The path to success is to take massive, determined action.
Taking Action… Massive Action…
Achieving your goals or succeeding in any field of endeavor requires action. In fact, it requires massive action; the kind of action that most people are not willing to take to get the job done. And this is of course great news for you because if others are not willing to go to extra lengths to accomplish their goal, then this just means less competition for you moving forward. 🙂
You have no doubt previously heard about the importance of taking massive action, but do you actually know why it’s so significant? Do you know what it really means to take massive action?
What it Means to Take Massive Action
To take massive action means doing far more than the average person would do under the same or similar conditions. In fact, it means to go further than anyone would typically expect of you or of anyone else.
Taking massive action means making your goal or the act of accomplishing that goal your duty, obligation and responsibility. It means taking full ownership of your problems, mistakes and failures and doing all you possibly can to rectify them.
Taking massive action is of course not a one time thing. It’s something that you must do consistently and persistently with progressively increased levels of activity, desire and effort to help you distinguish yourself from others, while building the momentum you need to achieve your goal.
To take massive action means constantly expecting more from yourself in every situation, which effectively means raising your personal standards and expectations by setting challenging and possibly at times unrealistic goals that are aligned with your life’s higher purpose and vision.
When you take massive action you will naturally expand your knowledge, awareness, understanding, experience, influence and the opportunities that you have at your disposal. In fact, taking massive action will naturally bring you more luck. You get luckier because you are persistently putting yourself out there; and when you put yourself out on the line the Universe will reward you with more opportunities to bring to reality what it is you want most.
This idea of taking massive action essentially comes down to two key factors. The first comes through your ability to think big about your goals and about the objectives you would like to achieve. Big thinking is of course something that many people do very well, however they don’t get very far because they are missing the second piece of this puzzle, which is: Having the ability to follow through with these thoughts.
Anyone can think big, but it takes a special effort to follow through with these actions in order to bring a goal into reality. But how do we do this? How do we do this specifically? What exactly does it take to follow through and take massive action towards a goal?
How to Take Massive Action
On the surface there is nothing difficult about taking massive action. It’s all basically about working on the most important things in a focused and concentrated way over an extended period of time. But if it’s so easy, then why don’t more people take massive action toward the attainment of their goals?
No matter how much people may desire their goal, they are reluctant to take massive action due to a breakdown that is evident in one or more of the six steps outlined below.
Step 1: Clarify Your Desired Objective
People fail to take massive action because they lack true clarity about the goal or objective they have in mind. These people simply haven’t taken the time to get crystal clear about what it is that they want to achieve. Yes, of course they typically do have a wishy-washy goal in mind, however this goal isn’t concrete. And if it isn’t concrete then it’s all but a nice dream.
A dream is something that is fuzzy and unclear. As a result it is something that seems untouchable and unattainable. It is only when we give this dream some clarity by outlining exactly what it will take to accomplish it, does this dream start to become a concrete goal that we can work toward.
Given this, your first task is to get very clear about what it is you want and what it will effectively take to achieve this goal. Ask yourself:
What is it that I want to achieve?
What steps will I need to take to bring this goal to reality?
What specifically will I need to do?
What specific actions will I need to take?
How will I take these actions? When? Where? For how long?
When do I plan to accomplish this goal? What’s my deadline?
Answering these questions will provide you with the clarity you need to better understand what it will actually take to accomplish your goal. With this clarity in mind you can begin taking the right kinds of actions toward the accomplishment of your goal. On the other hand, without this clarity you unfortunately will never get things off the ground.
Step 2: Make Peace with What’s to Come
Having gained clarity about your goal by no means guarantees that you have what it takes to accomplish this goal. In fact, many people know exactly what they want, and yet still don’t take the massive action required to help them accomplish their goal. Why is that? Why do people hold themselves back?
People often hold themselves back for one or more of three reasons. First they are just too comfortable, and taking action toward the attainment of their goal takes them out of their comfort zone, which they struggle with. In fact, they just can’t bear the thought of doing something that feel a little awkward and possibly stressful. As a result they sit there within their comfort zone playing procrastination games and keep putting things off for another day. Or alternatively they indulge in perfectionistic games where they focus on things that on the surface appear to be moving them closer to their goal, but in reality it’s just all a ploy to keep themselves within the confines of their comfort zone.
The second factor that holds people back is fear. They possibly fear failure, fear making mistakes, or maybe fear criticism or rejection. No matter what predominant fear occupies their mind, this holds them back from taking the necessary action that will help them accomplish their goal.
