"I have become increasingly and consciously are of a remarkable tool that is not only at my disposal, but is available to every member of the human species... (it is) action."

- Action!, page 9

If you talk to almost any entrepreneur about what they continually struggle with, the conversation will, invariably, come back to the conundrum of knowing what needs to be done and having issues with simply beginning the necessary work they are aware must be done. Action!: Nothing Happens Until Something Moves sets the tone as it begins with a quote from Mark Twain, which anchors the discussion with laser-like focus:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

Author Robert Ringer (Winning Through Intimidation, Million Dollar Habits) maintains that our actions have more to do with our results than any action that we may encounter connected to another individual or any other external circumstance.  The first third of the book has some of the most poignant discussions and arguments for the importance of personal responsibility and integrity that I have read and, while the other two-thirds somewhat devolve into esoteric discussions of quantum theory and physics, psychiatry and a short history of philosophy, these tangents do little to derail the importance of Ringer’s main message which he wishes to hammer home – “nothing happens until something moves” (quote from Albert Einstein) and that, if you wait for all the right pieces to fall into place before engaging in action, ignore that instinct and just take action.  Action alone will push you to persevere and set all the right pieces into finding their place, flow your creative energies and attract more inspiration to all future actions.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

The 4 Pillars of Action

" ...while all this (activity) is going on, the Law of Averages sits in the background and makes time our ally so long as we continue to take action.  That’s because when we take action, our connection to the Cosmic Catalyst (the Universe, God), gives us a heightened state of awareness that transcends secular power and provides us with solutions to solve our problems and accomplish our objectives."
- Action!, page 48

The four pillars are:

1. Nothing Happens Until Something Moves:  It’s simple.  Your feelings lead to your thoughts, your thoughts lead to your actions, your actions lead to your results. Action is the beginning point for ALL progress and without that first ignition of movement, all the knowledge, wisdom and ideas that we have are utterly useless.  The best day is…today.
2. God/The Universe Helps Those Who Help Themselves: Ringer uses “God” and launches into an extensive discussion of a different objective understanding of the philosophical origins of everything here. God helps those who help themselves is a predictable phenomenon where solutions will reveal themselves.
3. The Law Of Averages:  This applies to all aspects of life and it never fails to work.  The more you take action, the more this law will work and apply to your actions and the quality of the results that you will receive.  We achieve our objectives by applying action to the Law of Averages and this power is limitless. The simple act of asking is the simplest and most rewarding action a person can take.
4. Action Produces Genius, Magic, And Power:  Some counter-intuitive thought is shared here: you do not need motivation to take action.  If you struggle, force yourself to take action boldly, and motivation will follow.  Most of us have it the other way around.  Here’s the equation: it is the combination of action, genius, magic and power that produces motivation, which in turn leads to even more action.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Truth Is Your Best Friend and Compass

"Positive results tend to flow from truth-based actions. Negative results, on the other hand, tend to flow from actions based on falsehoods or delusions…you have a holy responsibility to yourself to perpetually search for truth."
- Action!, page 50

All life has a grounding and connection to universal laws and principles that cannot be created by us, changed by any action we undertake or alter to fit our will or desires.  All we can do is recognize them and once we have a grasp of their never-ending truth, begin to use them to take advantage through the action we take.

The most important truth to understand is:  actions have consequences that are always in accordance with the laws of science.  As you begin to fully understand this, the delusions of your life will have a tendency to wash away and you will encounter results that are attuned to your desires.  The person who gets positive results consistently is almost always the person who bases his action on truth.

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Take Personal Responsibility

"Try to not become a man of success, but, rather, try and become a man of value."
- Albert Einstein, quoted in Action!, page 73

Ringer maintains that there is a balance in all activity in life and we have to give something up in order to get something in return. When we concentrate on enriching value inside our actions, then the results we desire will be a natural result.  At the same time, one of the unchanging principles of human nature is that our actions attempt to do what is in our own best interests.  When you understand this fully, it becomes easier to become committed to creating superior value inside all your actions because, when that is clear to others, they will choose the result of your actions because it serves them.  This is one of the most certain ways to protect all of your activities in business. “Giving others what they want motivates them to give you what you want…a big part of what you want in life is a result of taking actions that give other people what they want. Success becomes an almost easy proposition when you practice three simple rules:

1. If you want to make more, make yourself worth more.
2. Concentrate on quality and service first, and profit will follow almost automatically.
3.  Always give people more than you expect to get in return.

While some of Ringers’ anecdotes and stories are rehashed from some of his earlier works and could be cause for criticism, those opinions do not change the vital truths the author discusses in his unique, opinionated style.  The first third of Action! is worth the price paid for this work.  Action is life, and life is meant to be lived.  Ringer reflects on the many faces of action and his stories and illustrations will speak to the reader in a way that will push you into more truth-based action and push the opportunities for desired results into higher probability.

It’s not, though, just action we’re all after but self-disciplined action, which is a two-step process.  First, analyze the likely, long-term consequence of any action and second, “be vigilant when it comes to acting in accordance with what you have determined to be in your long-term best interest.”  Today’s smart action will bring tomorrow’s desired, value-drenched results – and the world will be a better place, when we all do that more.

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Bruce Brodeen

ABOUT Bruce Brodeen

Founder of Not Lame Recordings (1994-2010), a record label and music distribution company that specialized in 'power pop'. Founder of Not Lame Media, LLC...
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