Stop Wishing and Start Doing

Stop wishing and start doing. Realize your biggest dreams by doing them daily. Climb your mountain one step at a time. Keep on moving until you become unstoppable.1

Motivation and ability fail people.  Not only that they need to develop skills of achievement, but they must also develop achievement habits.

Stop wishing and start winning. You can learn from your own experiences. You can solve your own problems. And you can create opportunities that will make this world a better place to live in.

Most of our actions are influenced by our habits. You can create new habits that will help you achieve.

You will find the following thinking patterns valuable as you create new habits.

Stop Wishing

Brian wished he has money to start a business.

Marissa wished she finished college.

Employees wished Mary Ann was a good boss.

Most people wished their politicians aren’t corrupt. And we wished people to vote wisely next time.

The problem with wishes is that most people believe them to be almost impossible. Most wishes are excuses for not being able to achieve something.

You can wish upon a star. It makes your dream come true. You must have heard it before. There is a seed of truth in it. Wishing is the beginning.

But the next day, you’ve to do whatever it takes to bring your dream to reality.

You can stop wishing. Start doing.

Start Doing

I offer you the following tips so you can start doing it.

1: Break your own record.

The easiest record to break is zero. Once you start doing something worthwhile, you are saying no to the status quo.

When I was the President of the Metro Manila Toastmasters club, we have one member who has delivered seven speeches for eight years. He was one of those who regularly attends every Monday evening, but I have heard him only a few times during table topics.

One day, called me via phone. He said that wants to get my help. He was a candidate for promotion but he was afraid he won’t be up to the task since he was not good at public speaking.

People expect members of Toastmasters to be excellent public speakers. But that’s not true for every member.

I was about 15 months in the club and must have delivered 45 speeches. He wanted to know my secrets.

I shared with him that public speaking was part of my personal development plan. I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to become a motivational speaker. I delivered speeches because I want to gain experience and get feedback from others.

I helped him come up with his personal development plan for public speaking. We had two targets: to be a Competent Communicator in two months and to become an Advanced Communicator Bronze in six months. Since he only needed three more speeches for the Competent Communication awards, I coached him.

In five weeks, he was able to accomplish the first goal. What he was not able to do in eight years, he finished was able to finish in five more weeks.

He also delivered ten more speeches in four weeks. Even after getting his certificates, he told me that he never imagined he could pass through the basic manual (That’s what we call the Competent Communication manual then).

He said that I made it possible.

I was able to help. But it was not my achievement. It was all his.

No one will define for you what you can achieve. Only you can do that for yourself. Your past performance doesn’t determine your future. You can break your record.

Consider three things that you felt you should have done years ago, but you are still wishing to start. You can begin with a plan. Then, do it.

2: Say goodbye to your excuses.

“I was not good enough.”

“I am too young.”

“I am too old.”

“I am not intelligent.”

“I am not talented.”

One can find as many excuses for procrastination. A fixed mindset makes a lot of alibis for not doing what must be done.

I was not different.

Failures have excuses. Those who achieve have choices. In fact, we all have choices.

When others are waiting for change to happen, make change happen.

If you like what is happening now, keep doing what you are doing. If you do not like what is happening, do it differently next time. Don’t allow your excuses to justify mediocre performance.

Every time I venture into a new project, I embrace the fact that I might fail. But every time my intention is to succeed.

I stopped making excuses for my failures. Mistakes and failures can teach us things success won’t show us. So, I am happy with my success and thankful for my failures.

3. Just do it.

In 2001, I told myself that I would leave the academe to become a professional speaker. Many of my students told me that I should keep teaching. I listened. Or so I thought.

The truth was that I was afraid to start.

Fear isn’t always a bad thing. Fear has a way of protecting yourself from your foolishness. And yes, I was a fool when I left in 2004. I should have prepared myself in 1996. We are wiser when we look at the lens of retrospect.

I was a fool. But I did it. And doing it made all the difference.

I love teaching students. And I am still doing it now. But I am doing it differently.

It does not really matter if you procrastinated many times before. There is no use living in regrets. What’s important is that you plan to live your life by doing what you really want.

Just do it.

If there’s really something you want to do, just do it. You don’t need tricks and gimmicks. It comes down to the difference between trying and doing, between talking about achievement and achieving.

Ultimately, it depends on your intention. Achievers pay attention to their intentions.

4. Speak the language of accountability.

“When are we going to start solving this problem?”

“Who’s responsible for the bad economy?”

“Why the government is not doing its job?”

These are valid questions. But these questions don’t help solve problems. Because these questions assume that the person asking is not accountable.

Doing is better than trying. Doing becomes easier when one begins to speak the language of accountability. By developing the habit of asking the right questions, one begins to achieve.

How are we going to do this?

We can change our questions. Try this.

What can I do today to get promoted?

What can I do today to solve the problem of my team?

What can I do today to delight our customers?

Or, you can also ask these questions.

How can I solve our problems today?

How can I correct these mistakes?

How can I help the government do its job well?

By changing our questions, we change our focus. We make ourselves accountable for our results.

5. Get unstuck.

How you walk around obstacles lies in the way you think about problems. Identifying what you expect from solutions brings you to a higher level and, ultimately, a better question.

Changing the questions often enough to lead to a satisfactory resolution and make the original difficulty disappear.

6. Find help.

When it comes to achieving what you want in life, you can rarely do it entirely on your own. Often you’ll need a little assistance from your friends. You can learn from others. You can get the support of a mentor.

Jef Menguin

  1. Personal development finds expression in action. ↩︎

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