The third factor also comes in the form of a fear, manifesting in the fear of uncertainty. Taking action toward the attainment of their goal brings with it a lot of uncertainty. There are never any guarantees that things will pan out as you had originally planned. This typically makes people feel uneasy and doubts start to creep in. As a result they hold themselves back from taking action because they just don’t know what the outcome will be. They prefer instead to focus on actions that lead to predictable outcomes, but typically these are not the optimal actions that will inevitably help them to accomplish their goal.
Each of these three factors hold people back from taking massive action. They struggle to do what is necessary for the simple fact that they resist discomfort, fear and uncertainty. What they don’t realize is that the key to moving forward is to make peace with these three mental obstacles. The more these people resist the more they hold themselves back.
It is only when people fully accept that things are the way they are and that facing these obstacles is inevitable, that is the moment they can begin moving forward without any reservations.
In order to address these three factors and make peace with yourself you must openly acknowledge the following:
What I must do may feel uncomfortable…
I am at peace with this feeling of discomfort…
Fear will try and hold me back from accomplishing my goal…
I will use my fear as fuel that will keep me moving forward…
Massive action will be the cure for my fears…
My actions bring with them uncertainty…
I revel in not knowing what will happen next and embrace uncertainty wholeheartedly…
I will turn discomfort into a challenge…
I will turn fear into excitement…
I will turn uncertainty into curiosity…
Only by making peace with yourself in this way will you successfully break through the mental barriers that are holding you back from taking massive action.
Step 3: Making a Wholehearted Commitment
Even if you successfully work through the first two steps, this by no means guarantees that you have what it takes to accomplish your goal.
Accomplishing any goal you set requires an unwavering commitment on your part. You must be fully committed to all the actions you must take to achieve your goal. If a lack of commitment exists, you are likely to easily get disheartened and sidetracked the moment you face an unexpected problem or setback.
There are three key things you can do to develop an unwavering commitment. The first is to make a commitment to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. The best way to do this is to write out a personal contract. Within this contract you would stipulate what you are committing yourself to. Specifically write down what daily actions and activities you will undertake.
Achieving any goal takes consistency in action. It’s therefore often the small habits and rituals you develop around your goal that will get you your desired results in the long-run; and these are essentially the things you must commit yourself to. But let’s just make it clear that this isn’t about your goal. It’s rather about the little things you do daily that will help you accomplish your goal. That’s where your commitment must be focused on.
The second way you can gain an even deeper level of commitment comes through hiring an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who keeps you accountable for the daily actions you take toward the accomplishment of your goal.
This person you select as your accountability partner could be a close friend or colleague. Ideally it should be someone you wholeheartedly respect and trust. Their role will be to make sure you stay true to your word and to your contract. And if you get off track at any time, they will be there to make sure you refocus yourself once again on what’s most important.
The third and final way to dramatically raise your level of commitment comes through making a public commitment.
When we make a public commitment it means that our goal is now out in the open i.e. in the public domain. And because it’s out in the open we can no longer make the same excuses we would typically make if we had just kept the goal to ourselves. The world is now holding us accountable for accomplishing this goal. This of course adds an extra layer of commitment that will ensure we take the necessary actions to bring our goal to fruition.
Step 4: Gaining Leverage
Another key factor that lets many people down when it comes to goal achievement comes down to a lack of leverage. Without leverage there is no motivation, and without motivation we struggle to find the willpower to actively and persistently pursue something.
Typically we gain leverage in one of two ways: Through pain or through pleasure. You can for instance motivate yourself by imagining all the rewards you will gain from taking massive action. This is known as pleasure-centered leverage. On the other hand you can also motivate yourself by imagining all the regrets you will live with if you don’t take the necessary actions to follow through with your goal.
A couple of questions you can ask yourself to help you gain the necessary leverage include:
What will I gain if I take massive action toward my desired goal?
How will not achieving this goal hurt me? What regrets will I have?
These questions are of course just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more layers you can explore when it comes to gaining the necessary leverage you need to achieve your goal. I would therefore highly recommend you have a read of the Pain and Pleasure Principle article. This article goes into depth explaining how to use leverage in the most effective way to help keep you focused and motivated on what matters most.
Step 5: The Price of Success
Gaining leverage is often very helpful. Some people actually do this very well and are successfully able to generate the necessary motivation they need to take massive action toward their goal. However, despite this leverage, they end up quitting somewhere down the line simply because the price of success is far higher than they ever imagined.
