Walking Your Talk

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“Well done is better than well said.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“There is no magic wand, my dear. In this world if you want to accomplish more, you need to do more.” Wise counsel from a mentor some 20 years ago. Her advice was good across the board, whether starting up a business, changing jobs or simply checking a few things off your bucket list.

I was somewhat of a talker then. Reasonably accomplished, I talked a lot about what I wanted to do. Yet, I found myself challenged when it came to fulfilling personal chores, completing deliverables, and planning for what I wanted to do. I was bluffing myself and others. And at some point I acknowledged I wasn’t a doer.

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These days I’m on the other side of that fence. I collaborate with people who choose to plan for their personal development; people who have specific, realistic, small, and manageable goals. In hindsight, what I now see clearly is that an individual’s success is often attributable to designing a living (meaning: breathing/flexible) working plan versus simply thinking and talking about their goals.

Early on I figured out that plans and outcomes are not built on good intentions alone. Positive perspectives help yet intentions lapse when the distractions and demands of the real world present. What I remind people about is that the real work is in making things happen. And for plans and intentions to bear fruit, they require diligence, hard work, vision, application, self-belief, energy and consistency. Plain and simple. Perseverance is essential even if you lapse or come up short on your plan.

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If being successful is an outcome to which you aspire, fairy dust and wishful thinking might make you feel good, but they’re not going to deliver results. I used be a great thinker. A dreamer, too. I am, still. What has changed though, is now seeing these matters through a time, experience and knowledge lens. And we all have this vantage! We simply need to recognize what is practical and applicable in our own frame.

Walking your talk is undeniably doable. In doing so consider these three foci, each which can strengthen and empower your walk:

  1. Banish distractions. Getting past distractions is one of the biggest obstacles to taking more action. It may not be challenging for people with enough willpower but for many, stopping procrastination and focusing requires a lot more effort. Turn off things like your TV and phone more regularly and scale back your usage of social media sites and Netflix. I know I am far more productive absent distractions. Perhaps you, too?
  2. Be a doer. Practice doing things rather than thinking about them. The longer an idea rests without being acted upon, the weaker it becomes. After a few days, details get hazy. After a week, ideas get relegated to a back burner. As a doer you get more done while stimulating new ideas in the process.
  3. Visualize success. This is a tried and true technique. People know the benefits of visualizing their goals. Elite athletes do this all the time. In a similar way, create an image of the outcomes you want and use that for inspiration.

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68 thoughts on “Walking Your Talk

  1. I am finally realizing my game development aspirations after years of it getting stored in my vault of unfinished business and unfulfilled dreams. Thanks, Eric, for all your wonderful advice! 😀

  2. Again a brilliant article. Full of useful teachings for personal and professional development. Thank you very much, Eric, for your wise advice, that you share with us. I’ll take them into account in the future.
    Have a beautiful weekend, Eric! 🙂

  3. In order to accomplish anything, we must first start. There are a lot of talkers and very few doers, but there is much to do, so someone better start! Our future accomplishments are in our hands. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao-tzu

    • Exactly! Simply taking that first step. And those who have and now realize the benefit of action, wonder why they were so hesitant to do so in the first place. Indeed our future accomplishments are in our hands! Always have been always will be. Appreciate your thoughtful comment.

  4. Banishing distractions is a must. I tell you these social media sites can be a number one time killer…I’m finding the need to disengage on that level, or at least limit my use.

    • And I’ll bet during your most recent time in/with nature, that you didn’t even ponder distractions. 🙂 Agreed… disengaging or genuinely limiting use of technology devices and social media is worth serious consideration. We know it won’t hurt us.

  5. Wise counsel here and I can definitely see that the distractions of modern life would definitely take a toll on plans going into action. Like the second tidbit there about become a doer…..am going to have to work more on that myself.

    • Thank you. John Lennon’s “Imagine” ran through my mind when I read your comment, Dale. Dreams, when coupled with intentional action, are what yield desired outcomes. And you are successful with generating outcomes so your dreaming must be contributing!

