Be A Person Of Action

Who around you has become successful? Can you name off the traits that have helped them rise above the difficulties?

If you name them off, one of the traits of the successful person is that they are a person of action.

And if you want to be a successful leader, you’ll have to learn how to take action as well.

I am a person of action is the third decision in Andy Andrews’ book The Traveler’s Gift. I wrote about the two previous decisions in previous posts. They were I Will Seek Wisdom and The Buck Stops With Me.

Each decision in The Traveler’s Gift is a decision every leader should make. From taking personal responsibility to continuing to gain wisdom to choosing to be happy. Each decision will increase your value as a leader.

Today, I want to focus on I Am A Person Of Action.

Why Being A Person Of Action Is Difficult

I don’t know if there’s a more difficult decision than to be a person of action. Even though it’s such a simple concept, it’s something I struggle with. It’s probably something you struggle with as well.

The question I keep returning to is Why is this so hard to do? What’s holding me back from taking action?

In the end, I come to the conclusion that fear makes this decision so hard. Fear is a liar and tells us many things.

  • You won’t make a difference
  • You will fail
  • You will mess up

Over and over we hear these thoughts inside of our head. It’s like a CD stuck on repeat playing the same depressing song.

And these fears hold us back from taking action.

We’ve got to overcome these fears. One great resource I’ve found was Julien Smith’s book The Flinch. You can pick it up for free at Amazon by clicking here.

Until we overcome our fears, our leadership will suffer.

Why Being A Person Of Action Is Important

Andy used David Ponder’s meeting with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain to drive home the reason leaders must be willing to take action. Chamberlain’s men were short on ammo and men. He had to make a choice. In The Traveler’s Gift he chose to rush the advancing army. Taking this action led to victory for him and his men.

Had he decided not to take action, there was a good chance him and his men would have been overrun by the enemy. But this did not happen as he was a person of action.

While you may not be facing down an advancing army, you are facing a ticking clock. Every moment you hold out on making a decision is a moment you’ll never get back. Time is ticking away.

When you make a choice to take action, you’re making a choice to move forward and discover whether or not something will work. You’re making progress.

Making progress leads to accomplishing goals. It leads to success.

This is why you must be a person of action. Without action, you won’t accomplish anything.

You won’t take a chance at the game winning shot. You won’t ask the pretty girl to marry you. You won’t step up and ask for the promotion. You won’t experience the exhilaration of catching a big wave.

You must be willing to take action.

Becoming A Person Of Action

Taking action takes courage. We must begin to face our fears and move past the debilitating affects they bring upon us.

You can become a person of action by:

  • Facing your fears: Examine your life. Look for areas you’re fearful in. What are they? Do you have them? Good, now make a list of what your fears are. Next begin to take small steps towards facing one of those fears. It doesn’t have to be a big fear, a small one will do. In fact, it’s probably better at the beginning. Once you have the fear in your mind, take steps to face the fear. Once you’ve faced the first fear, face another. And then another. Soon fear will no longer hold you back from being a person of action.
  • Try new things: Challenge yourself on a daily or weekly basis to try something new. Make sure it’s an activity that will cause you to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s talking to a neighbor you’ve never met. Could it be driving a different route home? Breaking routines and giving yourself the freedom to try something new will encourage as you begin the journey to take action.

When you become a person of action, you’ll notice new doors opening. Opportunities you never thought possible will begin to “magically” fall into your lap. Except you’ll know it’s not magic.

The opportunities come to you because you’ve decided to take action. Why?

Because people see you’re willing to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. People who are excelling will see your initiative and drive. Your willingness to take action. And they’ll invite you to join in the journey.

Let today be the day you decide to be a person of action. See where it takes you. I’m positive you won’t be disappointed.

Question: What are three areas you need to take action in today? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. And then go take action.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Over time, action has just become part of who I am.  I actively work in teaching, writing, music, blogging, etc.  I can improve in my daily devotions, developing greater generosity, and taking time to observe the great and minute works of nature.

    • You’ve got your hands in a lot of fires Dan! Bet it keeps you pretty busy. What’s one step you can take to improve your daily devotions, generosity, or the observation of nature?

      • I just rearranged my house and put my devotional reading in a place where I’ll read them more regularly.  

        • Nice, that’s a step in the right direction. Placing your devotions in a more easily accessible place sure helps. 

