A ‘compelling action’ is an idea of creating any situation that forces you to take action and produce a result. A compelling action puts you in a situation where the only option is the desired option. You deliberately design the situation to force you in the direction you want.
I recall a compelling action which helped me greatly in getting started and pursuing my dreams of being an entrepreneur. Deep down I always wanted to be a coach and a consultant who would not just help people but also businesses realize their potential. My good friend Mahesh and I kept deliberating about various possibilities for almost 2 years. We were in a cushy job which paid well in those times, were high performers and had a bunch of colleagues who were great to spend the time with. We kept waiting for the most appropriate time when we would quit our job and get started on our own. The problem was we couldn’t, as we didn’t create a situation compelling enough to take the plunge.
I was just 4 months into my marriage and had the task of not just finding a home good enough to stay but also affordable in case I quit. Yet the delay was frustrating. One fine day I just decided to quit and put in my papers. No safety of a job, no idea when my next salary will come from. I initiated what I now call a ‘compelling action’ which forced me in the direction which I desired – set up a business of my own. That one action helped me to weed out all the distractions which were so prevalent in my life at that time. I created a situation that suited my idea of future self, to show up as that person here and now. It’s close to three decades from the time I quit, and when I think what I have accomplished in my life, it wouldn’t have been possible if not for the ‘compelling action’. It just did not help me but also Mahesh to take the leap. He saw that I had taken the leap of faith with the idea which we discussed so much that he took a compelling decision to quit and join me.
Implementing compelling actions into your life ensures that you’re constantly moving in a desired direction, often against your own resistance. I think compelling actions require time restraints which will force you to expand work to fill the time available for its completion. When you give yourself a date and you are forced to come up with something by that deadline, you would have experienced that mostly it gets done. Otherwise, nothing gets done.
Initiating compelling actions into your life requires that you want the stakes for performance to be high, otherwise the compelling action isn’t powerful enough.
For me personally, my pride was on the line as I had to perform not only for myself but also for my wife who was the most burdened by my decision as she was thrust into such an unpredictable situation. If not for her strong support, I would have probably given up even before the battle began. That makes me feel that when you have a situation which compels you to action, you also attract along the way the necessary support and guidance in order for you to achieve your goal.
I must confess, compelling actions require the highest level of focus and engagement—the goal is to remain in the flow and high performance. The situations of your life should be designed in such a way that you are completely absorbed in what you’re doing. You want to be required to produce your absolute best work, because if you don’t, the consequences will be very costly.
Are you serious about making the changes you want? Are you willing to put compelling actions into play? Compelling actions are serious, but they can also be fun. They can radically upgrade your motivation to succeed.
One of the most useful and powerful compelling action which I can think of is with regards to your financial investment. When you invest money into something, you become more committed. That’s probably the reason why even banks look for the amount of risk you are willing to take in terms of investments before doling our the finances. If you are not willing to put in your money, there is no guarantee of effort. Nothing will compel you to work hard and take the pains to achieve your goals. You will exit at the first resistance.
High performance coaches are known to harness the ‘power of a compelling action’ for getting the best out of their wards. They use that to effectively blur all the distractions which otherwise would come in the way of success. Even in the soldiers in the battlefield are presented with situations which have only one option – that being the desired option. That’s when they reach a zone where they find renewed courage, energy and the will to fight – no matter what!
Start thinking of areas in your life where you can initiate a ‘compelling action’ to be the person you always wanted to be.
There has to be a compelling reason after all!