what you want to see in the future. If you want to get in shape, then action is required today. If you want to feel healthier tomorrow, don’t eat the candy bar now. If you want a better relationship with your kids next year at this time, you schedule a memory maker today or tomorrow afternoon. Live in the moment, but be aware of how your actions will affect tomorrow.
Being a person of action requires motivation. Two of the best sources are reading and spending time with others. What books are you reading? Who are you spending time talking about life and faith? These two components can inspire you to take action and become inspirational to someone else.
These aren’t easy. If they were, everyone would be a person of action! Sometimes you know you need to do something and you just don’t. Take small steps and determine to keep trying! Action fuels action! Become a person of action today!
This idea of being a person of action came from the book The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. It was a great, fun book to read!
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