I once read a great quote from Ed Stetzer that goes like this: “If you want people to listen to you, say stuff that matters.”
I love that.
Too many people want the privilege of influence without living in the responsibility of developing something to say. It is a tough spot for most because they believe they have insights to offer the world and thoughts to inspire other people. At some level, that may very well be true, but the funny thing is that unless you actually do something with it, there is no reason for me to listen to you at all.
Here are some ideas for moving from thoughts to action as each of us goes forward in becoming what we are intended to be.
- Execution is the loudest point on the volume knob. Stop talking and start doing. Walt Disney said, “Dreams come true when talking stops and doing starts.” It really doesn’t matter what people think unless those thoughts move toward action. Do stuff, even if it is wrong.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. I know this is an overused statement, but please hear me. This is a difference maker between success and failure. People who are afraid to fail actually fail more than people who aren’t.
- Risk lets you know you are alive. Iyanla Vanzant once said, “When you live life to its fullest potential, there should be moments where you risk so big that you have a little pee running down your leg.” When was the last time you had a pee moment? Maybe it is time to step out and take a swing at that dream you’ve had for too long.
- Fear doesn’t stop death, it stops life. Living in fear doesn’t help. My dad used to say that a coward dies a thousand deaths. Or, in the words of the William Wallace (Braveheart), “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” Maybe it is time to stop blaming culture or other people or the cost as an excuse to hold onto our fear.
- Success isn’t measured in dollars. It is measured in fidelity to the task for which you were made. At the end of your life, the things you will use as a barometer for the life you lived will be more about family and dreams and passions than it will be about how much money you made along the way. As a pastor, I have been in those moments with people. I have never heard anyone say they wished they had made more money. Regrets are rooted in playing it safe.
May you be a person who finds true success. May you live a life that is consistent with what you say to others. May you find influence because of experiences, not ideas. And may you move beyond talking to doing great things for the Lord.