Deal with reality. There’s no value in getting caught up in what should work. Intelligent action is effective action. If your action isn’t creating results, it’s not intelligent action. Preoccupy yourself with what’s working, not what should be working. Be practical.
These strategies will help you determine what action is intelligent action and move forward accordingly:
1. Measure your results.
The best way to determine if an action is intelligent is to measure your results regularly. You might be on the “perfect” weight-loss diet according to experts, but if you’re gaining weight, it’s not an intelligent diet for you.
- Would you follow a diet without weighing yourself? Avoid taking actions and ignoring the outcomes.
2. Enhance your actions.
Your first action might be effective, but is it as effective as it could be? It almost certainly isn’t. Continue testing and refining as you go along. Keep in mind that conditions change. Even if you were fortunate enough to find the perfect process, it won’t be perfect for long.
- Seek regular improvement along the way. This is the only way to guarantee overcoming any obstacle.
3. Be flexible.
Focus on being pragmatic instead of clinging to a particular course of action. A straight line might be the shortest path, but sometimes it’s easier to go around the mountain than through it. Committed to your aim, but flexible in your approach.
- Hold to your principles and ideals, but be creative and flexible in the method you follow. Progress is more important than perfection.
4. Look for clues.
Has anyone else successfully overcome the same obstacle? How did they accomplish it? Examine your own past. We often repeat our mistakes. Imagine the change you’d experience in your life if you never made the same mistake twice. Look for clues that will enhance your approach.
Intelligent action is action that creates results. It’s that simple. No obstacle can stand up to persistent and intelligent action.
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; healthy men make them.”
– Orison Swett Marden