  6. “if you want to accomplish more, you need to do more” that just about says it all… And if there is a passion to what you are seeking, then it can be a bit easier. The problem, and you have done such a great job helping me (and others) find the passion when it goes missing 🙂 Wonderful post Eric…it is important (especially when a dreamer like me spends too much time there and not enough getting things done!). Cheers!

    • Who’s to say the passion has gone missing? More likely, it’s simply been overwhelmed with distraction and everyday life. We get caught up in the immediate and what’s seemingly important at any given moment (and at times, it is). Reclaiming our passions can be as simple as making it/them a priority and acting on them. Now. 🙂 Thanks for your kind comment, Randy.

  7. I guess I am a doer Eric.. although I still day dream alot.. 🙂 But I learnt early on its no good just talking about what you want and hoping it will just happen, you have to put your thoughts into action and create your visualisations.. Now that’s not saying I still have a few Dreams that are way out there.. But by focusing upon the desired outcome, I am pulling that energy closer towards me..

    Its a day of rain here today Eric… so WP has got my attention for now 🙂 as I catch up with your interesting posts 🙂

    • Those dreams “way out there” may simply be the inspiration you need when you choose to act on them! I like your reference, Sue, to pulling energy closer toward (you); that’s definitely part of what contributes to visualizing success.

  8. Oh gosh, Eric. This post gave me chills. As I prepare for what I consider to be my most challenging professional talk, I see how I have followed the steps. I have been a do-er and have been preparing. Fairy dust and wishful thinking have not been my M.O. I will “walk my talk” and do so with dignity 🙂

    • I, personally, have no doubt that your preparations, confidence and dignity will manifest into a wonderfully received presentation, Kim. You know your material, the audience wants you to succeed, so simply be in the moment and enjoy the flow. You have valuable information to share; that’s why they will be there to receive your gift.

  9. I tell myself, “That novel isn’t going to write itself” whenever a few days pass and I haven’t touched it. I don’t mind your periodic subtle reminders to take action, either.

  10. Great topic, Eric. Those distractions are my worst enemy. Mostly good things, I can justify them…until I finally admit to myself what they really are. Good reminders, thank you!

  11. Zen Pencils (if you haven’t checked him out you may really love him Eric) did something about dreamers and doers not too long ago. You may really appreciate it. I sometimes find myself talking about what I dream of…..and realize it won’t happen as long as all I do is talk about it. Great post.

    • Just subscribed to his blog. Thanks, Colleen. To your comment, I suspect many (all?) of us find ourselves dreaming about… It’s when we catch ourselves being passive about a goal or a passion and we use that as a trigger to act, that things start to manifest. Right? 🙂

      • Yes! My husband and I have been “talking” and “dreaming” of a change. And finally I told him we either DO it or just talk about it. So….we are doing. 🙂

        Zen Pencils is amazing.

  12. Eric Im a bit of both and sometimes too many great ideas come to me at once. Now I am older I see that is me sabotaging my own dreams. I write them in a book and continue with my picture book. Im about a little passed half way. Manuscript fits nicely to a 32 page spread but I still need another sixteen illustrations at least. These take time and lots of practice until I am happy. I think this is the hardest part seeing an ending but just not quite there yet. I want quality so I refuse to rush this process. I keep a pic of one of my characters up on my board with the words KEEP GOING, I look at it from time to time and smile, then get back to work. Thanks for inspiring me to keep going.

    • I find your process and progress refreshing and encouraging, Kath. Acknowledging time and exercising patience are laudable and realistic. And why settle for any outcome other than what brings you happiness?

      The “end” will present when it is intended. You and your work are simply contributing to its eventual completion. Having a pic of one of your characters readily visible is a great way to continue visualizing the end product while inspiring you forward. All is good. Give yourself an occasional pat on the back for your diligence. 🙂

  13. Excellent and sage words of advice Eric. I used to do a lot of talking myself. The last decade has been far more doing? Do you suppose some of this wisdom comes with life experience?

