You Want to Be Successful? Try Massive Action!

Massive_2016-04-18_2108This is a little off topic, so please indulge me.

When I’m not practicing law, I teach writing at Brigham Young University. Today in my Writing & Rhetoric 150 class, my students did what I refer to as Power of Words presentations. These are essentially 7-minute oral presentations about how words have affected the student’s life for good or for bad. The presentations are accompanied by some sort of Power Point or other visual. One student used the white board for his presentation, a talk about what he had learned from his mission president about how to become successful. (For those unfamiliar with Mormon missionary service, young men and women often serve 1 1/2 to 2 years as missionaries far from home, often in foreign lands. Mission presidents and their spouses serve as leaders of those young people. I served a mission long ago in Brazil. My mission president had been a district attorney in Los Angeles before he was asked to serve as my mission president. Three years later, he returned to the DA’s office.)

Now back to my story. My student explained that his mission president wrote the following acronym on a piece of paper: ODOR – PAL.

“ODOR – PAL?” the student wondered.

The mission president continued:

O = Outcome – state what you want to achieve and do it positively.

D = Date – set a date for when you want to achieve that outcome.

O = Obstacles – what stands in your way?

R = Resources – what tools, talents, and friends do you have to help you achieve the outcome?

ODOR is all about the preliminaries, the thinking, the dreaming. Then comes PAL, where all the action takes place:

P = Planning – develop a realistic course of action, map out how you’re going to get to your desired outcome.

A = Massive Action – not just any action, action on a grand scale.

L = Leverage – use what motivates you–money, prestige, honor, whatever–to energize you to carry out your plan.

Now, a lot of this is good old Self-Help 101. I’ve read and heard advice like this a thousand times. But I have to  tell you that as my student continued talking, my mind fixated on the A, the Massive Action. More to the point, the word Massive. Actually, the word stood out even larger. MASSIVE! The white board almost yelled at me.

I consider myself a man of action, but today I realized that my problem is that often, I’m too timid, willing to take a chance but unwilling to risk too much of myself. I realized that when I have been successful, whether in business or in other aspects of my life, it’s almost always been because the adjective MASSIVE made an appearance. I leave it to you to decide what massive means to you. I know what it means to me, and I know where I need to apply it.


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