“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” – Frank Tibolt

There are two kinds of people in the world.

Firstly, the perpetual take-no-action dreamers. They tend to be life’s moaners and groaners.

The others are the focused achievers. These are life’s movers and shakers.

Dreamers continuously talk about big ideas, which never materialise, while achievers put them into action. The achievers are the doers.

In truth, all of us have the potential to be either one, and most of us have spent some time in both camps. The fact you’re reading this book leads me to believe you are a focused achiever or are well on the way to becoming one. Yet if you are struggling to make positive things happen in your life, you may temporarily be in dreamer mode. You aspire to something new but come up with many reasonable-sounding excuses about why it’s complex or even impossible. These are what I call the ‘good stories’ or ‘illusions’.

As a frequent seminar or keynote speaker, I get the opportunity to talk to people from diverse backgrounds, interests, and businesses. I am often faced with the realisation that many people are better at creating excuses than creating action and results.

Time and again, I hear the same stories – ‘The market is slow, there’s too much stock, the price is too high, the competition is discounting, the economy is falling apart, interest rates make it impossible, our targets and budgets are far too high, my boss doesn’t understand, my salespeople are useless, too much competition.’ I can go on and on. 

If that were true, wouldn’t you think that the results would be different when it’s become a seller’s market? But in a seller’s market (and we’ve had a great eight years of this), the same people were saying, ‘The market is slow, there’s too much stock, the price is too high, the competitors are discounting, the economy is falling apart, interest rates make it impossible, our targets and budgets are far too high, my boss doesn’t understand, my salespeople are useless, there’s not enough time, too much competition.’

The story only changes slightly, but the results remain the same. It seems that we can continually create a valid account no matter what’s going on in our lives. And they all have the same theme – blaming someone else and never accepting responsibility. This mindset screams victim!

The ultimate achievement in gaining your personal power is never blaming others, taking personal responsibility, and accepting events and circumstances. This mindset is hugely empowering.

You can always come up with genuinely excellent reasons for failure. But the fact remains, good stories never make up for a lack of results.

Think about your life. Are your results creating an imaginary story? Do you know the difference between true industriousness and meaningless activities? Are you committed to reaching your destination and goals despite any challenges or detours?

Take a hard look at an area in your life where you currently aren’t getting the results you want. Why do you think this is happening? Write down your own ‘good stories’. Are you willing to settle for less than your best in this area from this point onward? Or are you ready to create your own truly great story?

The choice is yours: Dreamer or Achiever?

“When deeds speak, words are nothing.” – African Proverb