Action - The Great Engine of Growth
I would like to write briefly about the greatest tool for growth that we can employ; action. There is nothing that can propel a man or woman ahead faster than definite and consistent action. When progress has halted it is only action that can start the wheels turning again.
George S. Clason wrote in his best-selling book The Richest Man in Babylon; “those eager to grasp opportunities for their betterment do attract the interest of the good goddess. She is ever anxious to aid those who please her. Men of action please her best.”
A great example from my own life comes to mind. For about a year of my life I performed with my own jazz quartet on-board the largest cruise ships in the world. I was getting paid well and traveling the world whilst doing what I love. What could be better? I loved my job - even though it didn't feel like a job - and I was eager to progress in the cruise industry. The next step for me was to find an agent who would deal with me and help me to get headliner contracts.
The headliners were the step above my gig. In stead of staying on one ship for four to six months like I did, the headliners would travel one week at a time going all around the world to different ships. Not only that, but the headliners got paid about three times what I did, and they performed three hours every week, not twenty hours like me. Naturally this was the gig I wanted, and I needed an agent.
For many months I did nothing about finding an agent. I think that deep down I was afraid of the lack of replies that I would get, or maybe I was afraid of the replies because the chances are that they would be negative. I was a young guy, definitely not as experienced as the people already in the industry, and I was full of doubts.
Finally one day while I was visiting my brother in Washington D.C. I read this great quote from Brendon Burchard; “We must remember we are not the sum of our intentions but of our actions.” I intended to become a headliner musician, but I was letting myself down with the lack of purposeful action. I decided to do something. I was fed up with being afraid, and I finally came to terms with the fact that I had nothing to lose. I sent emails to about twenty of the best agents in the business - not expecting a reply any time soon, but sound in the knowledge that I had done something.
Not only did I get replies, but within an hour I had an email from one of the best headliner agents in the business saying that she saw great potential! I called her immediately and we decided that once I had the right show footage to send to the cruise companies she would be happy to work with me. I now had an agent, and all it took was about an hour of email work. Months of procrastination and that’s all I needed to do!
This event was a lesson to me in two ways. Firstly, I had built up so much anxiety over the idea of contacting agents that it was truly affecting my progression as a musician and performer. It was a breath of fresh air to once again learn that our fears are just silly lies that our mind tells us, and to act in accordance to ones fears is the definition of weakness. The second lesson I learned was this; only action can make me progress. I was not moving forward when I had not talked to agents, and all it took was for me to find out what I needed to do and just do it!
David J. Schwartz, Ph.D., author of The Magic of Thinking Big, wrote; “action kills fear. Isolate your fear and then take constructive action.” It is only when we take strong and definite action that we can progress. Only once you have committed to taking action in all areas of your life can you feel the joy that comes with increasing personal growth. This is when you’ll truly know what it’s like to rise to the good life.