by Roy Burton

Anyone who has any interest in the field of self-development will quickly see that there are countless books to be found on the subject of positive thinking. Indeed, this discipline has been around for so long now, so familiar, that in some quarters positive thinking is regarded with an air of derision. Yet, it cannot be argued that without a positive outlook on life, without a positive belief that we have the capabilities to achieve something, we will amount to nothing, existing in an unhappy world of frustration and poverty.

It is good and right to have worthy goals to aspire to, and to approach them in a positive manner, but unless they are followed up with Positive Action then all those fine goals you have set yourself will amount to nothing more than ineffectual daydreams.

Then there are those who will buy one self-help book after another, read each one, enthusiastically punch the air and say ‘ Yes, this is what I will do.’ And then put the books back on the shelf to be forgotten and gather dust. Or they may attend countless seminars, get in a sweat of excitement, and then once they have got back home and flopped out in front of the television with a six-pack forget all that they had been told.

What is lacking here is Positive Action, for it does not matter how grand the goal, how precise the preparation, how intense the determination, if at the end of the day nothing is done about it then it is all sheer wasted energy. So let’s have a look to see how we can carry our Positive Thinking through into Positive Action.

Taking action. We will start at the point where you have carefully considered what your goal is, decided if it is achievable, have accepted the risks, and what your time scale is. So this is what this article is all about, committing yourself to now taking decisive action, going boldly forward, using the faith you have, and the courage you have. We have all got courage to some degree, if we hadn’t we wouldn’t put one step outside the front door. So you must take action even if you do feel a little bit apprehensive. It is so easy to fall into the trap of putting things off, waiting for the ‘perfect conditions’ or ‘when the time is right.’ All goal-oriented people know that they must take Positive Action now – for that is the only way to achieve results.

Keep in mind that action, when you have committed yourself, will bring out the best in you, and the best in your efforts. You will discover your strong points, which you must capitalise on, and you will root out your weak points, which it would be wise to rectify.

It is Positive Thinking that turns a daydream into a goal, and it is Positive Action that turns a goal into reality. So we must act now, give it all we’ve got, with all the resources we have, for there is no greater spur to action than the positive belief that the goal you have set yourself is within your grasp.

Never Consider Failure. No matter how grand or noble the goal, anyone who goes into action with the conviction that the odds are against him, and that there is a poor chance that he will win, is doomed to failure from the outset. It is comparable to trying to drive a finely tuned car with all the brakes locked on. Any action no matter how small or how large, must be accompanied by the firm, unshakeable, positive belief that the goal will be achieved.

So go for it, for facing up to any challenge will give you the opportunity to stretch yourself to the limit, and by so doing you will discover powers and abilities within you that you never knew you possessed.

Courage. We touched upon courage in another section, but it is so important to understand that we will expand upon it here. Courage is not merely the ability to overcome physical fear, facing the local bully, or taking that first parachute jump. It is also being able to say ‘No’ when it would be far easier to say ‘Yes.’ It is when you can knock on the door of a prospective client who has a reputation for ferocity, when you have every chance of sneaking away. Courage is when, after well-meant opposition from friends and family, you can still go ahead to strive towards achieving your dreams. We have all heard the story of the fellow who had great plans for writing a novel. He does a lot of research, and takes copious notes, taking great pains to file them away under the correct heading. He constantly harps on to all who will listen about the great novel that he is going to write, but he never takes any real action because deep inside he does not have the courage to face a possible rejection from the publisher. It is all a grand idea, empty talk, and nothing more.

Whatever we wish to do, whether it is to set a major goal, to change our direction in life, or merely to make a phone call that is long outstanding, it will take courage. Take Positive Action and the fear that had held you in it’s grip will disappear.

Bouncing back. There will be occasions where once you have made a start on a project you will encounter a few setbacks. But remember, there is hardly anything in use today, any commodity which we now take for granted, that did not at some time require adjustments, alterations, re-designing, or even scrapped completely to be thought out all over again. This is part of the natural process of development. Be assured that Positive Action is not at all deterred by the problems that may arise, rather it seeks to isolate and pin down the cause of any set-back. But don’t dwell on problems, for this can lead to negativity and loss of confidence. Just pick yourself up and start again from the very beginning if necessary, learn from your errors, and carry on towards ultimate success. Emergencies such as these bring forth hidden strengths and ingenuity, and it is these innate powers that will enable us to achieve our goals.

In Conclusion. Success in itself can be a powerful and wonderful thing, as long as you haven’t hurt others, or alienated family or friends in the process. Do that and you pay a terrible price, for true, lasting success will never be yours. Success should be more far-reaching, spreading out its benefits, not only to you, but to those close to you, to the community, and who knows, even beyond that.

We have seen then that the golden key to achievement and success is Positive Action. Not just any old action where you flit aimlessly from one thing to another, doing a little bit then losing interest, then seizing upon something else only to put that to one side as well as soon as interest wanes. This behaviour never achieved anything of substance, for it is no more than pathetic, unproductive vacillation.

To bring those dreams we have to fruition we must focus our minds like a powerful laser beam on our chosen goal, then set about it’s achievement with determination and Positive Action. Then, having done that, what more could you wish for if after having reached your goals, claimed the riches and rewards that are yours by right, you also enrich and ennoble the lives of those around you. So take Positive Action now, for nothing less will do.

Roy Burton was born in north London, England, and is now based in Bedfordshire. He has been a student and exponent of self-development for many years. He can be reached with comments or suggestions on

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