Good Intentions Without Action: Breaking the Habit
What are good intentions without action? Pretty much nothing.
Sometimes, they’re even worse than nothing. The saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is around for a reason. We mean well, but things go way astray. Or we take on more than we can handle, and find ourselves struggling to get back on track.
Good intentions without action just hold you back. So I’ve been working on breaking that habit, which means knowing myself.
For example, I just got back from BlogWorld LA, where I heard a whole bunch of great talks. There were so many talks that I wanted to listen to — which isn’t surprising since there were more than 160 talks — but I was only able to hear from Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, Peter Shankman, Marcus Sheridan, Debba Haupert, Michael Margolis, Amber Naslund, Darren Rouse, Pat Flynn, Adam Baker, CC Chapman, Pace & Kyeli Smith, and Srinivas Rao.
So when I saw this sign:
I was sorely tempted.
I could hear everyone, I thought. Or at least so much more!
But then reality set in
What would I really do, most likely, once I paid my $49? I’d get busy. Maybe I’d listen to one or two more talks, if I were lucky. Most likely though, the information would sit on my computer, neglected and lonely, while I felt guilty about one more undone item on my to-do list.
Much better to just admit that I don’t have time to do it all. And much more important to act on some of the things I learned while I was at BlogWorld.
Acting is the key. You can listen all you want, and have the best of intentions, but without action they are nothing.
Breaking the habit of good intentions
So if you often find yourself filled with good intentions that don’t come to fruition, it’s time to stop.
Start with some good old-fashioned self honesty. Admit that you can’t, won’t, or don’t want to do it all.
Then say no. (160 talks at 45 minutes each? No thank you, I don’t want to spend 120 hours listening, even though I’m sure I’ll be missing a ton of valuable information.)
Finally, act on what you do want to do. Make it a priority. Be satisfied with enough. Let the rest go, and you’ll be happier and less stressed for it.