28 Days of Encouragement: Action

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A great man named Rabindranath Tagore once said, “you can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” You have formulated your plan and have the self confidence to enact it. Most failures of a good plan are caused by one’s fear to act.  They are good intentions but can’t motivate themselves to begin.

One item on my bucket list has always been to section hike the Appalachian Trail. Until I made that first 5  mile hike last summer, I suffered from the fear of starting. Often times the difference between success and failure is your ability to overcome your failure to start. The simple act of showing up and having the courage to start your journey is the first step on your path to success.  Now is the time to take Action!

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Course of Action

  • Motivation to get started. The Incentive Theory of Motivation suggests that people are motivated to do things if the reward is great enough. The motivation to complete my hiking expedition is the thrill of doing something that few people will ever complete.  The reward for completing your goal should be great enough that it will provide the motivation to see your goal through to completion.
  • Thrill is in the journey. The journey is the path to completing your plan. Try to avoid mistakes but learn from the ones that can’t be avoided. Life is full of surprises and how you handle your mistakes will shape the outcome.  Take small steps and bask in the thrill of the small successes but keep your focus on the ultimate prize.

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  • Consistently check your progress. The theory of cause and effect states that your actions have a direct impact on the results. One adjustment can greatly influence the outcome. It is important to know how you are doing. That is why schools send home progress reports in the middle of the grading period, to allow for adjustments. If progress slows, adjust your plan to keep moving forward. Check your progress often and consistently.
  • Let the celebration begin. You have trusted your heart, went with the flow and moved forward. Step by step you have celebrated your victories and overcome your defeats. You have defied the odds and now you are realizing your dream. Sit back and enjoy the moment. Celebrate your completion of your goals.

You are what your do, not what you say you will do. – Carl Jung

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

A plan without action is just words on paper. Find the motivation and take action! Although the journey will take you out of your comfort zone, the discomfort will only be temporary. Keep your eye on the prize and celebrate your successes. This year I plan on completing the next 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  Each year, I am going to hike sections based on the time that I have available. The thrill of the journey motivates me to continue toward my goal. The beautiful scenery helps also.

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