Understanding Success – Part Four

Successful people get it. They simply understand some things that less successful people seem to have a hard time grasping. The things they understand are the “it’s” of success. 

This is the fourth post of a pretty long series on those “it’s.” They will be short posts, each just long enough to give you time to focus on one “it” of success until the next post arrives. I’m not locked in on just how long this series will go, it could turn out to be as many as six or even eight posts.

Because successful people are willing to ask for help they are able to get more accomplished than less successful people. Another reason that successful people get more done is because they understand the difference between procrastination and patience. 

They know that the perfect time to act seldom comes so they take action as soon as they can, whether the timing is perfect or not.

Successful people have seen how easy it is for “later” to become “never” so they don’t delay. They know there is no “someday” on a calendar, there is no “free” time in their schedule, and the less they do today the more they will have to do tomorrow. 

If you’re a habitual procrastinator then you should know this absolute fact: procrastination will kill your chances for success, if not today then tomorrow for sure. The best time to do anything is at the first opportunity you have to do it. 

Many people procrastinate simply because they don’t know what to do next so here is some life changing advice…. when you don’t know what to do just do the next right thing. No matter how small that “thing” might be you’ll have made some progress and built some momentum. Momentum creates more momentum. 

Some of you will say that you don’t know the next “right thing” to do but in all likelihood you really do. Never use “I don’t know” as an excuse to not take action. Successful people who really “don’t know” find someone who does and they ask them. Once they know they take action, immediately.

If you’re struggling with procrastination then try this simply adjustment in when you do things. If something takes less than 30 seconds to complete then do it immediately. For instance, if an email can be answered in a sentence or two then answer it immediately, don’t let it linger in your inbox, don’t open and read it several times with the intention of responding “later” because there will likely be something else more demanding of your attention later. That by the way is exactly how later turns into never.

Reject the “patience” excuse for not taking action. If you can do something now then now is the best time to do it. Realize that putting things off is seldom patience, it’s nearly always procrastination and procrastination is nearly always bad. 

Focus on what you can do right now and then do it….right now!

 

Thinking Isn’t Doing

Thinking is good, there is no doubt about that. Thinking too much however might not be so good. It’s amazing how often “over-thinking” leads to “under-doing.” We think so much about what we should do, or what we’re going to do, that we never actually get around to doing it. 

The most successful people know that thinking about doing something will never get it done. As important as thinking is, success in life comes from doing. Good ideas have no chance to become great ideas until somebody does something with them.

Thinking alone never leads to success, it is only when thinking is followed by action that an outcome is produced.

That little bit of insight is not news to anyone. Some of the people reading this will agree with it and start thinking about thinking less and doing more. Then they will think about it some more.

Here are just a couple of ideas to help you “thinkers” to think a little less and do a little more.

While you’re thinking you may want to be thinking about your plan of ACTION to help increase your chances of success. Many people don’t start something because they don’t know where, or how, to start. Sometimes getting started is all it takes to build a little momentum towards a successful outcome. So just start!

I’d recommend beginning your plan with the ultimate goal in mind. You don’t have to know every step on your path before you begin. If you know where you’re going (your goal) you will figure out the steps along the way.

Remember, starting small is better than not starting. Before you use “lack of resources,” time, money, help, or whatever, as an excuse not to begin you should know this…lack of resources is seldom the real problem…make sure your real problem isn’t lack of prioritizing. You may not have enough of something to do it all but never let that be an excuse for not doing all that you can. It’s amazing how the resources show up once you begin!

Get some help to get started, a long train often adds a second engine to get started. Find yourself a second engine…maybe a coach or mentor. The most successful people are not afraid to ask for help so ask someone who cares about you to give you a push. Once they get you started don’t forget to ask them to check up on you once in a while. A little accountability can go a long way.

Oh and one more thing…your thoughts are almost always reflected in your attitude so think positive thoughts. Think I CAN and then think I WILL!