Let's face it, actions will always speak louder than words. You can say something until you're blue in the face, but only by actually doing it can you make it true. That being said, are you living a life of real activity, or merely a life of wasted potential?

As much as I hate to face it, this site can only provide so much on your journey of personal development. We can teach you everything you'll ever need to know about the world, but it won't do you any good if you don't have the motivation and gumption to actually use what we write here to your advantage. The aim of this article is to help you find that motivation and start tapping into all the potential that each one of us possesses.

Actions vs. Words

When it comes right down to it the majority of us like to talk much more than we actually like to do. For some reason talking seems to offer a bit of solace to our brain; for example, talking about starting a new workout routine makes us feel better about ourselves, even if we never actually do it. The very idea of putting forth that initial effort gives us a fraction of the satisfaction that comes with a good life practice.

This isn't always a bad thing. For example, you may feel some level of satisfaction after reading some of our articles. There's nothing wrong with that; you're already putting forth more effort towards improving your life than many people ever will, so you have the right to feel a certain level of pride.

However, just reading about improving your life shouldn't be where your journey ends. The most important step still lies before you; taking action and executing your plan. All the talk in the world means nothing if there's never any real force put behind it.

Imagine a chef who's attempting to prepare a meal. He can talk about the food indefinitely, but nothing is ever going to get done if he doesn't turn the stove on. All the preparation and planning will have been wasted is he never lights the flame and actually cooks the food.

This may just be a metaphor, but words are meaningless when they're unsubstantiated. You have to put meaning behind what you say, and to do that you need to start taking action. Action doesn't mean putting it off until tomorrow, it means getting up and doing what you need to do today.

I'll take this opportunity to remind you that if you're 20 years old right now then you only have about 22,000 days left to live. If you're putting it off until tomorrow you're doing nothing but stalling the inevitable and wasting your own valuable time. Excuses of "I don't have the time" or "I'll start that tomorrow" should be discarded as soon as they're thought up.

When will you have the time? When you're on your deathbed?

All of us need to start taking action, and we need to start doing it today. This isn't to say that you can completely remake yourself in one day, but you can utilize today as a proper starting place. As they say, "there's no time like the present."

Advice for Getting Up and Taking Action

While this is all a great sentiment, all of the motivational quotes and metaphors in the world can't actually force you to start doing any of the things that you've planned. That part is all up to you. However, we are more than happy to offer some tips for getting some gumption and taking some action in your own life.

1: Write Down Your Goals

As we explained in The Benefits of Writing Things Down, there's a lot of motivational power in writing down a goal or plan. Famously cited in F. Scott Gerald's novel "The Great Gatsby", a good step for a successfully executed plan is to keep your goals on paper and easy to find every single day.

I would personally suggest buying a whiteboard and hanging it on the wall of your bedroom near the door. On this whiteboard you should write your most important goal. Be sure to put an exclamation point at the end to remind yourself that you mean business when you see it each day. Not only will this help you to remember your goal, but the clear visibility of it commits you to completing it.

2: Have a Plan

The only acceptable excuse for not taking action immediately is to take some time to formulate a step-by-step plan of how you actually aim to achieve your goal. This doesn't mean "think on it", this means that you dedicate time to sit down and figure out how you plan to reach your ideal.

You may want to include a way to measure your success. After all, small successes only serve as extra motivation and drive, especially if they're documented. It's also important to include a time-frame for completion. Many life skills can (and should) be developed indefinitely, but you should still set time goals for reaching a certain level of proficiency.

For example, maybe you're trying to be more outgoing. You could set yourself a plan to talk to one stranger per day, or perhaps to extend your daily conversations by one exchange each. Hell, if you're really ambitious you could try both! Finally, you could set yourself a time-frame of 3 months to significantly improve upon your social skills, to the point where you can drum up a conversation with anyone straight out of the blue.

3: Start off Small

Expecting to be a master of anything overnight is a foolish idea. Development is by nature a gradual improvement, and setting unrealistic expectations about your progress will only lead to discouragement. This only highlights the importance of taking baby steps.

Face it, most things take time to really get good. However, that doesn't mean that the early steps can just be skipped; you need to learn your letters before you can write like Shakespeare. Instead of setting your goal for the masterpiece-esque result at the very end, aim for something a little closer. You'll have to follow the process step-by-step anyway, so you might as well set your goals to match the reality of the situation.

4: Find Support

When you are your main support system it can be challenging to stay motivated, especially through the rough patches. That's why it can be helpful to confide your goals with someone else. Not only does this commit you to your goal, but it also gives you necessary support when you may feel like giving up.

This works particularly well with people who have the same goals as yourself. It's proven that people who go to the gym with a buddy perform better and persist longer than those who go it alone. That means that it's extremely beneficial for you to find someone for support, no matter who they are.

Seriously though, you can find support in almost anyone. Call your grandma, consult the internet, send me an email through the contact us page! People have been in your place before, and it's likely that with all this connectivity you can easily find someone who's already overcome the issue that you're currently struggling with.

5: Don't Give Up

This is the most important part of the process; actually sustaining your good practice. Sometimes personal development can be hard, and very often it seems like saying "F--- it!" and giving up seems like the only option. However, persevering through these rough parts is the only way to find real success.

What would life be like if everybody gave up with the first small setback? Nobody would ever get anything done, and all the time that they've spent would be completely wasted. Don't waste your own time; instead develop a fighting spirit and push through the tough times.

If we all just gave up when the bad times rolled around we'd all be dead the first time that our hearts were broken in our teenage years. Luckily as humans we do have a natural tendency to persevere and survive. If our ancestors could fight off saber-toothed cats I guarantee that you can overcome the temptation of sitting in front of the TV and take some action. You have the spirit in you, you just need to unlock it and harness it.

How do you do that? It's simple, really; strive to be the best. The opportunity is readily available, so start today and push to be the best person that you can possibly be.

Leonardo Da Vinci. Shakespeare. Michelangelo. I guarantee that you have the ability to be better than any of them if you really apply yourself. However, do you think that you'll ever be better than those around you if you give up at the first sign of adversity?

YOU have the ability to be the best at anything if you try, so get up and start trying. The collective human race is filled with limitless potential, but it's all going to go to waste if we don't get up and start taking some action! Don't live your life through idle words alone; put some substance behind them and show the world all of the things that you're capable of.

If you have a goal that you really want to commit to, tell us in the comments on the site (link in bio). You can lock yourself in by announcing it to the world, and together we can make sure that you begin to lead a life of action starting today

Author's Bio: 

Dakota is the founder of TheNew-RenaissanceMan.com, a website created to help visitors unlock their true potential and become more well-rounded in all aspects of life. When not writing or working on improving himself he spends his time making silly faces, creating merriment, and otherwise frolicking.