Create Your Success by Acting on Your Vision

Yesterday I wrote a post in which I quoted George Bernard Shaw, my favorite playwright.  I showed how his words related to two of the four pillars of my Common Sense Success System: clarity of purpose and direction, and commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and success. 

After I wrote the post, I came across a Japanese proverb…

Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.

“Great,” I thought.  “Another twofer.”  And a twofer on the same two pillars – clarity and commitment. 

“Vision without action is a daydream” goes to the heart of commitment.   No matter how big your plans, thoughts and dreams, they’ll never become a reality until you act on them.  You have to commit to taking personal responsibility for creating the successful life and career you want and deserve.  And action is the single most important word when it comes to demonstrating your commitment.

On the other hand, action without vision truly is a nightmare.  You’ll never get where you want to go if you don’t have a clear idea of exactly what you want to achieve.  I call this clarity of purpose and direction.  Think of your purpose is your mission in life – why you exist, why you are on this world.  Think of your direction as your vision for the next five years; that big hairy audacious goal you are going to accomplish.  Your mission and vision, your purpose and direction shape your actions.  When you act in accordance with them, you’ll avoid the nightmares that come from unfocused action.

I talk about this stuff and the other two pillars of my Common Sense Success System in much more detail in my books: Straight Talk for Success, Star Power, I Want YOU…To Succeed, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  You can read more about these ideas in any one of these books.  My daily podcasts at also provide information you might find useful.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people have a clearly defined purpose and direction for their lives.  They also commit to taking personal responsibility for their lives and careers.  To develop your clarity of purpose and direction, you need to do three things.  First, define what success means to you personally.  Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success.  This image should be as vivid as you can you make it.  Third, clarify your personal values.   You demonstrate your commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and career by doing three things.  First, take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a success.  You must be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.  Getting clear and getting committed are the starting points for creating the successful life and career you want and deserve.

That’s my take on clarity and commitment.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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