The Sunday Mail
FOR the first few years of life, the huge labour is teaching a baby how to talk and from then on, you have to spend the rest of your life trying to teach the baby how to be quiet.
This task is never fully finished and it usually takes a life time to learn how to speak and communicate effectively.
There is always a demand for speakers with worthy content, credibility and charisma. People who speak well are always asked to deliver speeches. Learning how to give speeches and presentations is a basic skill that everyone must master. However, master is not mere talk.
Fortunately, organisations like Toastmasters and others are at hand to help. For most people the greatest fear is the fear of standing up and giving a talk. The next greatest fear is the fear of death. The bigger fear is the fear of dying while speaking.
However, life does not just reward mere talk. Talk or speech delivery is the sauce; the real meat is worthy content. Words create and they are usually the first base. The ultimate goal is not mere talk but action.
Great talkers are good beginners because words father action. Without action words are empty. Everything starts with a repertoire of words. Ending at words only is to end too soon before reaching the climax. Parking at verbiage alone will never move anyone anywhere worth going. Talk and act, preach and do, affirm and become, otherwise you are no better than a barking and noise polluting toothless dog.
My sisters should not read this paragraph. Whenever my parents were away from home, my sisters, much older than me, would turn up the radio volume and dance. Especially so when the hit songs of the time would play.
Those were the days of hits like Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” and Oliver Mtukudzi’s “Perekedza Mwana”.
As soon as the parents were in sight or expected to arrive, the volume would be turned so low that you would think our home was a library.
For a number of people, the talk volume levels are way too high. To move forward, turn the talk levels down and turn the action volume up. When actions speak, arguments go low. When no action has been done, there is usually too much talk dressing up executions and laziness.
Results that need extensive massaging with endless talk are usually mediocre or non-existence. Turn the action volume levels higher. Long speeches cannot atone for the absence of results. Action will always speak louder and more eloquently.
You shall know them
In all ages charlatans, snake oil salesmen, prophets of doom and tsikamutandas have always abounded. Their mark is that they speak a lot but do not have many results to show. They are clouds without rain, trees without fruit and vendors without goods.
Their shrieks and voices are loudest until a real doer walks in with tangible results to show. When empty gongs make noise it’s usually because the doers have gone to sleep. Empty rants and boisterous harangues are never a substitute for a lack of content and failure to execute. Surround yourself with people who translate dreams into plans, intentions into action, plans into results and you will be fine.
Surround yourself with great lying talkers who would rather talk than do, and your blood will boil and head will pound.
Let your actions speak loudest when you are in motion and taking action. Lazy lectures from timid talkers will never take anyone anywhere. Get on the action crusade, taxi onto the runway and run.
There are big opportunities waiting for those who seize them not just talk about them. It is a mad race out there, you do not afford the diet of endless talks.
Jesus said that you shall know them by their fruit not their photosynthesis.
Now take action
You can never feed a family the diet of speeches nor send children to school with explanations without fees. Great things are not built by idle talkers and argumentative philosophers.
People that would rather talk when they have to work pull everyone backwards. It is not those who can throw words and stones that matter, but those that are willing to gather the stones and build with them despite the diatribes.
The wishing journey without action leads to frustration fork and winds through cynicism crescent and strays through frustration alley. The speeches on goals, plans and vision have been long and enduring. It is now show time, it’s action time, the curtains must now fling open. You cannot remain in the shadows.
Take action, not just the microphone. Do something, rather than continuing to threaten that you will take action. Take action and there will be results. Take no action and you will never learn neither will you grow. Endless talk, just makes you groan and grow old.
Procrastination is not procreation
Procreation and procrastination do not mean the same thing. Procrastination is a crutch that is easy to reach for when you need a viable excuse. Regrettably excuses are not execution or work.
Procrastination easily feels like accomplishment yet it is just an empty myth and self-deception. Procrastination is not strategic execution but false and empty hope. It is a pain killer but not a sensible cure.
Hope alone without meaningful action is not a strategy.
The best way to get anything done is not to talk about it but to start doing it. Plans are not drawn to become filing matter or credenza-ware. Thoughts are not thought so that you can become a great philosopher and life-sized chess grandmaster.
Thoughts should father deeds
Great thoughts should be accompanied by bold action. Studies are not undertaken so that you can strut some certification and feed your academic ego and professional vanity. Learning without application is vanity. Certificates that are held by incompetent people are an embarrassment and an economic waste. Principles without praxis are penury.
Doing the lists
I have always loved doing action lists. Many people start the week or day with some form of a “To Do” list. The list can be a useful tool if and only if you intend to take action.
A “To Do” list does not do itself. It needs someone to really get up and do. No “To Do” list will ever take action for you. Intentions are not action. You may delay, but time does not delay and the clock does not rest.
Then there is always the myth of the silver bullet. The world of minds is always spinning searching for the next silver bullets. Some people think that the silver bullet is a killer application, a product imported from some place, a new blockbuster drug or a management philosophy or some special conclave. The search for silver bullets will continue until you realise that YOU are the silver bullet. It is the actions that you take that matter and create the difference. You cannot suspend your life waiting for events that you do not control.
It is not luck that determines your destiny but what you do with the luck you get. There is no greatness that just flies in through the window of luck. Organisations and individuals become great by active choice.
There is something you can do, build and become. It could be your village, church, garden, family, product or community. What you do puts the train of action into motion. Take responsibility, speak and do; think and act; dream and then wake up to pursue the dream with relentless action.
Great works will always silence naysayers. What could be louder than action?
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy and innovation consultant and leadership coach. His life purpose is to inspire people to release the greatness trapped in them. He can be reached at [email protected] and on WhatsApp at 0772422634.