As I was thinking about what I wanted to post about today I found myself thinking about the various things I’ve tried and it didn’t really lead anywhere. Recruiting is a big part of what I do for my day job currently. Twice in the last 10 years I’ve taken on side recruiting gigs to earn some extra scratch. Both of them I did for several months and then once I realized what a ton of work it was going to take and I didn’t want to commit the time to it I stopped. I thought about when I was a personal trainer (on the side) for several years. I got certified and loved helping people and was really into it. After several years I stopped actively cultivating new clients. Why? Lack of time, it wasn’t my main money maker. I loved doing it but couldn’t commit to it on a level that would take me to where I thought I wanted to be. I currently have what I’d term a side gig where I develop new accounts for a kids artistic program. I’ve done it for several years now. I enjoy doing it because I love art (I got my BA in Fine Arts and used to be very artsy) and I love meeting new people and most of the time I like kids. I do it about 10 hours a month now and while it never turned into the money maker I was hoping for it still puts some coin in my pocket and feeds my soul to some extent as well. Plus the business owner keeps paying me so she must think I help in some way. All this got me thinking to all the things I’ve tried but it never developed into more than a side gig or a part time deal. And I’m fine with that because I’ve tried some new things. I’ve enjoyed doing all of them and it really doesn’t matter that it’s never grown into a big empire or something that generates $100,000 in annual income. I’ve take ACTION when something has stayed on my mind and it’s led me to learn new things, meet new people, and try to new experiences. Which led me to my thought today – why action is everything.
Tony Says It Great
And he should, he’s Tony Frickin Robbins! After I had the thought about what to post about I did a google search of course. A lot of hits came up but honestly not many of them framed it in a way I was thinking about. Tony did though. In a video I watched he talks about how most of us live in our heads. Even thought we want something, we desire something, we have a dream or a goal, most of the time we just don’t execute on it. We all come sired with a blue print of how we are supposed to be, to ourselves and to other people, how we are supposed to act, etc. The blueprints were developed long ago and sometimes it helps, or empowers us, and other times it holds us back. It’s the inner conflicts we have with ourselves that holds us back or sometimes sabotage’s us at the goal line. And this in many ways is why so many of us have a hard time taking action.
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided” – Tony Robbins
Even Wrong Action Is Okay
There’s a quote out there somewhere that goes something like this: “I never lose. I win or I learn”. And I believe in this 100%. I had a job I really liked at a company I liked even more. I worked there for a little over 4 years and kind of let myself get talked into taking a new position with a new company. I didn’t feel 100% good about it but the pay was about 25% more than I was making and it appeared to be a good next step in my career (this was key, at that time I was all about how to keep climbing in my “career”), and to be honest I was a little frustrated with a huge initiative I had put a lot of work into at my company that had hit a brick wall. So I took the new job even though there were some red flags, I just chose not to see them. About 3 months into the new gig I was driving to work and I thought to myself “Holy shit, what did I get myself into? This really SUCKS!”. And soon after I tried to get back to my old role at my old company but they had just hired my replacement. She works there to this day and does the role better than I did. After a year and a half I managed to get back to that same company in an even better role doing more exciting things that I like to do. Know what I found out? I hate working in a company that’s as big as the one I tried. So even though I made a move to a new role that didn’t work out two good things came of it. One, I discovered what I didn’t like(a company that size) as well as I really liked the company I did work for and two, it led to an even better role for me back at that same company. I would have never know without taking action.
See, the thing is that we all make mistakes all the time. You gotta be okay with that. It’s how we learn. You can’t be scared of making mistakes because you’ve made em before and you’re gonna make em again. And so am I and and so is everybody. That’s how life works and this is how we LEARN – from making mistakes. From doing things wrong. Because the more we do things wrong the more we figure out the right way to do them, or at least the way that works for us. It’s a process, you are gonna make mistakes, learn to live with that and even more so, be ok with it. Ever see this?
The Power of Grit
What is grit? It is defined as the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Individuals high in grit are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity. Their passion and commitment towards the long-term objective is the overriding factor that provides the stamina required to “stay the course” amid challenges and setbacks. More succinctly put, grit is the thing that makes you get back up on the horse after you get thrown off. Grit has been heavily linked to high achieving individuals. As a matter of fact research has found evidence that the possessing the quality of grit is the highest predictor of an individual achieving greatness. And being able to stick to a long term goal despite distractions and setbacks is even more needed now in our instant gratification society and the myriad of ways we can get taken off course by so many things. And a very common thing that goes along with grit – taking action. For some great information on the power of grit I highly recommend the following book:
What is sunk cost and why is it relevant here? Sunk cost is really more of an accounting and finance term but it applies to other things as well. A sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs are excluded from future business decisions because the cost will be the same regardless of the outcome. So it doesn’t matter that a company has spent $5Million on the development of a new product into a new market. If the product does not launch or grow as desired or expected many times a company will tend to continue to pour more money into the venture simply because it doesn’t want to say the $5M investment isn’t going to work. But it doesn’t matter, the money is already spent no matter what. You can’t get it back so you shouldn’t factor it into your decision moving forward. And this is relevant in for our discussion because it freezes many people from making decisions based on TIME INVESTED. In particular relationships and jobs. If the last 3 years of your marriage has been miserable and you keep thinking about leaving its really hard to take action to move on if you’ve been married 20 years. Why? Well, because you invested 20 years and you don’t want to think of that time as a failure because the marriage is no longer good. The problem is you already spent the time, you can’t get it back. So you really shouldn’t factor in the time spent for your future decision. But most of us do because it hits us on a personal level. It freezes us from taking action. The same can be said of a job you no longer like with the boss that treats your crummy. Or really in any situation where you’ve invested time. The more time you’ve invested, the harder it is to kick your ass into taking action.
The Bottom Line
We’ve all heard the saying “If you want some things to change, you have to change some things”. This is the truth in any situation we find ourselves in that we aren’t really thrilled about any longer. The bottom line is you have to take some sort of action if you want something. It’s up to you to make yourself do something in order to achieve something. It could be a long term goal like building a successful company or a solid and loving marriage. In both these examples not only do you have to take ongoing action but you have to have the wonderful persevering quality of grit. Both require you to take ongoing action to achieve those goals. For a shorter term goal such as losing 10 pounds or getting a new gig, you STILL have to take some action to get there. In essence, anytime you want to change something about your current situation in life OR want to achieve something longer term and meaningful to you, you gotta take action. Which is why action really is everything.
So what are you waiting for?
All my best,