  14. I decided at some point a few years back that, as long as it didn’t hurt anyone, I was going to live my life doing things that made me happy, so I went back to college at 35 and got a degree in a field that I love working in. It wasn’t easy but I was able to make it happen by essentially doing the things that you point out in this post, without really even fully realizing that I was doing them.

    • Often, it’s the accomplishments that were challenging that are among the most satisfying, right? You made a choice, did the work required and voila! 🙂 Funny how we see the process differently when we’re immersed in action, only to more fully appreciate it later on. Congratulations on your significant personal achievement!

  15. Another perfectly timed post for me. I’m good at dreaming and planning, but the doing was elusive. Maybe it was a matter of the right thing coming along to move me out of dreaming and planning to the actual doing. And being. I still have to watch the distractions (which are part and parcel of my tendency to procrastinate).

    • “Maybe it was the right thing coming along to move me…” We don’t always know what is going to trigger or coax us into shifting from dreaming into acting on our dream. And where the prompt comes from is secondary to the fact that we choose to become a doer. Kudos, Robin, on your doing, progress, and recognizing that distractions are omnipresent. 🙂

  16. I have always been a doer but emotions have often distracted me, pulled me back, blackmailed me into following them…probably they are responsible for the setbacks of my life, some of which cannot be connected with destiny.

    • This is an interesting piece of awareness, Balroop! If you are cognizant of emotions “blackmailing” you, how might you disallow such distractions from “pulling you back” the next time?

  17. Great advise and timely. I am a doer in certain areas of my life, other areas get back burner-ed. Of course those are the ones I’m trying to change and where I get side tracked. Thanks for some tips and the quote from your mentor. 🙂

    • Glad you found the message timely and helpful, Ger. The simple acknowledgment that you are trying to ‘get back on track’ some of your back-burnered goals/dreams/ideas, is useful awareness. Here’s to your getting what you want back on the track of your choosing. 🙂

  18. Pingback: Getting It All Done | Spirit Lights The Way

  19. I like your advice! It might seem to some readers that your points 1 and 2 are the most important, but I think that no 3 is equally important. We need to see ourselves succeed…

    • Thank you, Helen. As the poster (is that an appropriate use of the word?), I have a bias, appreciate, and see value in all three. 🙂 But I clearly know from where you are coming. For those who can visualize success or whatever the desired outcome, visualization is a powerful tool/technique.

  20. I feel that my life is very busy with my being able to reach the age where I can relax and do what I really want to do, ‘when I grow up!’ Being on my own, having given up some of my retirement due to unforeseen circumstances, I am still ‘scrambling’ to have enough to live a comfortable life. I guess this post bothers me a little, since I have done a lot to improve myself. I apply every year for over 60 jobs, but once I lost my teaching job have never quite found one that will cover a future, better life. We will see, Eric! I may still reach my goals!

    • I’m sorry the post bothered you, Robin, especially when you acknowledge having done a lot to improve yourself. To me, that seems incredibly valuable. So I’m wondering how a ‘future life’ would be better? Is it not possible to see and appreciate all of the blessings presently in your life? So often we tend to want more than what we have. What if that ‘more’ doesn’t manifest. Would we be unable to be grateful for what we do have? Just thinking out loud here. 🙂 No need to reply. Still, thank you for adding to this virtual conversation!

  21. Hi Eric, this post is so relevant to myself right now. There are so many things that I have been wanting to do, and I keep telling myself to work towards them. ” when I have more time” I would tell myself. Now, as you say…it is time to walk my talk. I have realised that I had too many unimportant priorities. I have now stripped myself of such distractions and re-evaluated my priorities and plan to give myself focus on my goals and be a doer. No more procrastinating.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge Eric…I’m sure it will help many people. 🙂

    • Mr. Brown, I am sensing perspectives and wisdom beyond your youthful age. And that is a compliment. It sounds as though you are ‘all over this’ You seem driven and a self-starter, so bravo for taking the bull by the horns. Here’s to you focused determination and doing!

    • A humanist, a man who actually believed in ‘us.’
      While not attributed to him, I also like “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”
      Here’s to our intentional diligence!

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