Every goal you pursue will take a tole on you and on your life in some way. In other words, there is always some kind of cost associated with taking the necessary actions to achieve that goal. This cost often comes in the form of the sacrifices you must make to bring that goal into reality.
For instance, achieving your goal will probably require a sacrifice in time, energy and possibly money. Whenever these three variables are at play this naturally affects other areas of your life. For instance, giving up time to pursue this goal means that you have to take time away from other activities. Or the energy you spend on this goal means that you may lack the energy and willpower to focus on other areas of your life. Or the money you spend on achieving this goal means that you won’t have the necessary funds to support other goals or hobbies. These are all necessary sacrifices that you need to take into account before you even decide to pursue your goal.
Another factor to consider is how your life will effectively change while you’re pursuing your goal. For instance, your priorities are likely to shift, and as a result your commitments and responsibilities might need to change as a result. However, if you simply choose not to make the necessary adjustments to your life in order to support these new priorities, then it’s really unlikely that you will pursue your goal till the very end.
Given all this, it can be helpful to ask yourself three key questions:
What are my top priorities related to this goal?
What specifically will I need to sacrifice to have this goal in terms of time, money and energy?
How will I keep myself focused and motivated along this journey?
Typically many people never take into consideration the true price of success. If they did, then it’s possible that many goals would probably never end up being pursued in the first place.
It takes an incredible amount of dedication, commitment, discipline and effort to take massive action toward a meaningful goal. And all this of course comes down to the amount you are willing to sacrifice to have this goal in your life. If you’re not willing to make the necessary sacrifices, then maybe you need to reconsider whether this goal is really worth pursuing in the first place.
Step 6: Creating a Sense of Urgency
Moving into step 6 of this process you might be feeling quite good about yourself. You seem to have covered all your bases and successfully checked off the previous five steps from your list. However, taking massive action requires one more key ingredient that comes in the form of urgency.
Let’s say that you successfully addressed all the previous five steps and as a result you now have the necessary clarity, mindset, commitment, leverage and understanding of the sacrifices you need to make to achieve you goal. Given time you are as a result very likely to accomplish your goal… eventually.
I say “eventually” because you are still missing one key ingredient which comes in the form of urgency.
With no urgency it’s easy to put things off for another day, or to just simply take your time while working through the tasks and activities you set for yourself. However, with urgency everything suddenly becomes time sensitive. You are no longer relaxing your way through an activity, you are instead working through it with incredible zest and energy. And that is precisely what it feels like to take massive action toward a goal.
Now, in order to live with a sense of urgency you need to set yourself challenging deadlines and targets that you work toward every single day. These deadlines will suddenly make you more accountable for the actions you take. No longer will you simply work on a task in a carefree way. With challenging deadlines in place you will instead be forced to think creatively about how to work more efficiently to get as much done in as little time as possible. That is in essence where the foundations of taking massive action are set in place.
Urgency also naturally comes through passion and purpose. You need to be wholeheartedly passionate about the process of achieving your goal. It has to be something that keeps you up late at night and pulls you out of bed in the morning. It has to be something that you just can’t stop thinking and dreaming about that is intrinsically connected with your life’s purpose. In a sense you have to feel as though:
I am making a difference…
People are relying on me…
I am on a mission that is bigger than myself…
Your life’s purpose i.e. your Personal Legend, is something you’re working toward that is greater than yourself. It’s something that is not only of benefit for you, but is also of benefit for others and possibly to the world in someway. It’s a mission and vision you have for your life that stretches well beyond your current reach. That is what having a life’s purpose is all about; and it’s this purpose that will help you live with more urgency in pursuit of your goal.
The Mindset Required for Massive Action
Having successfully addressed the six key blocks that get in the way of taking massive action, let’s now switch pace a little and take a look at the mindset you will need to cultivate in order to consistently and persistently take massive action toward your goal.
Be Willing to Take Risks
Massive action takers are typically risk takers. Taking massive action toward a goal requires stepping outside your comfort zone and taking chances that other people will normally refrain from taking.
On the road toward achieving a goal, you will inevitably make mistakes, in fact you may experience numerous setbacks and potential failure. In order to get through these challenges you have to be willing to take risks; to take a chance on yourself and do what other people will typically choose not to do.
I’m of course not saying that you should take uncalculated risks. What I am saying is that to achieve a goal oftentimes comes down to a numbers game. For instance, it may take you many attempts before you experience a breakthrough, however with each action you take you learn valuable lessons that help you adapt the next time around. And all this of course requires massive action on your part. You need to be willing to persist through the tough times in order to experience the breakthroughs in the end, and of course calculated risk-taking is a big part of that process.
