ACTION IS ACHIEVEMENT
Sustained action is the single most important factor in achieving your goals and building the life you want. To get where you’re going, you have to keep going. In your heart, you already know there is no substitute for doing the work.
But if you know what needs to be done, and you’ve got the motivation to do it, why don’t you? Why does it sometimes seem like you’re standing still, filled with guilt over wasted good intentions, but unable to move?
STARTING IS A SKILL
The hardest part of sustained action is getting started with consistency. Most of us are not lazy or disinterested; once we get started, working hard comes naturally.
But we are poor starters. Our attempts are irregular and inconsistent. Too often, we only get down to it when the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the effort required to follow through. We rely on watered-down initiative and external deadlines to pull us through life. We crave control, but don’t know how to seize it.
There is no need to suffer the humiliation of failing to act. Getting started is a skill like any other skill. You can practice it, improve it, master it. You can turn action from a liability into a weapon. This book teaches you how.
HOW STARTACULAR CAME TO BE
When I’m obliged to do something, I nearly always do a great job.
Take this test… A+
Write this memo… the client loved it.
Make me a sandwich, would you?… delicious!
My ability to deliver has really enriched my life. I was so good at studying that a top-10 business school paid me to go to college. And I’ve always been able to find and keep rewarding jobs.
But what about the things nobody compels me to do? You know, my things–schemes, dreams, and ambitions–things supposedly far more important to me than a paycheck or a book report. In spite of their importance and despite my good intentions, for many years I did little more than heave the corpses of half-finished projects and half-baked ideas into an lonely graveyard of personal goals. Without external pressure, I tended toward procrastination and avoidance.
A couple of years ago it occurred to me that if I didn’t learn how to take more personal initiative and follow through on my own ambitions, I would have to keep taking orders forever. Like a sailor, or a waiter, just taking those orders… not the future I wanted.
And so I spent 9 months studying the question of initiative–what is it? who has it? how can I get it?–and another 9 months writing a book about it, the manual to everything I learned. It has already transformed my life and helped a lot of other people to break out of their holding patterns and finally take action wherever it’s needed.