No Handouts: You have to do it

We live in a gimme-gimme-gimme, what-can-you-do-for-me society. Many people today are in search of a handout, and leaders and politicians often seem eager to cooperate. But there is still no substitute for blood, sweat and tears.

Granted, some people need our help, we come across them every day. The Bible is replete with suggestions — and even commands — to take care of the widow, the orphan, the poor and less fortunate. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

Handouts will feed you for a day, but you’ll be hungry again tomorrow. Wouldn’t you rather learn how to fish? Isn’t there an incentive to make it on your own?

To be clear, victory, success, happiness and progress don’t come in a simple decree, edict or prescription. There is no magic wand, no short cut and no hocus pocus. You see:

  • Coaches can’t make you a winner.
  • Trainers can’t make you slim.
  • Pastors can’t make you spiritual.
  • Teachers can’t make you smart.
  • Doctors can’t make you healthy.
  • Authors can’t make you brilliant.
  • Advisers can’t make you rich.
  • Instructors can’t make you fit.

Eventually, you have to step up to the plate and do something. You gotta have the want to! Most everything in life is behavior-dependent. You can have all the head knowledge, but without the action behind the knowledge, you aren’t going anywhere. Frankly, most things you want in life — whether it’s health, finances, education, fitness or life — are 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.

There’s a common thread in getting started on your dream or your goals. It’s the first step. Sure, due diligence is necessary: gain knowledge, get advice from counselors, coaches, pastors and the others. But your knowledge and understanding are useless if you don’t take action.

  • Well done is better than well said. ~Benjamin Franklin.
  • You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ~Zig Ziglar.
  • You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. ~Carl Jung.
  • Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie
  • Dream big, start small, but most of all, start. ~Simon Sinek
  • Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” ~Stephen R. Covey.

Everyone wants to get out of debt, but few actually do. Everyone wants to lose weight or live healthier, but most will never do it. Everyone wants to be rich, but few are willing to pay the price. Most people want to know more about the Bible, but listening to an occasional sermon or a podcast won’t get you there.

You can have a great plan, you can have the knowledge and you can have skills. But if you don’t have the want to, you’ll never reach your goal. The want to means you…

  • Have the desire.
  • Will take the next step without seeing around the corner or over the next hill.
  • Are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
  • Realize that no one else is going to do it for you.
  • Have stopped worrying about what friends or family might say.
  • Will get up earlier, stay up later, go the extra mile, sacrifice, stay focused and never give up.

It’s time to stop getting ready, stop preparing, stop waiting for the just-right time, square your shoulders, get in the starting blocks and embrace the bulldog mentality. The starter’s pistol just sounded, and the race is on! Let’s go!

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” ~Napoleon Hill.


Have questions about your finances or about life in general? Chip Bailey is a Dave Ramsey Preferred Coach and helps people live stress-free and debt-free. Email us with your question, or schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

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