A Bias for Action Puts You in Control

(Read in :03)“Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.”~ Indira Gandhi

I’m going to talk briefly about a secret weapon that can get a person from where they are to where they want to be faster than about anything else they can do. Curious?

Last time, I listed a bunch of things we CAN control. There are about a million things we can’t, I admit it. Things like the weather, the economy, gravity, traffic. For example, we had no Internet when I sat down to get this post up. Out of my control. (We still don’t.)

What to do? I could have driven my laptop to a business with free wifi. There are several within a few minutes of our home, some are open 24 hours. But, I was able to stay home and finish thanks to a personal “hot spot” on my cell phone! Are workarounds great or what? Sometimes we forget how to problem solve because life is generally pretty no, extremely easy these days.

So what’s the secret?

I’ll explore the topic in greater detail on Monday when we meet again. I have an early meeting tomorrow so I’ll keep this one short. (And hope you come back to read more.)

I’m going to drag up an old catch phrase from Tom Peters, the guy who wrote In Search of Excellence way back in 1982. The term he popularized was “a bias for action.” It’s still an excellent strategy for today, maybe better, and every bit as powerful as it was back then or even back in 1966 when he first realized it how well it worked.

What does a bias for action mean?

Peters has a great, short little video which sums it up very nicely, it’s about 5 minutes long. You should take a look. He makes the point that it’s great to have ideas and great to think but nothing really happens until we take action. That is where the rubber hits the road. It’s even more important to take a lot of action. Go. Try. Try Again. Goof up. Look stupid. Try it again.

I love the part when he is told he’s a great speaker. He answers that it’s amazing how much better he is after 3,000 speeches than he was after 3. And he still doesn’t feel like he’s has nailed it, not the way he knows he could. Peters believes that in every case the person who tries the most things wins. He also believes success in anything never comes in a straight line. This awareness is the beginning of adulting.

Three things to get you started

  • Start small but start. If you want to get something done, you must begin. Just take a few steps, spend a set amount of time but do something. Make the appointment. Pick up the phone and call the person who can answer your first questions. The earliest steps are vital.

“What You Can Do, or Dream You Can, Begin It; Boldness Has Genius, Power, and Magic in It”~ (often attributed to) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Quit over thinking and over researching. (My biggest obstacle) It’s better to meditate for 10 minutes than to read 10 books on meditation.

“To think too much is a disease.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Reframe failure in your mind. Get over yourself. It’s a necessary step to success. Keep moving. Get up one more time than you fall down.

“The only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how you use it”~Unknown

There’s so much great stuff to talk about having a bias for action! I can’t wait to see you Monday! Have a great weekend and start thinking about that thing you’ve been wanting to do for so long….


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