“It’s never been a better time to”; invest, lose weight, travel, move, buy a home etc. Apparently at any given time, it is the best time to do something. But, if you are a typical human, we hesitate. We procrastinate. We delay. Worst case, we avoid moments of transformation because we are just too comfortable to move.
In the wild, action is a matter of survival. If an animal hesitates to follow its instinct more often than not, the outcome is death or at the very least, the loss of their next meal. Humans don’t have the pressure of day-to-day survival pressing down on them. Most of us live in a comfort zone of complacency that keeps us inert. As a species we fail to take actions to positively effect change in our lives at an alarming rate. Experts tell us that 25-75% of us procrastinate. Not every time, but sometimes we are all guilty.
“What I’ve found is that while everybody may procrastinate, not everyone is a procrastinator,” says APS Fellow Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University. He is a pioneer of modern research on the subject. And approximately 20% of all of us suffer from chronic procrastination” (Jaffe,2013). While this doesn’t sound like a huge percentage, clearly, we are all guilty of holding back or postponing actions and responses.
This doesn’t mean we are lazy and often we just can’t snap out of it and act. Our hesitation is rooted in something more complicated. “Believe it or not, the Internet did not give rise to procrastination. People have struggled with habitual hesitation going back to ancient civilizations” (Jaffe, 2013). While it is comforting that Socrates and Plato also suffered from the hesitation affliction, it doesn’t help explain why we do it.
Most of us know what holds us back but sometimes the ‘art of in-action’ is hidden behind a list of benign excuses or because we lack consequences if we don’t act. Unlike the animal in the wild, there is no eminent risk of death or harm if we don’t make a decision to change. But what if it did? What if our lack of decisions resulted in some irreparable harm?
Does an unfulfilled life or an unrealized dream harm anyone but you?
Consider this… If innovators and inventors would have hesitated to act, we might not have discovered electricity, penicillin, the printing press or radioactivity. These life altering discoveries have shaped our futures and it came from someone’s persistence and tenacity. Franklin, Edison, Fleming, Gutenberg, and Curie didn’t allow fear of failure, or the lack of information to hold them back. They plowed forward with and without support from their communities. Ridicule and skepticism for all these innovative inventions plagued these pioneers, and yet they persisted.
So, what is holding your back? Why do you hesitate to make a change in your life? What are you waiting for and what are you afraid of? Each of us have to answer these questions when we face life choices. But think about the number of lives you could change for good if you didn’t hold back? If you pursued your dreams and goals with the same unfettered action, what could you accomplish?
There's no better time than the present. Let's go!
The meaning of life is not universal. It is very different for every human being. Why is there no one answer for everyone? Where do we find the answers if they exist? How do we define our Why? You have to look within.
Simon Sinek wrote a book Find Your Why, that sparked millions to start their personal search for their own personal “WHY”. Still many find it difficult to define their WHY and find real meaning and motivation to reach their goals and aspirations. The internal journey required to define your WHY is difficult and sometimes painful. But the clearer you become on your specific vision, and the purpose of your life, the faster and easier change follows.
Finding direction and truly understanding your WHY can be both liberating and frustrating. But when you commit to establishing a clear and concise WHY you will find confidence, calm and meaning. You wouldn’t need external or artificial motivation to act, your WHY will drive you to action. Your purpose is a powerful catalyst because it will lead you to the change necessary to achieve your goals. It will drive you to “live deliberately instead of living by accident” as Sinek says.
Living deliberately means you are guided by an inner WHY compass which serves as a directional beacon. You no longer live your life by happenstance. You aren’t living from experience to experience hoping something sticks. You would be yearning for something to happen. You are now purposely seeking out experiences that feed your WHY. You are deliberately choosing a course of action that is leading you to fulfill the essence of your WHY.
Often it takes a catastrophic event to force people into defining their WHY. No matter where you are in life, it is never too late. When you are up against the ropes, your WHY becomes greater than the potential defeat you face. It can give hope and courage to live another day, to overcome another obstacle. You may not succeed every time, but you wouldn’t view failure as a defining end. Rather you will use the lesson to solidify your purpose and feed your WHY. The courage it takes to truly, deeply define your WHY leads to real fulfillment and happiness. Understanding what your WHY serves is a compelling, pulling force that leads toward success.
A defined WHY is what makes you stand out. Your WHY is what makes you different and is the magnet that drives you forward. It will attract new people and repel others that don’t serve your WHY. It will lead you to act in ways that move you closer to fulfilling your WHY and identify the actions and behavior you want to leave in the past and start doing in the future.
Shallow goals, purposeless desires and hallow wants will only move you so far. T. Harv Eker is an author, businessman and motivational speaker known for his theories on wealth and motivation. He said, “If you are willing to do only what’s easy, life will be hard. But if you are willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.” Sounds counter intuitive, but if you are willing, the journey will be much more fulfilling and rich.
Finding the meaning of life may be right in front of you and with some soul searching, reading, examining, deep discussion and contemplation you can define it for yourself.
You’ve tried planning ahead only to be upended due to unexpected circumstances. If you can’t rely on a plan to help you chart a course, why should you do it? Why waste the time?
If you follow the definition of planning as your guide you will see why the process is so critical to any business’ success.
“In organizations, planning can become a management process, concerned with defining goals for a future direction and determining the missions and resources to achieve those targets. To meet the goals, managers may develop plans such as a business plan or a marketing plan. Planning always has a purpose"
To plan means you have a purpose in mind. While tactics and strategies to achieve the goals set forth might change, the PLAN, the foundation of what you want to accomplish shouldn’t.
The Pandemic illustrated to many businesses that operating without a plan can be fatal. Businesses that operate by the seat of their pants found themselves in short order and unable to pivot resources to accommodate the changes in marketplace that were happening so fast.
Business planning has many characteristics which include;
Intellectual and Mental Exercise
Based on Continuous Improvement
Positive and Persuasive
At Tapp ActionCOACH, planning is at the center of everything we teach business owners to do. Whether at 1:1 sessions, group coaching sessions or quarterly PlanningCLUB and GrowthCLUB meetings, business owners are challenged to set down actionable, attainable, realistic, and measurable goals that they can use to chart their progress.
PlanningCLUB is a group coaching program from Tapp ActionCOACH. At this full interactive and dynamic workshop coaches and their clients work to develop a comprehensive plan using state-of-the-art cloud base “living” business plan. This includes projections for revenue, costs, profit, cash flow growth, owner’s salaries, linked goals to achieve results, strategy implementation. PlanningCLUB also provides the participating business owner with;
Business at a Glance
Analysis (Industry, Customers, Competitors)
Strategy for Improvement and Action Plan
Actions to Take
Appendix Information (Historical Financial Reports)
GrowthCLUB is a Quarterly workshop which helps clients and their management team plan and prepare their 90-day plan. The purpose of the day is to assess what the business has achieved towards their long-term plan in the last 90 days, and what needs to happen in the next 90 days to move the business forwards towards achieving that plan. It helps to increase learning and giving them a structure to plan growth in their business and personal lives.
You would never take a trip without at least knowing where you were going right? Planning for a business is much the same. If you have ideas of where your business should be or where you want your business to be, then planning is a must. Remember, tactics and strategies can change. You can deploy resources differently or allocate them in new ways to meet market conditions, but you should never abandon your plans of being bigger, better and stronger. Only with a road map can you stay on track and achieve the business goals you want.