“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.” – Jim Lovell
Are you a doer, a watcher or a wonderer? The answer may lie at the heart of whether or not you find yourself successful in life.
Granted, sometimes you need to watch for a while to become motivated to take action. After all, what interests you may involve stepping outside your comfort zone and taking a few risks. Well, nothing worthwhile ever occurred without a little discomfort. For one thing, it’s anxiety-provoking to think about taking on a challenge, something you’ve never done before. Maybe you should watch and wait for a while.
But not too long. If you wait until the proverbial time is right, you may still be waiting months and years down the line. At that point, instead of being successful, you’ll be one of those people who scratch their heads in dismay and wonder what happened.
Making things happen sounds too easy. It isn’t. Often, it involves long periods of practice, building skills and acquiring knowledge. It generally takes longer than you anticipate and requires more work than you intended.
But success is worth it if the goal is one that you truly desire.
Are You Ready to Make Things Happen?
Ask yourself these questions to see if you’re ready to make things happen.
- Is this (goal) something I really want?
- How much effort am I willing to put into achieving it?
- What will I do if distractions get in my way?
- Do I have a plan to follow, or am I just going to wing it?
- What about resources? Do I need to line them up or are they readily available to me?
- How will I handle criticism, failure and rejection? Am I strong enough to get past this?
- Am I willing to learn from my mistakes?
- What about revising my plan along the way? Have I incorporated that into my strategy?
- Have I factored measurement into my plan so that I know when it’s a success?
The Caveman Scenario
I’d like to illustrate this with the following scenario. Early caveman enjoyed sitting around the fire with his companions, partner and offspring. Telling tales of hunting exploits got everyone going and lasted well into the night. But some of the little ones fell asleep, missing out on the stories.
The caveman started etching shapes into the earth with a stick, but the images were quickly obliterated as everyone dispersed. This same stick, used to poke and prod the fire, was blackened at the tip. The caveman pondered the sooty blackness on his fingers and noted it was tough to remove. He looked up at the empty cave wall and thought about scratching his pictures there.
First, it was just a rudimentary sketch. Then, the images grew in size, complexity and number. Before long, they told a complete story. Now, not only the little ones, but everyone in the caveman’s group, could enjoy the tale. He was designated as the official keeper of the tales and his stature grew in the community.
Was this a success? Did the caveman make things happen? From a desire to share his tales with his children, he figured out a way to do that and made it happen. It was an absolute success.
If the caveman could do it, just imagine what you can do.