Lately, I’ve been posting an inspirational quote every day on my Facebook page. I just open the book “The Fairview Guide to Positive Quotations” to any page and pick one that catches my fancy.
The other day, I posted the quote at the top of this post. It didn’t just catch my fancy, but made me go “hummm….” So, I asked my Facebook friends what they thought of it. And got some interesting answers:
I often wonder where action comes from. I have so many great thoughts, but cannot figure out what the connection is to my thoughts becoming action vs. those that just stay as really great thoughts. Maybe being ready for the responsibility is the difference. Fear of failure usually gets in the way of actions…that I do know.
I think action springs from energy…you can have the thought and accept the responsibility, but if there is a breakdown in that basic energy equation, nothing happens.
How important is energy, or fear of failure, really? Do these trump responsibility?
I don’t think so.
Look at some of the people who have accomplished great work in the world. What was their motivation? What kept them going after their dream, day in and day out?
Mother Theresa: responsibility to the poor of the world.
Thomas Edison: responsibility to the idea of electricity and making a light bulb work.
Gandi: responsibility to his people.
Do you think that these people were ever tired? Yes. Ever wonder if they would fail? Surely. Ever deal with other fears, unknowable to us? Very likely.
But they kept going and did what they needed to do anyway.
And if I look at my own life, I have, on occasion, surprised myself with my ability to “stay in the game” and get done what needed to get done — studying for college, getting a house ready to sell, cleaning out my grandfather’s apartment after he died. In every case, it was my sense of responsibility that pulled me through the long nights of hard work.
What if I apply this idea to things that I am not so motivated to do? Does the idea of responsibility still hold?
There’s a program that I have been thinking about creating for over 6 months. It is something that I know my market needs and I know that I am just the person to create and deliver it. I’m not worried about being a failure — I’ve already determined that the idea is viable and needed. So why haven’t I moved forward?
In this particular case, I know that those people who enroll in this program will likely — on the order of 50% or more — want to work with me directly after they have completed the program. As my business is currently full, I do not currently have a way to support all of those extra clients.
Ah.. what is keeping me from moving forward is my inability to take responsibility for these new clients!
In order to get myself motivated to work on this new program, I had to first find a way to grow my business so I could feel comfortable taking on these new clients.
And this I have done. I’ve hired a new assistant and am training her to take a lot of my duties off of my plate. I’m also in conversations with other assistants whom I can bring on, on a case-by-case basis.
Surprisingly, or maybe not so, since making these hiring decisions, I’ve made some significant progress on that program design.
If you are struggling with moving forward on something in your life, some brilliant idea you’ve had, maybe you should take a look at where your sense of responsibility lies. Do you feel responsible enough for your own success? Or is there something (or someone) outside of yourself that you could attach a sense of responsibility to? Or are you afraid of the responsibility that comes from taking this action?
There may not be an easy answer to any of these questions, but asking them might lead you to uncover that magic link that will motivate you to get off your butt and get something done. The world needs you to share your brilliance. As I tell my clients all the time, it does no one any good if it only stays stuck in your head.