There are a lot of people out there with a lot of great ideas, and they’re quite willing to regale you with the details of what they’re “going to” do. Their to- do lists can be impressive, inspiring and sometimes intimidating. Sadly, though, the vast majority of these “going to’s” end up in the trash heap of “should haves”, “would haves” and “could haves.”

When you take a close look at the most successful people around us, however you choose to define success, you’ll find that they aren’t always the brightest, strongest, most creative or most talented. They are almost, however, always the ones who choose to take the most action.

You will very rarely hear these individuals telling people what they’re “going to” do. Instead, you’ll hear about what they’re “in the middle of,” or what they’ve “just finished.” They don’t talk about their to-dos. They just do things.

Having ideas, plans and dreams are important for all of us but it’s not until we actually do something to turn these things into reality that anything is really accomplished. It’s an important distinction to make when it comes to your success in the workplace. Too many people mistake having meetings, striking committees and organizing task forces for taking action. And far too often, we continue these activities long past the point where we should actually be doing something.

Is it important to ‘look before you leap,’ as the axiom goes? Yes. But sometimes, when something really has to get done, it’s ‘better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.’ Afterall, which would you prefer to be known as: A big talker, or a person of action?

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