A Bias for Action

Inertia is as great a force in human development as it is in nature. Defined as the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion, inertia is the reason why the “stuck” things in your life tend to stay stuck while that which is in motion tends to continue moving.

To be effective in life, you must learn how to work effectively with inertia. On the one hand, you must know how to get things moving that are a standstill and on the other, you must be effective at stopping things that are in motion but shouldn’t be.

One practical way to get started is to be deliberate about creating and maintaining the ever-popular “to-do list” and the not-so-popular “to-not-do list.” Manage both lists actively and weight both lists equally.

A second important step is to create a bias toward action. Gather the facts and take the time you have to analyze them, but don’t hesitate to act when the time is right. Furthermore, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If the fear of making a mistake can stop you, it will.

Third, don’t be afraid of succeeding. The fear of success comes in many flavors, but perhaps the most common is caused by a fear of standing out. We, as human beings, typically long to belong. A successful life based in having a bias for action will tend to make you stand out in a crowd and as an aspiring leader, you must get used to the idea that you might stand alone on occasion.

Andre Malraux

A bias toward action requires a willingness to experiment regularly. You must, on occasion, take risk. Andre Malraux, French historian, novelist and statesman said it best: “Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one that has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”

11 thoughts on “A Bias for Action

  1. @ceraluce

    Wow what a timely weekend consideration and a straightforward recipe to get unstuck and make progress in any area of life. Have a great evening!


  2. Kai

    Simple yet I see how things could really shift if I worked with these suggestions. I really love the starting point with the to-do and to-not-do lists.


  3. Mitch Webb

    Interesting and effective use of the term ‘bias.’ I appreciate that your blog posts are biased in the direction of the individual’s responsibility to have a positive affect on their world. If one is going to be slanted in any direction, better that it be an upward one!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s