Friday, April 24, 2009

Actions Determine Results

Many individuals have talent they keep hidden and unused. Perhaps it is from that DNA coding that determines if you are one who wants to get things done or if you are one who doesn’t want to make mistakes.

Actions determine results. Make the mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Eventually you’ll run out of ways of doing it wrong, or better yet, people see you venturing out of your comfort zone and they themselves may have the same innovative idea and you can collaborate on reaching your shared goal. However, if neither one of you takes action on your talent (of coming up with an alternative process or coming up with an innovative design), who else will know this talent exists? Actions determine results.

A story I that comes to mind is that a popular activity for tourists in Switzerland is mountain climbing, or “high-altitude hiking” (Talent is Never Enough, by John Maxwell). A group of tourists would sign up for such a package and venture up a slope early morning with their guide. The goal was to make it to top of the mountain by mid afternoon. As they were novices to this altitude they would stop at the half-way house to catch their breath, have lunch and prepare for remaining part of the slope that is more rigorous than the preceding stage just completed. Of course at this point some will opt for the warmth and comfort of the house and remain, while the others venture out to finish the trek up the hill. The ones who stay would party and have a good time. As the light gets darker these people tend to make their way to the window to see if the ones that continued the hike are making their way back yet. Then the room gets quiet … because the ones that stayed would realize they will never be in that part of world again, and they missed an opportunity. When will they ever be back to climb that mountain again?

Do you want to stay in the warmth of your comfort zone and watch others do what you intended on doing? Believe in yourself and your potential. Act on your belief and make the most of every opportunity.

As a father of two boys I routinely find wisdom in the innocence of my sons’ actions. I saw this realization of belief at my sons’ flag football practice this past Saturday. This is Joshua’s second season, so he’s throwing passes, catching on the fly, and running plays. Justin is five years old and the smallest member of the team. Justin would bat the ball down, let his face catch the ball, etc.; yet he knew from watching Joshua last season that he, too, would enjoy playing this season. When the running patterns were practiced, each of the players took turns running to the end zone while being chased down. The seasoned players ran fast and had some moves, but eventually their flags were pulled. No one was successful reaching the end zone. Justin’s turn came up. With his short stubby legs that had football cleats mounted on the ends, and his goal to reach the end zone just like all the other players, none of the older, taller, faster, seasoned players could catch him. Justin reached the end zone on every running play he had the ball. He wasn’t the fastest or the slyest; he was the shortest and knew not to stop unless someone pulled his flags. In due time, he’ll catch on to the catching part; in the meantime, he is quite determined and successful in running into the end zone. Everyone on the team thinks he’ll do just fine.

Don’t try to become someone you’re not. Each one of us is unique. Take an inventory of your talent(s), and take action. Believe in yourself … because if you don’t, who will?


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