CAREER DEVELOPMENT / AUG. 07, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Taking Action Now

So many individuals and companies try to look at the future and where things are going to ensure their actions are beneficial to where they think we are going. The problem is that we are too focused on the future to look at what is happening right now. Working towards a set of goals is a fantastic business practice but not when it leads to a lack of agility.

Making Choices Now

In your life, in general, you should have a series of goals that you want to reach. Write these down and post them next to your computer. Keep an eye on them. They are your motivation. Now, those are out of your mind and off your plate for now. Learn to react and take things for what they are right now. Make choices based on what information you currently have and run with it.

An essential skill to surviving in general is the ability to act quickly. As a journalist outside of my freelance work, it is key that I can make a decision as fast as possible and try to make it in a way that will only benefit my company going forward. Is it easy? No. I have spent most of my life getting it right some and completely missing it more often. Over time, things changed and I started to get that “gut feeling” that helps me make the right choice. I prefer to think of this as experience, but I can’t say that is what it is for sure.

The point of all of this is that you need to be ready to react to the immediate issues instead of worrying about how they may impact those things you hope to reach in a decade. To put it into another example, imagine a company has a particular goal in mind. They want to reach a certain figure in profits by a certain date. Someone comes to them with a week to decide if they want to invest in a small startup company that could be a huge benefit to their business as a whole. They know the company will be successful, or at least, they have a pretty solid idea that it will be, but they worry about that date five years from now and how far behind they will be if this particular investment fails. By focusing too much on that long term goal they may turn down the opportunity. If they would have taken it, they could have potentially reached that goal in a year, instead of five. There are no guarantees in life, only opportunities.

If you aren’t willing to take risks and try to make the best choices based on your current information, you are going to lag behind those that are shooting for the same goals as you. Be agile and open to new things as they come along. Be a part of those new opportunities. Just because something has been done one way for a few years does not mean you can’t come in and change how it is done for the coming years. It may be a risk to make that big of a splash with your employer, but you need to jump at the chance when you see it. A life without risk is no life at all.

Image Via: Inc.

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