I have read a lot of pop psychology books in my time, and many are written around the concept of “what makes a person successful?”
Its an interesting age old debate.
My overall conclusion is that it has nothing to do with intelligence, or knowledge.
It’s not even down to who you know, although that’s probably more valuable than the first two.
No – to paraphrase Tony Robbins, it’s all about taking action.
You could have many good ideas or things you’d like to do – but unless you actually turn your thoughts into actions – then what’s the point?
No one will ever get to see the inside of your mind, except through your actions.
A friend was commenting on how his boss, as much of an asshole as he is, is always taking action. He’ll just have an idea, pick up a phone, and bark at someone to implement it.
Some ideas work, some don’t, but overall the ones that don’t train the mind to have more ideas of the kind that do – because failure is only feedback.
So going into the New Year, why not make a plan to commit yourself to take action on a few ideas or goals?
It does feel good, and that inner sense of personal power keeps your psychological immune system (i.e., feeling good) healthy.
On that note, its the people who don’t take action enough, who feel like the world takes action against them, who have no sense of control and power and end up becoming depressed, using victimisation language, complaining about everything etc.
As much as I enjoy some great books and ideas, I still maintain that a vast majority of the self help industry (and the books) are total tosh, and I’m quite enjoying the new wave backlash against it (e.g. the SHAM movement) and Hollywood’s gags (Tony Robbins cameo in Shallow Hal, the wannabe self help guru in Little Miss Sunshine).
But in the cloud of nonsense, certain little nuggets of obvious truth remain, and Tony Robbins’ maxim of taking action will never lose its relevancy.