Among the highlights of 2011 for me is getting connected with Jeffrey Cufaude and his work at Idea Architects. If you aren’t following him and reading his stuff, you should be. He will inspire you.
This week, in a blog post, he provided me with a spark of inspiration by referencing how often we use the phrase “It’s the thought that counts,” particularly during this time of year. He simply referenced this quote to set up a really great point about quality versus quantity–but it got me thinking.
I wish we’d erase this phrase from our language. Because, I’m here to tell you, it is NOT the thought that counts, it is your actions that count. I’m not suggesting that being thoughtful and intention isn’t important because it is critically important. But, if your actions don’t align to your thoughts or intentions, they are meaningless.
Let me provide some examples of thoughts that don’t count without action:
- I thought about speaking up to support you in that meeting when you were being attacked.
- I thought about donating to my local charity.
- I thought about spending some time with my kids.
- I thought about getting an MBA.
- I thought about asking my colleague what was wrong when I saw them come into the office clearly distraught.
- I thought about calling an old friend who’s fallen on hard times.
- I thought about starting a blog.
- I thought about having an estate plan created to protect my family.
- I thought about having my co-worker’s back.
- I thought about working out.
- I thought about sending out Christmas cards this year.
So, is it the thought that counts? I think not. In fact, taking the right action without a lot of thought (or any thought at all) can often be worth infinitely more than a thought.
If you want to be a game changer, being a thoughtful person who takes bold action is the way to go. Never under-estimate the power of combining your intentions with your actions.
After all, “it’s the ACT that counts.”