This week we will be breaking down Chapters 10-13 of The Magic of Thinking Big. If you haven’t read the breakdown for week 3 yet, go do so before continuing on with week 3.
Get Into The Habit of Taking Action
One of the main reasons I started this book club is because I found myself reading lots of books every year, great books with lots of valuable ideas, yet never getting the results I wanted from them.
Why was that?
Was it because the ideas in the books didn’t really work? Or maybe they just didn’t apply to me?
Nope… neither one of those.
The reason I wasn’t getting results is because I wasn’t taking action on the things I read.
This idea can be seen anywhere in life where you aren’t achieving the results you want.
In chapter 10 of The Magic of Thinking Big the author talks about this idea. In it he gives 8 ways to develop the habit of taking action.
- Become a Doer. The first thing that you need to do, is to become someone who “does” things. Change your thinking so that when presented with an opportunity or idea, you immediately think, “How can I put this into practice.”
- Don’t wait for the perfect time. If you wait for the “right time” to do something you will be waiting forever. Timing almost never seems perfect. Take action right away.
- Ideas don’t lead to success. Having a good idea is definitely needed to achieve success in anything, but it is only part of what leads to success. A good idea, put into action and executed well, is way more powerful than the perfect idea that is never put into action. Don’t wait for the prefect idea.
- Action cures fear. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking action on something you are afraid to do is the very thing that will cure your fear. Whatever it is that you are afraid of is probably the very thing you need to take action on. As Susan Jeffers says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
- Get yourself started. Some people claim that they are waiting for something to get them started. According to the book we need to take the more mechanical approach and get ourselves started. Don’t wait for something to “move you”, rather get yourself moving.
- It’s all about NOW. It’s so easy to say “I’ll do that tomorrow” or “I’ll start doing that at the beginning of the month.” Don’t do this! Action takers recognize this common trap and force themselves to take action right away. Don’t put it off. Just get started right now, where you are.
- Get down to business. This is kind of the same idea as number 6, but it has a slight but important difference. While the previous point is about developing the habit of taking action right away, this one is about what you do when you begin to take action. Some people will break out of the trap of putting things off, only to start projects and focus on the least important things possible – basically as another way to put things off. Once you have decided to become a person dedicated to taking action right away, force yourself to use the time well. Take action on the important things. Get started with tasks that will immediately move the project forward.
- Take initiative. Become a person others can count on to take charge and run with an idea. Look for ways to take initiative in your work and your personal life.
You’re Going to Fail
It’s a fact of life, you will fail at times.
While some of us experience it more than others, we all experience it at some point. (Unless you’re DJ Khaled. All that guy does is win, win, win…no matter what.)
Every person who is a success is where they are because they have failed.
Wait a minute…. what the heck does that mean?
Michael Jordan is quoted with saying “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” If there is anyone that knows what it is like to be successful, it’s MJ. But even he recognizes that without those failures he never would have achieved the level of success he was able to achieve.
Next time you find yourself being discouraged by a failure, remember this idea. Use your failure to fuel you on to success.
In the book the author gives us 4 ways to do this:
- Study your failures. If you don’t know why you failed it is harder to learn from it. Break down what lead to the failure and use it as a lesson.
- Find your faults. We all have weaknesses. Having them is not the problem as long as you learn what they are so that you can either correct them or avoid them.
- Luck isn’t the solution. Too many people use luck as the excuse for everything that goes wrong – or goes right – in their lives. Don’t be like this. Figure out what went wrong, learn from it, and have more success next time.
- Be persistent & try new things. The definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. It is important to be persistent and not throw in the towel too soon, but once you have identified something as a weakness or problem you need to make a change immediately. Try new ways of doing things. Experiment and find the solution to the problem.
- Look for success. The book says, “Remember, there is a good side in every situation. Find it. See the good side and whip discouragement.” Be a positive thinker and find the good in any situation you are presented with.
Do You Have Goals?
You may know that I am a huge believer in the power of setting goals. I have written about it here in the past.
There are approximately a million different approaches to goal setting, each one claiming their way is the best.
So which one is?
Well, until I try them all out – which I’m not going to do – I can’t answer that question. However, there is one resource I have found to be the best one for me.
Every year I take a course from Michael Hyatt on goal setting. It’s called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever and it is exactly what the title suggests, a five day course on setting goals to help you achieve what you want in life.
Regardless of if you use a goal planning system or course, the fact is that you need to have goals. And they need to be in writing.
In Chapter 12 of The Magic of Thinking Big, the author talks about goals and outlines 8 things we need to know about having goals:
- Know where you want to go. If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t know what to do to get there. Having written goals will allow you to make choices based on whether or not the thing you are presented with will lead you to where you want to be.
- Create a 10 year plan. The author says, “Your life is too important to be left to chance. Put down on paper what you want to accomplish in your work, your home, and your social departments.”
