Ideas Without Action Are Useless

Ideas without action waste time and weigh on the mind.

Do you have a great idea? How long have you had it? How many times have you talked about it? And how much progress have you made toward seeing it through?

The world is filled with glittery thoughts and brilliant concepts. Almost anywhere you go, you can find people who will talk about the things they thought about doing.

There are people with great stories that would make great books. People who know their memoirs would be top sellers. There are people who can sing and rap. They have a few lyrics and know they could make a hit. Yet these people never write and never make music.

A lot of people are quick to pull out their ideas and make a flashy show of them. But that’s as far as the process goes. When the talking is done, they put those ideas away until there’s another chance to impress people with conversation.

It’s like talking sex with an impotent man. He can interest you and arouse you, but in the end, he won’t fulfill you.

The older you get, the more boring and wasteful it gets to hear people talk about what they could do or could have done. But more importantly, the older you get the more disappointing it is to be the one who talks this way.

If your life is unfulfilling or you feel an undercurrent of sadness, particularly after talking to people or hearing about what someone else has done, the problem could be your ideas. Or more specifically, the problem could be that you aren’t doing anything about your ideas. You see the world moving around you but you’re still thinking.

When you have thoughts that you don’t act on, what you’re telling people, what you’re telling yourself, is that you could be greater, grander and more magnificent. You’re saying your list of accomplishments could be longer and more colorful. But for one reason or another, that’s just not the choice you’re making.

Ideas that you don’t pursue are smothered opportunities. They’re reminders of what you have not done.

And whether you realize it or not, a lot of times, we hold ourselves accountable for those things. Sometimes we start to blame others and harbor resentment toward them. Or vice versa, they start to resent us because we said we should, we said we could but then we never did.

If you have an idea that’s been an idea for a long time and you aren’t making any progress on it, you should ask yourself why. And if the answer is because you don’t have the time, congratulations for picking the top excuse.

Being busy is an excuse that’s easy to whip out, wave around and get a nod of understanding from the crowd. People relate so easily because we have all used being busy as a reason not to do something. But for real, we all have the same amount of time—24 hours in a day; 7 days in a week. The difference is how we use it.

If you think you don’t have time to invest in your ideas, the real issue is your priorities. Almost every person can carve out time to make progress if they want to. You could start small, with your lunch break or an hour before bed. That’s if you really want to see your ideas through.

When it all boils down, most reasons for not pursuing your ideas—time, money, family—are really just excuses. And those excuses are cover for other issues, like fear of failure or lack of motivation.

Which brings us back to the first question—do you have a great idea?

The answer cannot be “yes” if it’s just a thought lingering in your head. Ideas are only great if followed with action. By itself, an idea is useless. It doesn’t benefit you; it doesn’t benefit others. It’s just clutter and weight for the mind.

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