Actions speak louder than words

If you want to achieve anything in life there is no alternative but to actually do something to MAKE IT HAPPEN! Because Fine Words Butter no Parsnips! Or, if you are not familiar with that old expression, talking is good, having plans is great, having positive thoughts is really helpful, visualising is brilliant, but if you actually want to achieve something there is no alternative but to actually do something towards making it happen!

So, what fine words have you held in your head for a while that are yet to ‘butter the parsnips’? How many things have you thought about doing, dreamed of achieving, yet to date are still just fine words or thoughts with no actions attached to them?


Our thoughts are really important. We are what we think. Your thoughts can become words and your words actions. It’s one of the reasons I ask people both to write down and to say out loud what they want to achieve on my seminars. It helps reinforce our aims, goals or aspirations.

However, it is not enough to just have a thought about it, although of course, having the right thoughts and aspirations will help you make appropriate choices and decisions; BUT you still have to turn those thoughts into actions!


Sometimes we can spend years holding a dream or a thought in our head, yet have never taken it out in the light to see if it is still what we want. We need to look at it with a critical head on, not through rose tinted glasses. It can be a comforting habit for us to say ‘One day, I will…’

If it is what you really want, why is it still just a thought or fine words? Where is the butter? Maybe, just maybe, it is time to let go of some long held ambitions and replace them with ones more appropriate to the person you are now.

Let Go

For example, if you have held a long cherished dream of having a house in the countryside is that still what you want? Is being away from cinemas, restaurants, ease of public transport, medical facilities and so on something that really meets your needs at this point in time? Perhaps a high tech, energy saving, modern city centre apartment is far more appropriate to your needs now?

Or maybe you have always wanted to set up in your own business but there has never been a right time to do it. If you’ve had this dream for more than 2 years and never done anything about it there may be a powerful message there for you. Maybe for you there isn’t a right time because it isn’t what you really want?

Get Practical

May I suggest that you honestly and ruthlessly take a look at your ‘One day I will…’ thoughts and see if they are still what you want in life? Try a simple two column balance sheet exercise. On a sheet of A4 draw up two columns:

‘What will this give me?’ and ‘What will I lose?’

Once you’ve done that you should have a better idea of what ‘fine words’ deserve your attention so give them some! At the very least you owe it to yourself to consider them honestly and in depth and see how relevant they are to your life now.

First Steps

For example, if you really want to start your own business then make a start NOW! What you need to do will be different from anyone else because you are unique with your own knowledge, kills and personality, but it may be something along the lines of the following:

  1. Discuss your plans with any significant other in your life (it is surprising how many of us forget the impact our plans might have on our family or partner and the importance of enlisting their support early on)
  2. Work out how much money you need in order to survive, and then to thrive, and honestly look at other financial matters.
  3. Contact your local business support group or someone who has good experience of what you want to do (People usually like being asked for their advice- it’s flattering)
  4. Sound out your business idea with an expert or invest in a good coach.
  5. Find out if it’s viable to work part time while establishing yourself.

And so on….

Your list (or mind map) will be different but I promise you, once you make a start it will get easier to keep crossing things off that list. (If making that initial start is your problem, have a look at my article on procrastination.)

Don’t Stop Dreaming!

Being realistic does not mean that you should stop dreaming. The power of your thoughts can be immense when you make full use of them. Allow yourself to visualise how life will be once you have reached the place you want to be. Imagine having exactly what you want. See the end result, feel it, taste it and smell it. Harness all that creative talent to help you!

But just remember, unless you actually do something to make it happen it will simply remain a lovely dream!


Posted on May 14th, 2009 by

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