Aesop’s Fables are a collection of short stories designed to illustrate simple sayings. One such story is called The Hunter and the Woodman. It is a tale of a cowardly hunter who was searching for the tracks of a lion. He asked a man felling oaks in the forest if he had seen any marks of the lion’s footsteps or knew where its lair was. “I will,” said the man, “at once show you the Lion himself.” The Hunter, turning very pale and chattering with his teeth from fear, replied, “No, thank you. I did not ask that; it is his track only I am in search of, not the Lion himself.” The moral of the story: a hero is brave in deeds as well as words.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Motivation means acting! Have you ever listened to a group of people talking about the next big idea? These conversations frequently take place in a barbershop or at a Friday-night poker game. In these settings, friends discuss the next idea that will generate millions of dollars and create infinite happiness. Interestingly, many of these ideas are actually quite good and if executed, would probably do pretty well in the marketplace. The problem is that they end in the barbershop and at the poker table. No one bothers to take the next step. No one bothers to act. It’s all talk. Have you ever thought of an idea and then put it to bed only to see an infomercial two years later with a variation of that very idea? Yes, that’s right! YOUR IDEA! How does it feel to see someone getting rich off your idea? Maybe you like that feeling. More likely, you do not.
When an idea enters your brain, write it down. You’ll be surprised how quickly an idea will escape if you do not write it down. Many ideas may come to you while driving. I do not recommend writing while driving. Keep a little recording device in your car to record your brilliant ideas when they come to you and write them down at your first opportunity. After you’ve written down your idea, plot out the steps it will take to actually bring the idea to life – who needs to be involved? What is the investment? Is there a market for the idea? After you’ve written down your idea and the steps it would take to bring it to life, start making moves. In other words, GO FOR IT. Planning is a good and necessary step if you want something to come to fruition; ask anyone who has ever planned a wedding. However, too much planning often leads to paralysis and indecision. As my good friend Tony Soprano once said, “More is lost by indecision than by the wrong decision.” Yes, even gangsters can be philosophical. Perfection is not the goal – the goal is action! Actions speak louder than words; so stop whispering with your words and speak loudly with your actions.