“Do not wait for a change of environment; it may never come. Your only way of reaching a better environment is by making constructive use of your present environment. Only the most complete use of your present environment will place you in a more desirable one.” – Wallace D. Wattles

“Now” is not a synonym for “soon”. Now means now. In its relation to success, it means doing what you can, with your current resources, in your present environment, to move yourself forward. When you are inspired or compelled to do something, you must capitalize on that initial surge of adrenaline. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to succumb to outside forces that tell you to give up, think smaller, or do something easier. I follow a simple process I call “N.O.W.” to create action when I have an idea or inspiration. It’s a simplified way to create forward progress.

(N) – Next Step:

Once you are inspired or have an idea you must think about how you can take action. You must determine how you can move yourself forward, in the direction of its fulfillment as quickly as possible. Often times, people think that an idea has to be fully-formed or perfect before they can move forward – this is simply not true. Ideas are not a static entity, they are a dynamic flow of energy that is ever-evolving and expanding into something bigger and better. By identifying small steps that you can begin taking, you are creating 3 things:

  1. Momentum – little steps, repeatedly consistently, create HUGE results
  2. Confidence – every bit of progress provides education, feedback and the confidence to take another step
  3. Opportunities – new opportunities always find people who are action-oriented (i.e. not procrastinators)

Action is always better than inaction. Huge accomplishments can easily be broken down into a series of small steps. Don’t allow huge goals to intimidate you – focus on the little steps that you can control to keep moving forward. When you are busy you have no time for negative thoughts or self-doubt, you just keep creating and building momentum until eventually, nothing can stop you!

(O) – Opportunities Around You:

Now that you have taken a small steps towards your goal or idea, you must begin looking around you – at your present environment. Often times, there are opportunities that you never realized were there. Opportunities seem to always surface once you have started taking action on an idea or goal. You start to see the world differently; you start to see the opportunities all around you. Maybe your goal is to write a book and you realize that your boss is looking for someone to write blogs on the company website. This would be a great opportunity for you to develop your skills as a writer. Or maybe you have a great idea for a website and you find out your good friend’s brother is a website developer. These opportunities are hidden all over the place, it just takes a deeper sense of awareness to start uncovering them.

Use the opportunities around you to propel you to greater ones. Don’t ever wait for your environment to change – change it yourself. Take Nelly for example. He is an extremely successful rap artist and entertainer now, but before he was the Nelly we know today, he was working night shifts at UPS. His true passion was music, but at that point in time, it was not making him any money. He used the job at UPS to create a bigger opportunity. The job was a blessing because it gave him the freedom and flexibility to work on his music all day, while still giving him the income to support himself. Instead of complaining about a job that he probably did not enjoy, he used his current situation to build his dream. He has shown us all that you can take advantage of all that you currently have to push yourself to new heights. This is how people go from good to great. They look around them and see all of the opportunities just waiting to be seized.

(W) – Winning Idea

I hate to break it to you, but not every idea you have is going to be a “million dollar idea”. I can confidently tell you, that many of my “great” ideas, were not so great. Some I might even consider bad. That’s perfectly fine. Bad ideas lead you to good ones. Good ideas lead you to great ones.

Finding a great idea starts with taking action. You will never find that great idea if you do not start taking action on your good ideas. By taking small steps forward and looking around you for opportunities, your ideas will evolve. By pursuing ideas you learn their weaknesses and find improvements. Sometimes you just find total impracticality and you move on. This is still a victory – you have learned something to develop your idea into a stronger one.

Big results come from small activities. Focus on things that are in your control and do not worry about the things that are not. The next time you have an idea or a goal that you are striving to reach, follow the simple formula above. Take action as quick as you can, even if it is small. Look for the opportunities around you and capitalize on them and do not be afraid to give up a good idea for a better one.

Keep dreaming big and taking action, my friends. Like Zig Ziglar always says, “I’ll see you at the top.”