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Motivation: The Power of Action, Part 1


I've heard it said that 85% of success is showing up. While that's true, in the words of radio commentator Paul Harvey, here's the rest of the story.

If 85% of success is showing up, then in order to do better than 85% of the other folks, all you have to do is show up.

That's fairly easy.

To do better than 90% of everyone else, show up, and be on time.

Still not too tough.

To do better than 95% of everyone else, show up, on time, with a plan.

Getting a little harder here.

To do better than anyone else, 100% of everyone else, show up, on time, with a plan, and follow through with the plan.

Ouch. Now this is really getting harder, isn't it?

Have you noticed how the last five percent of something is usually the hardest? Take working out with weights for example. The first of ten reps are usually the easiest, while reps 8, 9 and 10 are usually the hardest. Do you also know which reps do you the most good? That's right, eleven and twelve.

So it is with following through. In my experience, both personally and professionally, this is the hardest part of being successful. And therefore the most important and beneficial.

So what makes it so hard to follow through? The biggest hindrance for most people is putting action off, the deadly disease of procrastination.

Here are two sets of deadly procrastination words.

"I'll do it later" - What "I'll do it later" really means is that we have done two interesting things in our brains. We have linked more pain than pleasure to getting something done and we have linked more pleasure to putting something off than to doing it now. Simply stated, when we say "I'll do it later" we mean that it feels better to put it off than to do it now.

"I forgot" - Sometimes we do honestly forget. Most of the time, what "I forgot" really means is that we did not believe something was important enough to do. It's another excuse for procrastination.

So how do we beat the disease of procrastination? Nike had it right with it's slogan "Just Do It." I realize that I'm quoting a sneaker company here, but I guess you find your wisdom where you can.

The main reason why the just do it slogan works so well is because the smallest action is better than the best intention. All the best intentions in the world can't stack up against even the smallest action.

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