“We often avoid taking action because we think, I need to learn more, but the best way to learn is often by taking action.”

“We often avoid taking action because we think, I need to learn more, but the best way to learn is often by taking action.”

—James Clear, author, entrepreneur, and photographer

Image from Unsplash by Ethan Elisara

Following a two-year career as a middle school science teacher in Philadelphia, I secured a job as a pharmaceutical sales representative with the Upjohn Company.

That’s right — in the early 80s I was a legal drug dealer, promoting Motrin for pain and arthritic conditions to physicians, over other meds available at the time.

My training was rigorous, with an initial one-month stint in chilly Kalamazoo, Michigan in January. The company — which is now part of Pfizer — was about a century old at the time and took great pride in preparing over 1,000 sales reps to be among the best in the industry.

Once our book learning was complete, we were sent out to work with our district managers, to get field experience meeting with real doctors, intending to influence them to prescribe our magic orange tablets.

In the beginning, my manager did most of the work, describing features and benefits of our medications over those of our competitors. Following a few such interactions, my manager, Stan Ershler, informed me that he had to leave. I indicated that I would head right home to continue my studies. He said, Absolutely not! Go out and find some more physicians to talk to — see what happens! I definitely could have used a pill for panic attacks at that time!

With great patience and a bit of tough love, I was out the door, diving in the deep end in my new career.

EXERCISE:

Where are you hesitating or procrastinating on taking action because you feel you need to learn more?

In what situation is taking action and getting in the game likely to be your best teacher?

“Do something about it!”

“Do something about it!”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Clark Van Der Beken

How often do you experience the feeling of being upset? Examine your world and note things that are not where they should be, based on your beliefs and expectations. How often do you point your finger and blame others for the situations and events that are not proceeding as you wish?

The act of observing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, can be troubling. Practicing our capacity for equanimity and accepting things as they are rarely satisfies us for long. We simply revert to seeing far too many things out of place.

Consider a recent day in which everything seemed right in your world. Think back to your levels of intentionality and efforts to move things forward. How many T’s did you cross? How many I’s did you dot?

EXERCISE:

Where is your world showing you a puzzle with some pieces missing? Where is it time to do something about it, bringing a better picture of your world into view?

 

“Action Precedes Passion.”

“Action Precedes Passion.”

—Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, Designing Your Life

Image from Unsplash by Ian Schneider

What are the things in life you love the most? What inspires you? What are you passionate about?

Asking these questions of anyone will likely lead to a highly engaging discussion with eyes wide open and perhaps some energetic and animated gestures.

How does one person find passion in fly fishing, while another finds it in preparing sushi?

Where and when did you first notice an initial interest in your passions?

How did this spark lead to the raging fires of engagement over time?

EXERCISE:

Take note of the early actions you and others took to get hooked on your current passions. Where might future actions and trying new activities generate a few more passionate pursuits in the years ahead?

“Go beyond the expected.”

“Go beyond the expected.”

—Author Unknown

Image from EmpireOnLIne

 

One of our family’s most beloved film series is Toy Story. We have seen most of the films multiple times. Now with our two-and-a-half-year-old grandson Weston we have many more exposures, including action figures and his Woody and Buzz Lightyear pajamas.

When asked to describe Buzz, virtually everyone can repeat his famous “To infinity and beyond” phrase with bold enthusiasm. It uplifts and motivates all of us to channel our own superpowers, do great things, and exceed our own current potential.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you go well beyond the expectations others have for you in your personal or professional communities? What bold and significant actions can and will you take today to reach beyond your own perceived limits and exceed your own expectations?

What is your body of work? Focus on Cumulative Output

“What is your body of work? Focus on Cumulative Output.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Anupam Mahapatra

Do you or someone close to you use a FitBit or similar device to measure your daily steps? For many, getting 10,000 steps in each day can be an obsession.

In the past few years the standing desk and even the treadmill desk that rolls along at a slow pace have been introduced to help people increase their daily activity.

Beyond your daily physical activity, where and on what do you spend your days? What small, modest, daily efforts have you been accumulating to create your personal and professional body of work or life resumé?

EXERCISE:

Please reply to this post with a few of the worthy efforts that represent your body of work.

How have these actions become the foundation of the legacy you wish to offer the world?

I hope others in your various communities appreciate your efforts and that you fully enjoy the process and cumulative output.

“Take a massive baby step.”

“Take a massive baby step.”

—Liz Wiseman, Author Of Multipliers

Image from Unsplash by David Straight

There is something about oxymorons – such as the one presented in today’s quote – that appeals to me. A few that always get me thinking are:

  • Awful Good
  • Bittersweet
  • Crash Landing
  • Original Copy
  • Student Teacher
  • Working Vacation

And of course, my favorite: JUMBO SHRIMP.

Placing these contrary terms next to one another causes me to ponder life’s inherent conflicts and incongruities.

As a coach, I often encourage my clients to take the first steps toward their goals and objectives. Once they overcome inertia, the momentum of the first baby steps often lead to the next and then the next.

EXERCISE:

What area of your personal or professional life might call for a massive baby step?

What might life look like from where you stand once you do?

Consider seeking the help of a close friend, family member, mentor, or coach for added support.

Friday Review: Action

FRIDAY REVIEW: ACTION

What prompts you to take action? Here are a few action-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

 

 

 

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”

 

 

 

“The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you are finished.”

 

 

 

“Your fierce spirit and efforts will, in time, transform those boulders in your path into pebbles in the sand.”

“Your fierce spirit and efforts will, in time, transform those boulders in your path into pebbles in the sand.”

—Peg Streep, American author

Image from Unsplash by John Salzarulo

A respected fellow blogger, Rohan Ravi, who writes A Learning a Day, recently wrote a short commentary on the subject of values and virtues. His perspective was that although many of us espouse our values and heartfelt beliefs, quite often our actions do not fulfill these standards and become actual virtues.

EXERCISE:

Where is it most important for you to combine your fierce spirit with courageous actions in order to transform the boulders in your path into pebbles?

Who are the friends, colleagues, mentors, family members, or coaches that can support you in these efforts?

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

—Samuel Smiles, 19th Century Scottish government reformer

Image from Unsplash by Martino Pietropoli

Given our turbulent times, it is clearer than ever that hope is not a good strategy to right our world.

Wishful thinking and turning a blind eye to the objective truth has delayed the full mobilization of our world to come together as one.

Hope is, however, very powerful in that it can and will inspire our individual and collective efforts to cast the shadows of our challenges behind us.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you mobilize your most hopeful energies and committed actions as we journey together to better our world?

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

—Robert Swan, OBE, FRGS—first person to walk to both Poles

Image from Unsplash by The New York Public Library

How are you personally coming to the rescue of planet Earth?

How aware are you of the significant impact we have on our beautiful world?

In the business world, we look at adding more revenue through various channels, making wise and progressive investments, and of course, we conserve resources and reduce waste wherever possible.

What if Earth was a business and all people, all organizations, and all nations became optimal stewards of the planet, so that Earth could truly be, as Jim Collins said, Built to Last?

EXERCISE:

How are you currently acting as a loyal and caring steward to our planet? In what new and expanded ways can and will you take greater responsibility and accountability to safeguard our collective home?