Walking the Talk

As they walked through the door, I knew they meant business. Two young men came to see me at different times yesterday, to discuss their different projects and ask questions about how they could make better plans and walk the talk. Not that such visits are strange to my day, but I spent quite some time thinking about strings of such encounters that I had in 2006. Thinking through the various discussions, I realised that each day in the life of each one of us who have decided to be valuable to our various spheres of influence actually spend time completing a major task — walking the talk, i.e. translating words into action.

I walked into 2007 with well-defined plans in five categories: life, tasks, career, financials and projects. In a beatifully drawn up document (“year plan”) that listed bulet points that were further explained in detatched paragraphs — with dates and specific targets — I hinted on major areas of my life that would need specific focus in 2007. Each time I have had to look at the document or refer to it in discussions (especially when stating the need for clearly written-out goals for each person’s life), I cannot help thinking of the huge distance between thoughts and plans, and then plans and action.

I had always assumed that all humans think until I heard the story of a man who asked his mother: “mum, do you think at all?” Actually, there’s a difference between straying thoughts and deliberate choice of a thinking pattern that makes sense. That latter option is productive, and is the one I refer to in the line that leads to action. Much thought without committing such to a visible media is as good as day-dreaming because it will change with each discussion and story (especially other people’s inspiring stories). After much (or little) writing and talking then comes the opportunity to act out the script, and this is where many find the glass ceiling because of the lack of discipline to translate words into action.

If we are conscious of the fact that each step we take leads us closer to, or farther away from, our dreams we will be inspired to take action in line with documented plans. The people we usually refer to as lucky are actually those who have committed their thoughts to a visible medium and have taken the additional step of translating the same into action. If the journey of a thousand miles may begin with one step, but every additional step taken is the only guarantee that the journey will ever reach completion.

It’s time to walk the talk and act out the plans we set for the year…

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