  • Areas of action for me:
    1) Writing
    2) Sharing my faith
    3) Parenting and marriage
    It’s not that I’ve been awful in these areas, it’s just that I’d like to step it up another notch.  Thanks for the encouragement this morning, Joe.

    • All great areas to focus on and improve Jon. I know for sure you haven’t been slacking in writing. Seems like something is coming from you every day! Keep plugging away.

      • Thanks, Joe.  It’s actually been good to take a break this week (from writing).  I’m excited for new action in 2013.

  • Thanks for sharing this today! I think God calls us all to become people of action. He calls us all to different things. There is no doubt that God equips each of us with different talents and abilities to be able to “Amplify His Kingdom”.

    There are many areas of action that I can become better in. I believe that I can do a lot better in would be sharing my faith more. It is sometimes easy to forget to be intentional with that and be proactive by looking for opportunities.

    • I’m with you on the faith sharing Brandon. We fall into a complacency and just forget about it for the most part. How could you take more action when it comes to your faith?

  • jeff

    I began walking to places.  I want to walk and skateboard more, rather than drive.

    • Nice Jeff. Was this to become more physically active or for another reason?

      • jeff

        It’s for the physical movement and a hobby.

  • I agree Joe,

    The fear of the unknown prevents a lot of people from getting out of their comfort zone and doing. Action areas for me include:

    1. Finding a better job.
    2. Starting to coach, speak, and write at least 1 book next year all focusing on leadership and how it relates to building a tribe and platform.
    3. Get into shape and prepare for a 5k run (Thanksgiving of 2013).

    What about yourself Joe, what are 3 areas you need to take action on?

    • Great list Dan. All of those things are sure to help you move forward in life. How are you taking steps towards them? For the 5K, you might want to check out the Couch To 5K program. I’ve heard great things about it.

      As for the areas I need to take action on…

      1. I need to put the pen to paper and finish writing the book I started. I really got off track during the Christmas season. It’s time for me to take action and get back on track there.

      2. Home projects… There’s a couple of things around our house that needs to be done. I’ve put them off and off.

      3. Like you, speaking and promoting myself.

      •  That’s what I’m working on this week:) I’ll check it out.

        Nice, looking forward to what your going to do in 2013. Let me know if I can help in anyway.

      • DS

        Joe – looking forward to your completion of the book.  Interested to hear about the obstacles and overcoming real life while working on your project.  I’m also looking forward to hearing back about some of #3.  Looking forward to an awesome 2013.

    • DS

      I’m excited to hear about a few of your plans going forward.  Curious to read your take/view on #2.  Hopeful for you on #1.  Like to hear about what you learn as you prep for #3.

  • The action I need to take more often is taking a genuine interest in other people I interact with during the day – the cashier at the grocery store, the waitress, etc…  These are all people who often have fascinating stories to tell, and once you make that effort is amazing what you learn.

    • Great area to be focused on Tom. Everyone has a story and sometimes we need to listen to it. How can you take action on this today?

      • Had a great conversation with our regular waitress today about how her Christmas was…which wasn’t great.  Glad we had the conversation.

        • Nice! Hope you were able to cheer her up a bit after her downer of a Christmas.

  • DS

    I’ve got 6 buckets and then specific goals and actions in them.  Here are three from among those:
    1) Publishing 1 post a week.
    2) Writing a paragraph a day on any subject.
    3) Studying and applying “Courtship After Marriage” – Zig Ziglar

    • Nice DS. I’m intrigued by number 2. Is this an exercise to get your creative juices flowing or is there another reason?

      • DS

        Some for creative purposes.  Some for habit purposes.  Some for learning purposes.

        I normally have what feels like 9000 ideas rumbling around in my mind.  I believe I will be able to free my mind, refine some ideas, and continue to create.  

        • Cool. Sounds like a great exercise to do. Are you surprised by the things you write during the sessions?

          • DS

            I wouldn’t say I’ve been surprised by the content, but surprised at how the content has flowed into various thought processes that I originally thought were separate.

  • Some of us have spent our entire lives as followers only to find ourselves utterly dissatisfied with where we have landed. But as an eternal follower, this is a tough one for me. As 2013 approaches, I hope to quit being a “shaker” (as in fear, not like being a “mover and a shaker”) and become a person of action. Thanks for the post

    • Good luck David! You’ll succeed as long as you make it a priority in your life. Decide to put one foot in front of the other and do the things you need to.

  • Pingback: Good Intentions Matter | Joseph LalondeGood Intentions Matter - Joseph Lalonde()