Last week, we discussed Ryan Holiday’s book, The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumphs, and how our perception of obstacles is actually in our control. Now that we have more control over those perceptions, it’s time to do something about it. It’s time for ACTION! The first step of taking action is to actually do something – literally taking the first step. We sometimes can be paralyzed in the face of adversity or obstacles, so initiating any action is a good initial step. What is even more powerful is directed action that focuses on the big picture. The holistic view keeps the little obstacles in perspective and our vision toward the big goal. In this pursuit, if we keep our focus on the process or the little cumulative daily actions that bring us closer to our goals, we are surrounded by small successes. We think this is extremely important. So much so that we made an entire lesson on goal-setting and performance monitoring! When we do experience failure, we can see it as an asset to our overall performance because it gives us valuable information about what is going well and where we can improve.
Amelia Earhart’s story is a great example by Holiday to illustrate the importance of taking action. Amelia dreamed of being a pilot during a time when females were not viewed as qualified for the field of aviation. When Amelia was offered the opportunity to observe a transatlantic flight (but not fly, make less money than the men, and possibly lose her life), she just took action and said "yes." Five years later, she became the first woman to solo fly across the Atlantic, and in turn, famously achieved her goal. But Amelia’s story may have ended differently if she didn’t take that first, less than ideal, step of action.
Action is hard for us. As an athlete, the action step you might need to take is doing something different than what you are used to. If you are not in the role you want, what actions are you taking to earn a different role? By doing extra work, watching more film, and being a great teammate, you could put yourself in a better position to reach your goals. Too often, when we are not getting what we want, we do nothing and focus on how unfair the situation is. Take action! Another example is if, and when you need help with something, either academics, athletics, or personally; taking action is reaching out for help in the right area. It can be tough and sometimes scary to reach out for help, but the consequences of not taking action are much more detrimental! For more information on taking action, check out Ryan Holiday’s book.
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