Habit: act. now.

Welcome Life Athletes!
    This week’s habit is one that comes from a number of sources as well as my own observations. That said, Eben Pagan put it perfectly in his program Get Altitude when he said that the one trait all successful people share is a fast “rate of implementation”, so we’ll use that term for it.  

This is one that I’ve struggled with and have been injecting into my life lately so it’s close to my heart.  Essentially, those who are successful in any field do things and they do them now. They take action while other people are still thinking about any number of things other than. 

The thing about this habit is that it’s counter to many parts of my thinking as well as many others I’ve spoken to.  We want to make things perfect, we want to consider, ponder and observe. However well those traits have served us, it isn’t until we focus on this habit that we can move things forward and start creating what we want in life. 

While I’d be the first to extol the virtues of the clever and the cautious, I think that there’s a danger to them, one expressed beautifully in one of my favourite quotations:

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

Ray Bradbury

A fast rate of implementation means that when you hear something that you think is a good idea, an idea that would serve you and your life, you take an action towards putting it into effect immediately. 

It’s simple, magical, and people throw fits for the right to do things later.  

It can’t be denied that the people who I’ve met who exemplify the habit of a fast rate of implementation make lots of mistakes and have jumped the gun from time to time but what they also do is take notice of their mistakes earlier than most and act to change them. 

My father, who might be the living embodiment of this habit said this when I mentioned this topic to him: “The thing about doing things that are new is there are going to be new problems. Seeing too many sides is a definite disadvantage and god help you if you can see what might go wrong that will turn your guts to liquid. You need to be a little bull-headed for sure”. Watching him operate in his life can be dizzying and at times befuddling to me but what he’s accomplished in his business and in his life are impressive by any metric.

He expects problems but unlike the people who get stopped by them he treats problems as a driver would react to other cars on the road.  Sure it’s easier to drive when the road is clear but it’s not always that way and waiting for the road to clear is a good plan if you want to spend the rest of your life in your driveway. 

I made a comment to a friend of mine a little while back that my dad would have already completed some of the projects I had been just starting to plan.  It wasn’t that he had more money than me, he does, or that he was more clever, although he might be.  It was his ability to put things into action and not stop until it was finished, or he was, that would have got it done. 

That realization is why these last few posts are going out imperfectly. They don’t have photos, they might not have the best prose I could muster given the time to craft. What they do have is the distinction of being good enough and published. “Good enough and published” beats “perfect but existing only in my mind” any day. This is me putting a success habit in place, one post at a time. Life Athletics isn’t about being perfect, it’s about seeing where you’re weak and taking action to make those area stronger to benefit you, your loved ones and your life. What action are you going to take to make your life better today? 

Action step: Take some action towards your goals now. Listen to the reasons you have for not doing it now and ask yourself if those reasons sound familiar, then take the action anyway. 

Journal it.