Thursday, February 28, 2013

Talk Is Cheap

On this blog, I write a lot about doing great work. You can find numerous other blogs and books that also talk about the importance of doing great work. We can talk about taking chances and not fearing failure and not caring what other people think until we are blue in the face, but talk really gets us nowhere. Once we are done talking, it is difficult to actually make changes to who we are and what we do. Without making changes, the only thing we will be able to do is continue to talk about doing great things.

I know it is hard to change the way you do things and how you think. I have the same difficulties myself. I'm not as productive as I would like to be. I don't always do the things I want to do. There are times I let fear control me. I don't take risks as much as I should. I don't speak up. Sometimes, I just try blend in with everyone else. I don't always volunteer for the tough projects. I don't stick my neck out enough.

In all honesty, this frustrates the hell out of me. I urge others to do all of the things I don't do as much as I would like. This makes me feel like a hypocrite, but I know these feelings of frustration and disappointment are not productive. Instead of these feelings, I need to use this as motivation for living the life I talk about. If I want to do more, then I need to make sure I am doing more. I am the only one responsible for my actions, just as you are the only one responsible for yours.

You see, no matter what, life isn't about perfection. We are going to have our ups and downs and we are always going to strive to be or do something more than we are right now. We all have room to grow and we all have the ability to improve. Feeling down about the things we aren't doing isn't the way to grow. Instead, celebrate the things you are doing well and learn from the things you are not doing as well as you would like. Make changes to try to improve the areas where you think you need improvement, but don't beat yourself up over what you view as shortcomings. Just keep working towards doing better.

You are not perfect. You are not going to do everything exactly like you think you should every time. You are not always going to take the right risks or do as well as you would like. You can learn to do more of the things you want to do. You just have to be conscious of the things you need to do and force yourself to do them. Force yourself to speak up in a meeting and share your idea. Volunteer for the next project offered. When you feel fear holding you back, do exactly what you are scared of.

Be cognizant of what you aren't doing as well as you would like. Don't let this frustrate you, but recognize what you need to do, acknowledge the things holding you back, then overcome them. As I said earlier, you are the one in control of your actions. If you don't want anything to hold you back, then don't let anything hold you back. You can accomplish anything you want to accomplish. It's going to take work. You have to hold yourself accountable. You know what you must do to overcome whatever has stopped you in the past.

I know I will never be perfect, but I can be better than the person I was yesterday. I will continue to work on the things I want to do better. I will be more productive. I will not let fear stop me. I will take more risks. I will speak up more often. I will volunteer for the tough projects. I will stick my neck out. I will do more than I ever have. Will you?

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