Develop a Winning Attitude
What is a winning attitude? A winning attitude effectively boils down to how you approach problems and difficulties that you will inevitably face along your journey toward your goal.
A person with a winning attitude has steadfast belief in themselves and in their ability to get the job done no matter what obstacles they may face. Moreover, a winning attitude shines through the determination and resilience you bring forth; through your enthusiasm; and through your ability to think flexibly and creatively when faced with setbacks.
A winning attitude says:
This can be done…
I can make this happen…
I will figure this out…
Above all else, a person with a winning attitude never gets down on themselves when facing adversity. They instead approach every difficulty with a sense of anticipation for the challenges that lie ahead.
Think Differently and Unreasonably
Taking massive action requires a flexible and dynamic approach that consistently adjusts to changing conditions and circumstances. It requires you to think differently than other people would in a similar situation, in fact it may even require you to think unreasonably.
To think unreasonably means to think about what’s possible; about what could be done; about what could be achieved if you took a specific kind of action. Where other people think narrowly about what needs to happen, you instead have a broad perspective that takes many possibilities into consideration. And all this of course comes down to your willingness to ask some tough questions:
What’s a unique way I can approach this situation?
How would Donald Trump work through this task?
What could be possible if I changed up the rules here and thought about this differently?
What if my assumptions are flawed? How else could I approach this?
Thinking differently and at times unreasonably will encourage you to continue taking massive action toward your goal even when you experience unexpected setbacks that typically stop other people in their tracks.
Think Only About What Needs to Get Done
In order to get into the habit of taking massive action you must always be thinking about “what’s next?”.
There is always a next step, and a step after that, and then another step after that. However, you need to anticipate these steps in order to keep building the momentum you need to achieve your goal.
You see, most people successfully accomplish a step and then relax and get comfortable before taking the next action. They freeze the momentum they were building and as a result it takes them far longer than expected to accomplish their goal.
A person who is action-oriented doesn’t rest or get complacent once a step has successfully been accomplished. They instead ask themselves:
What else can be done?
Why is this important?
What’s my next step?
Asking these questions will help you to continue building momentum as you persistently work on your goal.
Obsess About Your Goal 24/7
Massive action takers are literally obsessed with accomplishing their goal. This obsession comes through working on something that is greater than themselves that affects other people in a positive way. Essentially this comes down to having a concrete mission and vision that is tied to the goal they are working on.
Their vision is to create a lasting legacy of some sort that solves a dire problem or helps other people transform their lives in a positive way.
It’s of course wonderful to obsess about something that you are doing only for yourself. However, typically true obsession only comes to those who are working for a higher purpose that in many ways is far greater than themselves and goes well beyond the present moment. That is when true obsession and passion are found, and that is precisely what entices people to take massive action toward the accomplishment of a goal.
Guidelines for Taking Massive Action
Within this final section, let’s explore several guidelines that will help you to get into the habit of taking massive action toward the attainment of your goal.
Prepare for Possible Setbacks
No matter what goal you have decided to pursue, there is always a chance that things will not progress smoothly. You will inevitably face setbacks and possibly unexpected problems that will hinder your progress, and all the momentum you have built up in the pursuit of your goal will suddenly vanish in an instant.
Taking massive action means consistently and persistently moving forward no matter what setbacks or resistance you face. However, this of course isn’t easy. It’s certainly not easy if you don’t prepare yourself in advance and make contingency plans that can help you stay on track.
Given this, it’s fundamentally critical that you keep in mind Murphy’s Law, which states that:
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible time, when you least expected it.
We typically do not expect things to go wrong, therefore when they do it comes across as a nasty surprise. You of course won’t be able to predict everything that will happen in the future, and you certainly don’t want to get lost in the details of planning out exactly what you will do based on 50 different scenarios. That’s not what this is all about.
Preparing for possible setbacks means to have a few contingency plans in place for things that are within your personal control. For instance, what will you do when you begin indulging in procrastination or perfectionism? What will you do when other people distract you or take up your time unnecessarily? What will you do when you start getting bogged down in the details through over planning? Or, what will you do when you are lacking willpower and motivation? These are the things that will inevitably slow you down that are completely under your control. Therefore developing contingency plans on how you will deal with these challenges will ensure that you don’t lose momentum when these kinds of setbacks arise.
