I know when we get excited about the things we want to do, we talk about how successful we will be once they all get done. Maybe you have an ideal lifestyle you’d like to be leading camped out on a tropical island or living the virtual lifestyle from your laptop. Regardless what your dreams might be, nothing happens unless you actually DO IT.
For many people their to-do list grows bigger but the actual accomplishments remain the same. I have heard of people who died only later on to have their bucket lists of things they were “planning to do” discovered by friends or family. All the dreams written down of goals and passions never seen. Instead of creating, they became busier with life stuff that always prevented them from pursuing what they really wanted.
Telling People What they Don’t Need to Hear
I’ll make a confession. I am a big talker of all the things I want to do. For years I would always fire up a conversation with sentence starters such as: “Someday I’m going to” or “I’ll get to that as soon as I’m finished with…”
But hardly anything got done.
Over the months and years my to-do list of ideas and dreams continued to increase, but what I was actually getting done was very little. I talked about everything as if that special “someday” was just around the corner and soon I’d be quitting my desk job to live a better life.
But life stayed the same.
The years went by as years do. After awhile we look back on our lives in awe and say to people: “Where did it all go?”
Life is short, no doubt. It can be tragic too if you get to the end of it and realize that all the things you had planned to do will never get done; or worse yet, they’ll end up on someone else’s dream list.
So the question is, are you going to tell them how its done or show them how to do it?
I became aware of how much I was just talking when a friend of mine said: “You talk a lot about what you are going to do but you need to show me what you’ve done.” He was right. I had lots of plans with no plan of action.
I soon realized the power of doing versus telling.
- Talking people about a marathon you want to join isn’t the same as running everyday to get in shape.
- Telling people about that book you are writing isn’t the same as sitting down with butt-in-chair and pounding out a thousand words a day until it’s done.
- Telling people about that course you are planning to take isn’t the same as signing up for it and doing the work.
- Telling people about your BIG life plans isn’t the same as showing them how you are living your dreams each and everyday.
- Telling people about who much you are going to save this year isn’t the same as having a savings plan and cutting down on expenses a little everyday.
Are you telling or doing?
You can convert from a talker to a doer right now. Catch yourself when you start a sentence with “Someday I’m going to” or “I’ll get a round to it when….”
These are doorways to excuses that keep you trapped in doing what you have always done instead of what you really want to do.
Here is what I do with my to-do list. Just throw it away or shuffle t somewhere. you don’t need a list of long things to do. Lists are for grocery shopping and how-to manuals.
On a single piece of paper, write down the one idea or goal that is your #1 driving passion. Put this at the center of the page. I would recommend using old fashioned pen and paper instead of software.
Next, imagine every possible step of the journey you would need to take to accomplish this goal. Branch out from the center and write everything down. Yes, this is a mind map. A powerful technique for getting real about your goal. This is the only “list” you need to be concerned with. Spend thirty minutes on this and stay focused until it’s done.
After that, take some time to visualize this thing happening. Don’t mistake this as just lofty dreaming. Visualization is a powerful technique that builds your dream quickly. See your finished product, goal or people celebrating what you have given them in terms of value.
“If you deliver, they will come.” Trust me.
Go back to your list of steps and take action on one of these. What is the first thing you can do? Remember, this should be a small task. If you pick something too big that has multiple sub-steps you won’t get it done as quickly. We want to build momentum here. You can do this by taking small incremental steps.
If you “show” and stop “telling” you will become a person of action. Instead of people saying: “Why doesn’t she just do it?” they will be saying: “How does he do that?”
In one year from now you can be living your dream if you start today.
Are you ready to start your journey?