One of the biggest mistakes many people make is waiting too long before taking action. Not having enough of an action orientation.
What good are dreams, visions, and plans if we don’t act on them? To live well, we must get good at taking action. We have to stop hesitating. We have to stop waiting too long before acting.
12 Benefits of Being Action-Oriented
There are many benefits of being action-oriented. For example, it:
- helps us learn and develop
- builds our confidence
- helps develop our courage
- changes our self-identity to someone with greater power and agency
- helps us learn about ourselves
- expands our sense of possibility
- builds momentum
- positions us as a doer and leader—and people respond to that.
- yields better results over time and increases our probability of success
- invites serendipity
- gives us more chances at breakthroughs
- helps us avoid the cost of regret for not trying
Take the Traps Test
We all fall into traps in life. Sometimes we’re not even aware of it, and we can’t get out of traps we don’t know we’re in. Evaluate yourself with our Traps Test.
How to Be More Action-Oriented: Five Key Factors
While there are many benefits to being action-oriented, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It requires five key factors:
We must tap into our desire for a better future and summon our drive to achieve. Yes, that means getting off the couch and getting to work.
Becoming more action-oriented requires a willingness to act in spite of our fears. It requires a willingness to go for it despite the obstacles and risks.
3. A willingness to pounce when opportunities arise.
Becoming more action-oriented means becoming more willing to strike, even when the picture isn’t fully clear. We must tap into our warrior spirit.
4. A growth mindset.
According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is a belief that we can develop our intelligence, abilities, and talents. If we have a fixed mindset, by contrast, we believe those things are static, and we’ll be preoccupied with the prospect of looking bad or being wrong and thus less likely to take action.
5. Clarity about what we want and where we’re going.
We can fuel our action orientation with a compelling vision of success, an inspiring dream of a better future.
Goals are the desired results we hope to achieve—the object of our effort and ambition. Goals are common in our life and work, but that doesn’t mean we’re good at setting and achieving them. Use this Goal-Setting Template to set your goals properly, based on the research and best practice.
When we move from hesitation mode to an action orientation, powerful forces start swirling.
Also, isn’t it more fun to be in the game than on the sidelines, not knowing the ultimate outcome but engaging in the pursuit and struggle?
Truth be told, we never really know the perfect time for things, so we might as well get started sooner rather than later. Where does waiting get us?
What are you waiting for?
- Do you have enough of an action orientation?
- Or are you hesitating too much?
- What more will you do to start taking bold action?
Tools for You
- Traps Test (Common Traps of Living) to help you identify what’s getting in the way of your happiness and quality of life
- Goal-Setting Template (Beyond SMART Goals) to help you set goals you can achieve based on best practices
- Quality of Life Assessment to help you discover your strongest areas and the areas that need work and then act accordingly
Quality of Life Assessment
Evaluate your quality of life in ten key areas by taking our assessment. Discover your strongest areas, and the areas that need work, then act accordingly.
Postscript: Quotations on Being Action-Oriented
- “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” -Meister Eckhart, German mystic
- “An ounce of action can crush a ton of fear.” -Tim Fargo, author, angel investor, and entrepreneur
- “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” -Dale Carnegie , writer and lecturer
- “Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk—and to act.” -Maxwell Maltz, surgeon and author
- “Action is the foundational key to all success.” -Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor
- “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” -Tony Robbins, author
- “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.” -Napoleon Hill, author
- “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” -Wayne Gretzky, legendary hockey player
- “Do not wait till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” -William B. Sprague, clergyman and biographer
- “I think the number one advice I can give is: you just have to start it. Just get your feet in the water and do it. I learned a lot from just trying it out.” -Yoshikazu Tanaka, Japanese entrepreneur
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Gregg Vanourek is a writer, teacher, TEDx speaker, and coach on personal development and leadership. He is co-author of three books, including LIFE Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives (a manifesto for integrating our life and work with purpose, passion, and contribution) and Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations (a winner of the International Book Awards). Check out his Best Articles or get his monthly newsletter. If you found value in this article, please forward it to a friend. Every little bit helps!