It takes courage to take action without instructions from a person in charge

The same way your body will react to regular visits to the gym, your “action habit” will grow and become stronger with

regular effort on your part. Here are 7 keys to strengthening your action habit:
1. Don’t wait until the stars and planets are in alignment - If you’re waiting for conditions are perfect before you act, it

is likely that you never will. Perfection is a fine goal, in the real world but it is only a theory. The time may not be

right, economic conditions may not be “favorable”, or there are too many other things going on. These are no more than

excuses. There is no perfect time to start. There is, however, a best time - and usually it was yesterday. The second best

time is right now.
2. Take off your thinking cap - We all have a ton of practice thinking about stuff. That’s about all we are told to do for

the first 20+ years of our life. “What do you think Shakespeare was saying?” “Why do you think that happened?” “Didn’t you

think before you walked all over the carpet in those muddy shoes?!?!” Don’t get me wrong - bad things happen when you don’t

think. But nothing happens when you don’t act. Practice doing things rather than thinking about them. Do you want to start

working out? Do you have an idea for an article, or a new business? Do it today. Ideas have a short half-life. The longer

they hang around in your head without being acted on, the weaker they get. By becoming a doer you’ll get more accomplished

and stimulate new ideas in the process. (Read up on Thomas Edison if you want to learn about person who was both a prolific

thinker and doer.)
3. Realize that ideas are only “potential energy” - Like a ball carried to the top of the Empire State Building, a great idea

represents a tremendous amount of potential energy. However, unless that energy is released through action, it will be lost.

Ideas are important, but they’re only valuable after they’ve been implemented. Brilliant ideas die every day for want of

action. If you have an idea the you really believe in, do something about it.
4. Overcome fear with action - Fear can only grip you up until the point at which you take action. Then you have broken its

hold and experienced growth. The very first time is always the most difficult time to take action. Remember that an object in

motion tends to stay in motion. Action builds confidence and things will keep getting easier.
5. Develop a routine to launch your creative engine - It is a major misconception that creative work can only be done when

inspiration strikes. The most productive creative folks have learned how to establish a routine to put themselves into a high

productivity state. Don’t sit around waiting for the muse to strike, start your creative motor mechanically. If you need to

write something, force yourself to sit down and write. Put pen on paper. Brainstorm. Doodle. Just moving your hands will

stimulate the flow of ideas. (I like to juggle.)
6. Be at peace in the present - The only relevant actions are the ones you can do in the present moment. What you should have

done last week or what you might be able to do tomorrow are meaningless right now. The only time you can affect is the

present. Speculation about the past or the future will prevent you from getting anything done today. Tomorrow or next week

frequently turn into never.
7. Avoid time sucking demons that masquerade as work - It’s common practice for office people to socialize and make small

talk at the beginning of meetings. The same is true if you work at home. How often do you check email, twitter or Facebook

before doing any real work? Worst of all, today it is easy to justify this activity under the guise of “social media

marketing”. Unless you schedule your time for these activities (and stick to it) these distractions will cost you serious

time.
It takes courage to take action without instructions from a person in charge. Perhaps that’s why initiative is such a rare

quality. Seize it. When you have a good idea, start implementing it immediately. Once people see you’re serious about getting

things done they’ll want to join in. The people at the top don’t have anyone telling them what to do. If you want to copy

their success, you should embrace their passion for action.