Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Action vs. Inaction


Movement creates its own momentum. And “thinking it” is not nearly as powerful “as doing it.” Nor is “wishing it” the same as getting it done, neither for the doer or for the person for whom it is done. Failure is insignificant unless the risk is lethal. For in the failing you will find tightly packaged the learning. So gather enough information from which to launch, but not so much to become encumbered, paralyzed and have the moment lost. Indecision carries risk as well. The most difficult part is to begin. The first step sets the environment in motion and all that remains is simply alignment. Words, good intentions, promises unkept, absent deeds, these are worse than nothing. For they raise expectations, our own included, and in their deflation heighten the failure and expose the bearer to the full weight of crushing impotency. Doers stand out not for the brilliance of what is done but for their courage in stepping into the unknown, in daring to lead and mark the way for others, who in seeing it done, might find the inner strength to take their first steps. Those who consistently go first, earn the right to send another on his way. Better to fail strongly than to succeed weakly! For good intentions never get the job done. And indecision is simply that. Strength is in driving the momentum, creating new realities, while others are left to pick and choose from old discarded options.


There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy
I am not built for academic writings. Action is my domain.
If a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.
Edgar Watson Howe

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all, try something.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

There comes a time when you’ve got to say, “Let’s get off our asses and go…” I have always found that if I move with 75 percent or more of the facts I usually never regret it. It’s the guys who wait to have everything perfect that drive you crazy.
Lee Iacocca

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers

He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
Dutch Proverb

If deeds are wanting, all words appear mere vanity and emptiness.
Greek Proverb

After all is said and done, more is said than done.

If you want a thing done, go – if not, send.
Benjamin Franklin

I’d rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.
Tallulah Bankhead

‘Mean to’ don’t pick no cotton.

Deliberate often – decide once.
Latin proverb

It is the characteristic excellence of a strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer


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