We are what we do. If we say we’re something but do something else, we’re either lying or who we want to be is hard. Actually, it’s probably a mixture of both. For example, we think of ourselves as being thoughtful when we maybe are inside, but never actually show it outside. What we do is the true measure of who we are, at least to others. It’s where real things happen, not just intentions. You see, for absolutely anything in our lives, if we want it to achieve anything, we have to actually do it. If it lives in your head and goes no further, it’s just an idea – but even an idea is useful if it’s passed on (because passing it on is an action). If it stays inside, and never results in different behaviour, it’s almost nothing, no matter how good am idea it is.

But actually being who we say we are is really hard! Yes. That’s true. And we can either leave it there, or do something about it. Action is hard. Ideas are easy. I know, because I’ve used planning and thinking about things as an escape from action for my whole life. I have an idea for something that would be good. Then I pat myself on the back for potentially changing my life, and go think about something else.

Blogs are the same. When was the last time you read a blog post that gave you some great ideas about how to do something better?

Really?

Not more recently than that?

Not, say, today? As in, right now?

Well, thanks for the feedback.

So anyway, now when was the last time you got a great idea from a blog post and then went and did it?

I’m almost willing to bet it was longer ago than your first answer. But you’d agree that reading a post and doing nothing about it doesn’t make much sense. So why don’t we do anything? It’s easier not to. It’s safe being where we are. Change is difficult, and requires work. Plus we’re scared that we will try and fail, and people will laugh. Well, maybe you will. And maybe nobody will laugh at you for not trying. But that’s not because it’s the better choice. It’s just because it makes them feel better.

A reasonable idea that you actually do will get you further than a great idea you do nothing about. In fact, let’s go one step further. A reasonable idea that you execute in a mediocre way will get you further than the best idea in the world that you don’t do anything with. That first step is crucial. It opens you up to more actions later. And who knows where that will lead?