There is a common mistake that often happens to smart people – in many cases, without you ever realising it.
The mistake has to do with the difference between being in motion and taking action. They sound similar, but they’re not the same.
Here’s the deal…
Motion vs Action
Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but that task will never produce an outcome by itself. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behaviour that will get you a result.
Here are some examples…
- If you email 10 new leads for your business and start conversations with them, that’s motion. If they actually buy something and turn into a customer, that’s action.
- If you search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion. If you actually eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
- If you go to the gym and ask about getting a personal trainer, that’s motion. If you actually step under the bar and start squatting, that’s action.
- If you study for a test or prepare for a research project, that’s motion. If you actually take the test or write your research paper, that’s action.
Sometimes motion is good because it allows you to prepare and strategise and learn. But motion will never – by itself – lead to the result you are looking to achieve.
It doesn’t matter how many times you go talk to the personal trainer, that motion will never get you in shape. Only the action of working out will get you the result you’re looking to achieve.
Why Smart People Find Themselves in Motion
If motion doesn’t lead to results, why do we do it?
Sometimes we do it because we actually need to plan or learn more. But more often than not, we do it because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress without running the risk of failure. Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen.
And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure.
Yes, I’d like to get in shape. But, I don’t want to look stupid in the gym, so I’ll just talk to the trainer about their rates instead.
Yes, I’d like to land more clients for my business. But, if I ask for the sale, I might get turned down. So maybe I should just email 10 potential clients instead.
Yes, I’d like to lose weight. But, I don’t want to be the weird one who eats healthy at lunch. So maybe I should just plan some healthy meals when I get home instead.
It’s very easy to do these things and convince yourself that you’re still moving in the right direction.
“I’ve got conversations going with 4 potential clients right now. This is good. We’re moving in the right direction.”
“I brainstormed some ideas for that book I want to write. This is coming together.”
Motion makes you feel like you’re getting things done. But really, you’re just preparing to get something done. And when preparation becomes a form of procrastination, you need to change something.
Ideas for Taking Action
There are doubtless many strategies for taking action, but here are two that can be effective.
1. Set a schedule for your actions.
Say, for instance, you’re renovating your house but it’s taking forever. Pick fixed evenings in the week, like every Monday and every Thursday, and commit to actually picking up the paintbrush. It’s just what happens on those days. If that’s your schedule, you’ll actually grow to love Mondays and Thursdays because you know that you will always produce something on those days. You’ll get a result. That’s a good feeling. Action, not motion.
For on–going goals and lifestyle changes, set a schedule for your actions and stick to it.
2. Pick a date to shift you from motion to action.
For some goals, setting a daily or weekly schedule doesn’t work as well.
This is the case if you’re doing something that is only going to happen once: like releasing your new book, or launching a new product, or taking a big exam, or submitting a major project.
These things require some planning up front (motion). They also require plenty of action to complete them. For example, you could set a schedule each week to write each chapter of your book. But for the book launch itself, you could spend weeks or months planning different venues, locations, and so on.
In a situation like this, it’s best to simply pick a date. Put something on the calendar. Make it public. This is when X is happening.
For big projects or one–time goals, force yourself out of motion and into action by setting a hard deadline.
Never mistake activity for achievement.
– John Wooden
Motion will never produce a final result. Action will.
When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategising and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result.
Are you doing something? Or are you just preparing to do it?
Are you in motion? Or are you taking action?
Use the Power of Momentum to keep your course for success on track
With Scott Harris – Tony Robbins’ #1 Trainer and world-leading expert on Wealth Psychology
If you’ve ever joined Tony Robbins live, you know the impact of the high energy environment. You gain powerful insights, create plans for life at a new level and make commitments to your transformation.
But the key to achieving the life you want is Momentum. Without it you risk losing the crucial drive you worked so hard to create and seeing your life return to the same old path.
Power of Momentum is a Free one day follow-up recharge event to any graduate of a Tony Robbins program.