Now there may also be setbacks that will be more difficult to predict. For instance you could make a bad decision, or you could goof up and make a mistake. It’s of course difficult to prepare for these kind of scenarios unless you know exactly what that mistake or decision might be. However, you don’t necessarily need to prepare for specifics. What you need to do instead is to prepare yourself mentally for how you will deal with goofing up or making bad decisions or mistakes. In the end, it’s not what happens to you or what you go through, but rather how you respond to what happens that determines whether or not you maintain the momentum moving forward toward your goal.
For instance, if you get caught up making excuses and complaining when things go wrong, then this will completely steal your momentum away. You will be so engrossed in self-pity that you will completely lose track of what’s most important. So with that in mind, prepare yourself mentally for when things go wrong and describe how you will respond to those circumstances to ensure that you stay on track.
To help you out with this, ask yourself the following set of questions:
What could potentially go wrong?
How could setbacks such as this be advantageous?
Who may possibly hinder me along this journey?
How will I respond to setbacks, mistakes, and poor decisions?
How must I prepare myself mentally for these kind of scenarios?
In the end, it’s all about the mental preparation you are able to do in advance that will help you maintain your momentum as you continue to take massive action toward the attainment of your goal.
Avoid Making Excuses
When unexpected setbacks arise that are completely out of your control, it’s just so easy to make excuses, to complain, to blame and point the finger at anyone and everything but yourself. However, excuses and complaints only rob you of momentum and prevent you from taking the massive action required to achieve your goal.
The excuses you make about not having enough time, about not having enough money or experience, or complaining about a lack of opportunities or about something going wrong that had absolutely nothing to do with you, are not helping the situation. In fact, your excuses and complaints are only hindering your progress and preventing you from moving forward.
Instead of making excuses, choose to take responsibility for anything and everything no matter whether you are personally responsible for it or not. Only in this way will you feel more empowered and more capable of working through these challenges successfully.
In order to put your excuses and complaints into proper perspective, ask yourself:
Are my excuses improving my situation?
Are my complaints empowering me to make this better?
If the answer is NO on both accounts, then it’s clear that you should stop sabotaging yourself and instead think of ways you could work through these setbacks instead of wallowing in self-pity. In fact, the moment an excuse or complaint crosses your mind just commit yourself to taking some sort of positive action without delay to help you get out of this negative state of mind. And of course this action doesn’t need to be significant. It just needs to be something small that will take your mind off of what’s bothering you and onto something that you can do right now in this moment to help move yourself forward.
What one small thing can I do right now that can help me move things forward?
Leverage Your Time
People who are action-oriented are great at managing their time, energy and resources. They understand that in order to get results as quickly as possible they must work as efficiently as possible. However, they also understand their own limitations and realize that in order to get optimal results that they need to value their time above all else. And in order to get the most out of their time they need to be attuned to their strengths and weaknesses.
These people understand that the key to building long-term momentum is to play to their strengths while at the same time leveraging their time and resources in other ways to address areas of weakness. In other words, these people look for opportunities to delegate tasks and responsibilities to other people that can help support their main objectives. Only in this way can they build consistent momentum that help them get the results they are after.
Maintain a Flexible Approach
People who are massive action takers also need to be incredibly flexible with how they approach tasks and activities. This is especially important when things don’t turn out as expected or when unexpected setbacks arise.
A flexible approach means being willing to change course and direction midstream. It means understanding what is working while also recognizing what may not be working so well and making the necessary adjustments on the fly. As such, massive action takers will find it of value to consistently ask themselves the following three questions:
What’s not working?
How must I adapt my approach?
Only by regularly asking these questions will you maintain the flexibility you need to help you make the necessary adjustments and stay on track toward the attainment of your goals and objectives.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
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Here are three recommended IQ Matrix mind map bundles that explore how to develop success habits for taking massive action, how to improve your productivity while taking massive action, and how to become a high achiever as a result of taking massive action.
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 3 Actions to Take Today That will Make a Difference Tomorrow @ Huffpost
- 7 Steps to Help You Take Massive Action @ Pick the Brain
- 8 Pitfalls on the Path to Success @ Inc.
- 10 Tips to Help You Take Massive Action @ Under 30 CEO
- 21 Ideas on Taking Massive Action @ Launch Your Genius
- How to Motivate Yourself for Massive Action @ Think Simple Now
- How to Take Smart and Massive Action in 6 Simple Steps @ Lifehack
- The 99% Success Formula @ Inc.
- The One and Only Secret to Achieving Massive Success @ Entrepreneur
- Why Success Always Starts with Failure @ 99U
- You’ll Only Achieve Success by Taking Massive Levels of Action @ Entrepreneur