The Discipline of Action

No excuses. No exceptions. No way around it: It’s on you.

Demosthenes was born with a debilitating speech impediment, but despite this, he became one of the most famous orators in history. When asked about the three most important traits of speechmaking, he replied: “Action, Action, Action!”.

To get to know better ourselves we should think about how we respond to problems that appear. These three questions tell a lot about our character. Do we run toward them? Do we run away from them? Or, are we paralyzed and do nothing? It is at this moment when so many of us fail - we choose to run away instead of taking action.

In life-threatening situations, like an accident, even though we are in shock, we know what to do. For example, we get our arms up around our face. In such moments we don’t think, complain, or argue. We act. We have more strength than we expect. We can act in this way in everyday life too.

We can observe a similar way of acting in people who struggle with poverty, discrimination, physical disabilities, etc.. Most of them don’t feel sorry for themselves, they don’t give up. They don’t have a choice, so they do the best they can for themselves.

Unfortunately, in everyday life we postpone action. We act frail, powerless. We expect that others will do something instead of us, or that the obstacle will disappear. Instead of hiding, we should greet obstacles with:

- energy

- persistence

- a coherent and deliberate process

- iteration and resilience

- pragmatism

- strategic vision

- craftiness and savvy

- an eye for opportunity and pivotal moments

Actions to take