In my last post, I discussed how ideas are a dime-a-dozen, it takes being a “doer” to turn a dream into reality. Here’s where we left off:
The big question then becomes how to become a doer instead of just a dreamer or a talker. The answer is summed up perfectly in this quote:
“These are the steps leading from desire to fulfillment; first the burning desire, then the crystallization of that desire into a definite purpose, then sufficient appropriate action to achieve that purpose. Remember, that these three steps are always necessary to insure success.”
– Napoleon Hill, The Laws of Success
Let’s look at these separately:
1. Burning Desire
This is the fuel for midnight oil, the “want to”, the drive behind accomplishment. I find that when desire is lacking for a given (significant) endeavor, it will never get done, no matter how organized I get about it. On the other hand, I will find ways to move mountains and accomplish the impossible when true desire is there.
2. Definite Purpose
This is the “why.” It’s the vision of what you will be or do. It’s intimately connected with desire; try to hold onto a vision that you don’t truly desire, deep in your heart – it can’t be done, at least not over the long haul. When this purpose is selected, deeply believed in and firmly held, amazing things happen. Definite purpose put a man on the moon.
This is what happens when a burning desire meets a definite purpose; it translates into action in spite of discomfort. Now, you’d think that action is the element that separates the dreamers and the talkers from the doers, but it’s not. Well, it is and it’s not. The real work – the hardest work – is in the first two, desire and purpose. Strangely, action can even be a trap, keeping one away from the realization of one’s dreams. Busyness for busyness’ sake is a plague of our modern age. We’re all in a hurry, running around with too much to do in too little time, accomplishing not much of anything. No, the hard work is in the first two. It takes tremendous “emotional labor” to get crystal clear on what you really want. Few really know what they want. Developing a worthwhile definite purpose is among the most rewarding – and difficult – processes there is. Actually, it’s almost everything.
I was pondering these things as I trained today. Wednesday is running day. My triathlon coach Richard Wygand is in KY doing an IronMan, so I decided to run on my own. It was noon, and very, very hot in West Palm Beach, FL. I was taking action – running – which was darn hard. But the real battle was going on in my head. I kept asking myself, over and over, “why the **** am I doing this?” At 3.5 miles, with feet dragging and overheating to the point of swerving down the road, the answer just wasn’t there. So I quit. But then I reflected on what I wanted. I want excellent health. I want endurance, strength, and vitality. I want to cross the finish line and know deep in my heart that I’m a finisher. So I got my Nikes back on, and headed out to finish what I had started to do – and I did.
So what do you want? What’s your vision? What are you passionate about? What would make you gladly burn the midnight oil? Now’s the time to get crystal clear about it and take action on it. As you take steps towards your dream, amazing things will happen.
Prior to the claims business, I wandered around a lot in the area of employment, working in industries and positions that did not fit me well. I discovered that adjusting is a great career; helping people, not stuck in a cubicle, lots of room and opportunities to grow, actually interesting and very lucrative. It was and is a great fit for me and what I want. The claims business, as it turns out, is in many ways in alignment with my passion and my vision.
Whatever it is you really want, be a doer, not a dreamer or a talker. Put in the emotional labor to get crystal clear on what you want. Develop that definite purpose. Feed your desire for it. And take the action.
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