Imagine that you are going to start an online store. The idea of being able to accomplish something excites you so much that you start trying to make everything perfect from the beginning. Therefore, you look for all the videos and articles on the internet that can help you achieve it.
Right now, there is so much information on the internet that these even contradict each other. You will read how blogging is dead in many places, while others will tell you how in 2020 they could make four and five figures per month by writing.
The point is that we currently live in the information age. That no matter what we want to do, we can learn how to do it. We can be whatever we want to be, and we can learn how to be that thing, usually for free, online, and using the internet. Several sources agree that we eventually will not have to search somewhere else:
Today we live with more information than any other point in human history. According to Google, the internet produces as much information every two years as the rest of all of human history combined. And all of that information is theoretically instantly accessible by us all. It’s truly amazing.
The problem is that there are so many people telling us what the right thing to do is that it often contradicts other people, and it all just become an information swirl. We stop doing what we want to do because there is too much information that tells us to do it or not, and we ended up not knowing what path to take.
For this reason, I have adopted the action-first mindset. This has helped me skip all the information that I think I may need from the beginning and just start doing what I want to do.
Instead of obsessing over which path is the best for me and spending months preparing and reading about the best way to do it, I simply choose one and start doing it. Along the way, I find out if I like it, if it is worth learning more to improve, or if it is better to move to my next goal.
Take-action first helped me achieve anything in life quickly.
When I was 18 years old, I was working in a computer repair center. My dream was to move into programming. At that time, I just had the basic knowledge and no experience taking interviews, so I spend 6 months with courses and trying to “prepare myself” once to realize that I was never going to feel ready.
I decided to stop studying and started sending resumes and earning experience with interviews, and three weeks later, I was hired as a Developer in a bank. I wasted a lot of time preparing for something, and in the end, I didn’t use any of that information.
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” — Albert Einstein
Robert Rohm published that learning by experience is better than learning alone because you can never really know something until you experienced it on a personal level. While the theories can help you analyze things, it’s the experience that guides you to decisive action.
Taking action is always the step to success.
Stephen Moore wrote once, “For a long time, I didn’t write because I lacked confidence. After I published for the first time, I realized I’d already jumped the biggest hurdle,” Sinem Gunel, on her Youtube video about how she started writing, said, “I discovered the platform, and after one hour, I had my first draft ready to be published.” Right now, they are two successful content creators.
No matter how many success stories you read over the internet, all of them include a start. Nobody has been successful by doing absolutely nothing with their life.
So if taking action is precisely what will help you achieve your goals, and not just prepare, study and read if it is “the best thing” for you, that should be the first step you should take when you want something. When you begin something, even without knowing how to do it, you achieve what the 92% of people don’t do according to science: Making a start.
The power of small wins.
A Harvard study by Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer in 2011 about the best way to motivate employees at work explains that when a person is motivated and happy at the end of the day, it is because they made some progress at work. But when a person didn’t do anything, they have more frustration, fear, and sadness:
“Of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work. The power of progress is fundamental to human nature.”
When we think about our goals, we often imagine reaching a long-term one and a big and amazing result. Those wins are great, but achieving it fast is relatively rare. But the good news is that even small wins can boost your life tremendously. An example of this is when I started exercising again after having stopped training for months. I could barely do 5 minutes of intense cardio, but I felt fulfilled to take that first step back to my fitness life.
If you want to improve in any area of your life immediately, forget about reading and researching the best way to begin and focus on making a start. Bad work is better than no work because when you are making a start, you can improve it later, but you can’t grow at something you are not doing.
When you take action first, even if you fail, you know exactly why, and you can prepare better for the next occasion. But if you are only studying what you think “is necessary” to be successful in something, and you only keep reading and learning, you will never know if what you are doing is what is really going to work for you.
Taking action first helped me avoid the anticipatory anxiety and fear because I don’t give my mind time to think about whether or not I’ll be good at it, and I no longer let others tell me if I will succeed because, in the process, I realize what it’s best for me.