Don’t Just Do Something…


The other day I was having coffee with my friend Ian, who also writes for The Wellness Addict, and we were talking about what each of us could do to help people become more effective. I was telling him that one thing I can do is help people get in the right state of mind to take action. That’s something I’d love to talk more about, but he pressed me to list some of the key principles of achievement.

A Little About My Friend Ian

Now, before I share my ideas of how you can achieve success, I want to tell you a little about Ian. He’s a true friend of mine, and we’ve known each other for over 30 years. I get a little emotional talking about it, because we’ve been through some extraordinary experiences together. At one point, we formed a band together and wrote some really amazing songs. I remember getting some real interest from recording agencies. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look how our futures developed, Ian and I and the other members of the band had a lot of growing up to do at that time, and the band basically self-destructed.

Anyway, the reason I’m going on about Ian is that he’s one of greatest facilitators I know. What I mean is that he has a gift for bringing out the most creative, powerful parts of your personality. This gift comes from a life lived through a lot of adversity. He’s got a profound energy that has to be experienced to be appreciated, and if you ever get a chance to talk with him, I encourage you to do it!

Seven Key Principles of Achievement

So, back to our conversation about the key principles of achievement. I was very inspired by Ian’s leading questions, so I rattled off seven principles. Here’s what they were:

1. Clearly identify your goal

2. Learn the path others have taken to reach similar goals

3. Do something!

4. Pay attention to your results

5. Multiply your successes

6. Modify or discard your failures

7. Do something else!

If you follow success systems at all, you’re going to hear a lot of echoes in my talks of the big players in success coaching, like Napoleon Hill, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, and others like them. That’s because over the past ten years, I’ve consumed massive amounts of their writings and teachings. I’ve compared what all the success leaders are saying to the wisdom of the ancient teachers of Asia, and found that they have a LOT in common. If you can afford it, I encourage you to go to seminars taught by these great motivators.

If you can’t afford it, go anyway!

My first choice for you, just because he’s the rock star of personal achievement right now, would be to attend a Tony Robbins seminar or read one his books, like Awaken the Giant Within!

Here’s the Point

So, after that long digression, let me get back to the one thing I really want to share with you today. I’m sure you’ve heard to the old expression, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” If you study leadership at all, you’ve probably heard of the book by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff called Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!: Ten Principles for Leading Meetings That Matter. My suggestion to you is a little different. If you want to realize a goal, don’t just do something, DO SOMETHING! What I mean by that is that when you have a powerful idea, the most effective way to bring it into existence in the real world is to take action, take big action, and take it now!

Small Results Are Hard to Measure!

Small results are hard to measure. If you do something right, but it’s very, very small, you may need a microscope to figure out if it helped you get closer to your goal. But if you do something big, you’re going to know if it worked or not. And if it didn’t, you’ll be able to see what didn’t work about it.

Now, I’m not saying you should just willy nilly do something huge and crazy just to be doing something! You have to clearly identify your goal and learn what the path is that will take you there. I’ll share a lot more about these two steps in the future. But the point I want you to take away from today is that if you’ve clearly identified your goal and figured out the major steps needed to get there, you can work out some action to take to get you started. That’s the “something big” I encourage you to take on.

Ideas Have a Shelf Life

And, finally, do it now! Ideas have a shelf life. If you doubt me, go back and look at a newspaper or book from 30 years ago. It looks pretty quaint, doesn’t it? You don’t want your ideas to spoil because they’ve festered too long! Take the first opportunity to act, before doubts creep in, before technology leaves your idea behind, or before you get too caught up in your everyday life to work hard on the one thing that is really important to you.

So … if you want to realize your dreams … don’t just do something, get out there and DO SOMETHING!

About Nicklaus

Nick has studied the martial arts and philosophies of Asia for 44 years, and has used their principles to start five successful businesses, including SEO Ann Arbor. He's an attorney, entrepreneur, consultant, and author of four books on martial arts, including Budo Mind and Body, which was featured in Black Belt Magazine. He advises a wide variety of businesses and individuals on marketing, motivation, mastery, success, and kicking your ass into gear.