Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! Our challenge is not that we don’t know what to do, it is our inability to take action. We have great visions, uncommon ideas, plans and strategies that can shape our generation, but the problem is that we keep aiming and fail to fire. No wonder the cemetery has remained the wealthiest spot on earth for ages. Inventions and creative ideas that could have pushed humanity forward are buried at the cemetery right now because many aimed the rest of their lives without firing.
Most people are familiar with the phrase “Ready, aim, fire!” The problem is that too many people spend their whole life aiming and never firing. The quickest way to hit a target is to fire, see where the bullet landed, and then adjust your aim accordingly. If the hit was two inches above the target, lower your aim a little. Fire again. See where it is now. Keep firing and keep readjusting. Soon you are hitting the bull’s-eye. The same is true for anything in life.
Jack Canfield shared this powerful personal experience. “When we started marketing the Chicken Soup for Soul book, it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to give away free excerpts from the book to small and local newspapers in exchange for them printing a box at the end of the story telling people that the story was excerpted from their book which was available at the local bookstore or by calling on the phone.
I had never done this before, so I wasn’t sure if there was a correct way to submit a story to a newspaper or magazine, so I just sent off a story from the book entitled “Remember, You Are Raising Children, Not Flowers!” that I had written about my neighbor and his son, along with a cover letter to the editor of L. A. Parenting magazine. The letter read:
….I would like to submit this article for publication in L. A. Parent. I have enclosed a brief bio. I would like you to print the little blurb I included on the new book Chicken Soup for the Soul with my article. If you would like a copy of the book, I would be more than happy to send one to you…. A few weeks later, I received the following letter back:
“Dear Jack; I was annoyed by your fax. How dare you tell me to include “the little blurb on your book.” How could you assume I’d be interested in this little bit of unsolicited word processing. Then I read the article. Needless to say, I’ll run your little blurb and then some! I was moved by this exercise and am sure it will touch the hearts of our 200,000 plus readers from here to San Diego. Has it ever appeared anywhere in my demographic? If so, where? I look forward to working with you on raising children, not flowers……”!
I had not known how to submit a proper query letter to an editor. There was an accepted format that I was unaware of. But I took action anyway. In a subsequent phone call, the editor generously taught me the correct way to submit an article to a magazine. He gave me feedback on how to do it better next time. Now I was in the game and I was learning from my experience.
Within a month I had submitted the same article to over 50 local and regional parenting magazines all across the United States. Thirty-five of them published it, introducing the book to over six million parents.” If Jack had waited to learn how to write the letter, he would have wasted a lot of time. It’s good to learn how to do a particular thing, but action is better.
Have you ever noticed that the last six letters in the word satisfaction are a-c-t-i-o-n? In Latin, the word satis means “enough.” What the ancient Romans understood clearly was that enough action ultimately produces satisfaction. Action is more important that excuses. Stop waiting for the time you will feel like accomplishing a task, take action right now. While reading this article, I want you to start strategizing on how to act on something immediately.
The wise man said; “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” Ecclesiastes 11:4-6.
Stop waiting for the perfect time to take one of the most important steps that could change your entire life. Just keep shooting and keeping learning. Don’t aim forever, kindly shoot! Write that book, make that enquiry, talk to that potential customer, open that boutique, write that letter to the president or your governor, publish that magazine, just take that action. If you experience failure, sit down and analyze your steps, make some corrections and step out again. Always remember that the best way to shoot is to take your position, then get ready, fire, and aim! Welcome to the world of unlimited possibilities!
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