We can dream about doing things or talk about doing things. Or we can do something...
by Marilyn Mackenzie
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost
Gosh, I do wonder about some people. Recently an online friend complained that she wasn’t receiving any messages from men at Christian dating services. Rather than find one or two such sites, she had searched the Internet for every Christian singles or Christian dating site she could find and registered with them all. Then she sat alone in her apartment and waited for messages to show up on the screen in front of her. How disappointed she was when she wasn’t inundated with responses.
I suggested a different approach. I suggested, first, that she delete many of the accounts she had opened and concentrate on just one or two. My favorites were Praize Singles and Christian Café when I was in her position.
Next, I suggested that she pray, and then list qualities she was seeking in a future date or mate. Finally, I suggested that she set a short time each evening to check for new men registered on the sites she selected, and just write a quick welcome note to those men.
It worked! Pauline still hasn’t discovered her one true love, but she corresponds with a few men on a regular basis. And, she spends some time each evening welcoming new men and, sometimes, helping them learn to navigate the sites. Pauline is so much happier now that she’s doing something!
This reminded me of an experience I had as a regional sales manager for a national home party direct sales company. Each week, the new managers I had recruited and trained called in with their own recruiting and sales results. Each week, Donna was the first to call in with her results - zero recruits and zero sales. The first week, I was not by my phone when Donna called in, and I just documented her call. The second week, she was in a hurry and just wanted to give me the results of her week before she rushed off to some family activity. Again she reported no sales activity and no demonstrators hired. When week three ended with the same results, I asked Donna what she had been doing to find sales representatives. I asked if she had placed an ad in the local newspaper or contacted her friends. Her reply was negative. I asked what she had been doing to try to book parties of her own, knowing that sales recruits often came from the parties. She had not. In spite of having attended a 3-day training session where we covered how to recruit and sell, Donna had arrived home, set up an office and waited for the phone to magically ring. Amazing.
People truly do amaze me. Since I started writing again a few years ago, I've had friends and acquaintances comment, "I wish I could write." My response is always, "Why can't you?"
Many writers arrive here and have the same results as Pauline did with online dating services. They publish a few stories or poems and then sit back and wait for ratings and reviews to arrive and are disappointed when it doesn't happen. Exploring Writing.Com and reading the writings of others and corresponding with other writers makes all the difference in the world. Suddenly, new writers find their "works of heart" being read and appreciated.
Moms don't sit in their living rooms waiting for the vacuum to run by itself and clean up the messes their kids left. Kids don't sit and look at their books waiting for their homework assignments to be completed. At least the good students don't. Yet, when it comes to things that are important to us, we often sit and wait for things to just happen to us.
For most of us, opportunity doesn't really come knocking at the door. We have to meet it at the roadside and flag it down. We have to work at being successful, at meeting people, at having a full life. Sometimes that means taking risks or leaving our comfort zones, but the results are usually good. If not, then the failures are not really failures if we've learned from them.
What about you? Are you waiting for something grand to happen in your life? What are you doing to make it happen?
As that regional sales director, I had just finished attending my own yearly training session in our off-season time. I took the time to visit with my sister and her family afterwards and was sitting in their living room listening to a music awards program with them. That's when I first heard Gloria Estafan's "Get On Your Feet." The words to that song begin, "Get on your feet. Get up and take some action." I purchased that song and used it as the theme song for my sales meetings and sales rallies for the entire year.
Yes, those are wise words. "Get up and take some action." If we're to experience life, if we're truly to live our lives, we need to do something! If we sit and wait for something to happen to us, life will just pass us by.
More wise words:
"Only those who attempt the absurd...will achieve the impossible." M. C. Escher
"People can be divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, 'Why wasn't it done the other way?'" Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
"The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed." Lloyd Jones
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." (This quote is attributed to both Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy at Quoteworld.org.)
"The world is blessed most by men who do things, not by those who merely talk about them." James Oliver
"People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under." Charles R. Swindoll
"The future belongs to those who dare." Unknown
"In the end, the only people who fail are those who do not try." David Viscott