Nothing happens without you taking action

You have a dream, and you want to make it happen. But, all you do is talk about it. Months go by, and a year goes by, and all you do is talk. Not only are you lying to yourself, but you’re also lying to all your friends and family—you’re lying to the entire world. The good news, though, is that you can take the first step to make something happen, today.

This is something that happens to all of us, young or old—we want to make something happen, but we feel afraid. This is a natural reaction. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to be scared. You want to be so okay with being afraid and being scared that it doesn’t hold you back, it doesn’t crush your dreams, it gives you the freedom and the power to share that with other people. There’s nothing that turns people off more than someone who’s fronting, someone who’s lying, someone projecting a fake version of themselves. People can smell it. People can see the parts that don’t quite add up. You’re saying you want to be that, you want to do this, but what are you doing to get there?

If you really want to make it happen, the driving desire in your head is not enough; you have to actually take action. That’s the real danger. When you want to accomplish something, you get this little shot of joy that can trick you into thinking that you’ve accomplished something, so you go ahead and tell other people about it.

Scientists have done an experiment with two control groups. They asked the first group to imagine doing an exercise while closing their eyes, and then they asked the second group to do the exercise. In the end, the group that actually did the exercise obviously saw gains, but the surprising thing is that the group that just imagined themselves doing it also saw gains. Your brain is powerful. With it, you can convince yourself of anything. You can convince yourself that you’ve accomplished something even when you're not. You can convince yourself that you’re a total loser when that’s not even the case. So if you walk around showing and telling people this amazing thing that you’re doing, two things could happen—either their reactions make you feel great (this is awesome) or you feel like a fake because deep down you know that’s not you and you’re not actually doing it.

If you have that goal, if you have that dream, the only answer is to take action. What are you actually doing to lead yourself toward this thing? There’s nothing wrong with having highs. There’s nothing wrong with having lows. There’s nothing wrong with being in a down period, risking something and failing, as long as your intentions are good and you’re taking action towards your goal.

I had this interview with someone this afternoon. I asked him what he wanted to be, and he said he wanted to be a camera operator. I said, “Awesome. How did you get into that?” He answered, “You know what? I’m really passionate about the fact that I can use the camera, get the shots, and get everything that I want.” Cool, he’s got me. This guy’s gonna be a camera operator. And then I said, “Do you know how to do this?” And he answered, “Not really. Yeah, you know what? I don’t. I don’t really do much with it.”

That’s weird. When did you decide this—a year ago? What have you done in the last year? You can rent a camera. You can do it this weekend. There are no excuses. You can do this right away. You might say something like, “Oh, I don’t have anything to shoot.” What do you mean you don’t have anything to shoot? The world is full of things to shoot.

You can make this happen if you actually take the first step.

If I really want to be a pilot, I can’t walk around telling people that I am a pilot or going to be a pilot but never actually going up in a plane. People do this all the time. You do this. You tell people what you want to be, but you’re not actually taking the steps to turn you into that person. So what do we do about this?

For the camera operator, to me, it seems so obvious. If you want to be a camera operator, go operate the camera, use whatever camera you have, take courses, look on YouTube, etc. You have to work on it every day or every week; you have to have continuous progress. That way, you can grow, and you can move up—you’re not just thinking about it.

So what do you want to do? Do you want to open a restaurant? At the very least, get your recipes together. Start serving food to friends and family. Go to the farmer’s market, start in your kitchen right now.

Do you want to be in marketing? Start marketing. Do you want to be a speaker? Start speaking. The answer to making it happen is to take action—that’s the only answer. There’s no five-step process. You have to wake up and start doing it.

At first, you might be bad at it, but then you eventually get better. Don’t stop until you’re satisfied.

Stop trying to be something you’re not. Stop trying to impress people. What I’d much rather you do is say,

“I am here, and I want to be here. Here’s what I’m doing to make it happen. Watch out, world. There’s no stopping me!”

That’s what I’d rather see.

Be willing to tell people where you are and where you’re going. Don’t just paint the finished picture. More than anything, decide that you’re going to make this happen. Right now, decide what the first step is—the tiny step, the little thing that’s going to lead you there—because if you do that, you’ll get started.

You’ll build momentum, and no one will be able to stop you.