- Focus on happiness. Your goals should be focused on things that matter to you. Set goals that make you happy. After all, happiness is one of the most powerful things that leads to success.
- Let your main goal fuel you. In 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt encourages you to create a “Push Goal”, which he says is a goal that will make all your other goals easier or obsolete. Figure out what this goal is for you. Let it inspire you and push you to achieve all your other goals.
- One step at a time. As the old saying goes, “When eating an elephant, take one bit at a time.” I’m not sure who originally said this but it is a simple and great idea. No matter how big and challenging your goal may seem, it can be achieved by focusing on taking one step at a time. Focus on the next thing you can do to push you one step closer. Then the next thing. And so on until you have achieved your goal.
- Give it a time limit. In the book he suggests that we use 30-day goals. Giving yourself a time limit creates a sense of urgency and will help you to achieve the goal.
- Take detour, don’t quit. When is the last time that you were driving somewhere and came upon a closed road and thought to yourself “Well I guess I should just go home now”? I am going to guess this has never happened to you. Most likely you would just pick a new road to take, right? The author says, “A detour simply means another route. It should never mean surrendering the goal.” When you face a setback, or a roadblock, force yourself to come up with another idea. Change the route, not the destination.
- Invest in yourself. Once you know what your goals are, it is time to begin investing in yourself. Find things that will help you achieve your goals. Maybe that means buying some books, taking some classes, or attending some seminars.
Think Like A Leader
Leadership is one of the most popular topics for self help books. It is also one of the most debated topics.
Some people believe that leaders are born, others believe that leaders can be trained.
While I believe that some people certainly are born with more natural leadership abilities, I also believe that there is almost nothing the human mind can’t learn if you put enough effort into learning it.
That being said, no matter how much time you put into learning about leadership, if you are not a natural leader you may struggle with it a bit more than someone else who has a more natural leadership ability. However, leadership is definitely something that can be improved – and I believe we should all work on the things that are considered to be “leadership qualities.”
In Chapter 13 of the book, the author gives us 4 tactics for improving our leadership ability:
- See things from other peoples perspective. The book says, “It’s easy to get others to do what you want them to do if you’ll see things through their eyes.” Try to look at situations from other peoples perspectives, and think how you would respond if you were them.
- Be-Human. Remember the golden rule? Treat others the way you want to be treated! If your parents are like mine you probably heard this saying like a million times growing up. Well guess what? It’s a great idea! Try to focus on treating others the way you would want them to treat you. the book says to ask yourself, “What is the human way to handle this?”
- Progress, Progress, Progress. Focusing on progress in everything you do it critical to achieving success, and critical to being a good leader. If you have people who look to your leadership, they will copy this mindset over time.
- Spend some time in thought. Many of the busiest people in the world are well known for the amount of time they take to just sit and think. Time spent thinking is critical to developing creative ideas, and coming up with solutions to tough problems. This also allows you to be more calculated and provide your team – or anyone who looks to your leadership – with well thought out plans.
My Favorite Quotes
- Every big job—whether it be operating a business, high-level selling, in science, the military, or the government—requires a man who thinks action.
- The successful are active; we’ll call them activationists. The just average, the mediocre, the unsuccessful are passive. We’ll call them passivationists.
- Perfection is highly desirable. But nothing man-made or man-designed is, or can be, absolutely perfect. So to wait for the perfect set of conditions is to wait forever.
- Where there’s a will there’s always a way.
- Every day thousands of people bury good ideas because they are afraid to act on them.
- Action must precede action. That’s a law of nature. Nothing starts itself, not even the dozens of mechanical gadgets we use daily.
- Now is the magic word of success. Tomorrow, next week, later, sometime, someday often as not are synonyms for the failure word, never.
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin
- Check the lives of the people in Who’s Who in America, and you’ll find that those who have succeeded in a major way have been pounded by losing situations.
- It is not possible to win high-level success without meeting opposition, hardship, and setback. But it is possible to use setbacks to propel you forward.
- A pproblem, a difficulty, becomes unsolvable only when you think it is unsolvable.
- A goal is an objective, a purpose. A goal is more than a dream; it’s a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy “Oh, I wish I could.” A goal is a clear “This is what I’m working toward.”
- Goals are as essential to success as air is to life.
- Desire, when harnessed, is power. Failure to follow desire, to do what you want to do most, paves the way to mediocrity.
- Believe in—and push for—progress; and you’ll be a leader!
It’s Action Time
- Write down your goals. While the beginning of the year is the best time to write down goals, it is never to late. If you don’t already have a set of written goals, read this post and spend some time coming up with a set of written goals. I recommend you come up with between 7-10 goals, with at least one goal in each area listed in the post. It doesn’t have to take long. Remember, be a person of action! Take the time to do this right now!
Coming Up Next…
We will be starting a new book next week. Keep an eye out for the book announcement in the next few days! In the mean time, take the action steps above and jump into the Facebook group to help encourage others!