At some point we have to stop planning, stop talking, stop thinking, and actually do it if we are to move our life forward. As the Greek philosopher Sophocles said, “heaven never helps the man who will not act.” The reason many people remain stuck during their lives is because they lack the courage to act; they procrastinate because they are afraid to take a leap of faith in themselves. The following is what Dr. Dave Martin in his book, The 12 Traits of the Greats has to say about these fundamentals for success.

Procrastination is the opposite of courage; procrastination will kill any opportunity that presents itself. Remember when opportunity does knock, it will come disguised as many years of hard work and as risk. People fail to act, not necessarily because they are lazy, but because they are afraid of the perceived risk.

The world’s great achievers have an insatiable desire to take action, to move forward with urgency. These people do not have a procrastination gene; they are action oriented; they want to get the job done as quickly as possible.

The world will always reward action, not thoughts; the world will pay you for what you do and what you implement. To be successful, one must move from the planning and conceptual stage to action steps. Simply taking a small step forward every day will “pile up” to get you where you want to be some day.  The secret is to start to take action today!

When you act you also benefit from valuable experiences. People of greatness look at failing experiences as simply one step in the journey to success; they view it as a learning process, something you expect and welcome to get from point A to point B successfully. Consider the only way you really learn something is to do it wrong; many successful people have proven the statement: the way to increase success is to double your error rate. It is unfortunate but true, one of the greatest obstacles to taking action is the fear of failing. Whenever you see someone who has achieved success, realize it is a person who has had the courage to overcome his fears and act on his dreams; success only comes to those who have the courage to take risks.

Keep in mind, once you take the all important first step forward, the longer you stay in the race, the more likely you are to prevail; the “greats” are committed to their goals; successful people share one common quality – they are all persistent.

No matter how much passion you may possess, distractions will lure you away from your goals, failure will raise its ugly head, you will face setbacks and defeats that force you to make difficult decisions, you will develop new attitudes you did not possess at the beginning. But successful people know it will be a difficult climb to the top; they simply refuse to give up; persistence pays off! Those people who do remarkable things with their lives, just stick around longer than anybody else.

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