“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

What do you want to do with your life?

Start doing it now.

This morning I watched a video of Mel Robbins speaking at a TEDxSF conference. In it she discusses a new five second rule – every time you have an urge to do something, you have five seconds to act on it before the urge is gone. Whether you are at the bar and see someone you’d like to talk to, hear music from a producer you’d like to work with, or are considering asking your boss for a raise, stop hesitating. Go for it!

Getting what you want out of life is simple…but it is not easy.

For some of us talking to a stranger about a career opportunity or getting out of bed at 6am on a Saturday to go on a jog might seem like a death sentence. But being successful (which has a personal definition) means doing things we don’t want to do – and not putting them off or waiting to “feel like it”.

Everyone has ideas. It’s unfortunate that for most people having the idea is the end of their process.

Where is the action?

Whether you want to be a photographer, lose 40 pounds, create a new smart phone app, or travel to Europe for a summer, all it takes is a search on Google to learn how to do or become whatever you want. From that point it is up to you to take the necessary steps.

Making a successful record might mean staying home on the weekend reworking verses, or spending money on studio time/equipment instead of new clothes.  Becoming a doctor means going to school for eight years. Having a good sex life means staying healthy.

Making decisions that lead to success takes will power.

Will power is no different than a muscle. We need to use it if we want to strengthen it. It’s up to us to exercise and improve our will power throughout our daily lives.

Not hitting the snooze button takes will power. Not eating donuts brought to work takes will power. Heading to the gym after work every day takes will power. Every time we make a decision to avoid the easy road, we become better at it. By packing a healthy lunch before work, riding our bike to work, not watching hours of TV before bed, or learning to act on our urges, we are developing habits that will be the key to our success.

We know (or can easily learn) what we need to do. The difference between gaining momentum and being stagnant is the decision to put thought into action.