There are many motivational speakers and coaches that promote using affirmations to keep us focused and motivated. While I am not against the concept of affirmations, affirmations by themselves will not affect any lasting change in your life. The problem is when you have an affirmation followed by no action, you are only deluding yourself. You must resolve to do something and then follow it up with action.
One of my virtual mentors is the late Jim Rohn is expressed it this way, “Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” Jim Rohn’s also said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Once you have your affirmations for success and discipline yourself to take action, it is then you have just made the connection between dreaming and reality. Discipline takes you from wishing for success to achieving it. When you stay on life’s trek for a long period of time you can achieve any goal you set for yourself.
1. Action vs. Self-Delusion – What’s the Difference?
Knowledge fueled by emotion equals action. The action is the ingredient that ensures results. The principle is ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. The key is there must be action taken. Only action can cause a reaction. Further, only positive action can cause a positive reaction.
The whole world loves to watch those who make things happen, and it rewards them for causing waves of productive enterprise. I stress this because today I see many people who are really sold on affirmations, but don’t necessarily have the discipline to go along with the affirmation.
Let’s look at affirmations as our faith, and action as good deeds, which reminds me of the discourse Jesus’s half-brother James mentioned in his letter in James 2:18, “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’”
I have nothing against affirmations as a tool to create action. Repeated to reinforce a disciplined plan, affirmations can help create wonderful results. There is also a very thin line between faith and folly. You see, affirmations without action can be the beginnings of self-delusion. For your well-being, there is little worse than self-delusion.
The man who dreams of wealth and yet walks daily toward certain financial disaster and the woman who wishes for happiness and yet thinks thoughts and commits acts that lead her toward certain despair are both victims of the false hope which affirmations without action can manufacture. Why? Because words soothe and, like a narcotic, they lull us into a state of complacency. Remember this, “To make progress you must actually get started!”
This reminds me of another passage in James 1:22-24, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”
The key is to take a step today. Whatever the project, start today. Start clearing out a drawer of your newly organized desk today. Start setting your first goal today. Start listening to motivational programs today. Start a sensible weight-reduction plan today. Start calling on one tough customer a day today. Start putting money in your new “investment for fortune” account today. Write a long-overdue letter or email today. Anyone can! Even an uninspired person can start reading inspiring books.
Get some momentum going on your new commitment to a rich and satisfying life. See how many activities you can pile on your new commitment to the better life. Go all out! Break away from the downward pull of gravity. Start your thrusters going. Prove to yourself that the waiting is over and the hoping is past—that faith and action have now taken charge.
It’s a new day, a new beginning for your new life. With discipline, you will be amazed at how much progress you’ll be able to make. What have you got to lose except the guilt and fear of the past?
Now, I offer you this challenge. See how many things you can start and continue in this, the first day of your new beginning.
2. Action vs. Self-Delusion – Which Are You?
Are you self-delusional – a person that thinks “If I think it, it will come”? Do you have faith, but no good deeds? ACTION is the key.
Don’t be a person that delays action because you want to know everything before you get started. No circumstance or conditions will ever be perfect. If you wait to start something until you think you have all your ducks in a row. You’ll never start. In life, we’re forever learning. Therefore if you wait, you’ll never get to where you want to be. Take ACTION now! As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:4, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
You will learn that in the process of action, you fix your mistakes. If you fix your mistakes early, success comes faster.
Will today be the first day of your new beginning?
In our next Wisdom Note, we will explore 10 signposts for establishing positive habits.