Action over Words


(Photo stolen from the web.. Credit to photographer, author, publisher: all the ‘or’ers’.. Not me.)

There is a quote from Batman,

“. . it’s not who you are underneath,
it’s what you do that defines you.”

Many other words support this belief:

“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”  ~John Locke

“The shortest answer is doing.”  ~Lord Herbert

“Trust only movement.  Life happens at the level of events, not of words.  Trust movement.”  ~Alfred Adler

‘Actions speak louder than words’?


Why are we seemingly over-run with these clichés?

Why do we believe it to be the so, that what we do is more important than what we think, believe, dream, desire, imagine . .?

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing.  Action always generates inspiration.  Inspiration seldom generates action.”  ~Frank Tibolt

To the above, especially Frank Tibolt.


Is this a Nike advert in the making, ‘Just Do It’?

So, if we think that something is a good idea, we should simply get on and do it?
Surely not. I have had many ideas that I am glad not to have pursued. Though I have had to think them through, at least as far as I am thinking through the questions that I am writing here.

So of ideas: a lot are spoken of yet few come to any fruition.
Though by the numerous quotes paid homage to on the internet I begin to wonder if it is maybe otherwise. Action abounds all over?

Somehow, based on ‘feeling?’ I know that this is not the case. Any meeting, conversation with peers, bosses, friends: the majority of discussion containing new ideas rests there: at the idea stage.
Is this because many are not actioned? Sanctioned, Funded?
Back to that same question, Why?

Are we, “all mouth and no action”?

Is it because we are all so busy talking that we are too busy to get busy doing?
Is it that those ideas, dreams, inspirations, visions and the like that we actually do share are simply no good?
I must accept, even if I base my acceptance on myself as the test dummy – choice of those words indicates in themselves that some ideas, are simply not that practical. Others, however idyllic seem somewhat unrealistic.

One more question: “Why?”

Is this because we are ruled by the few who push hardest, shout loudest and (therefore?) do most?

Are they those that can ‘afford’ such liberty in this monetary society?
If you believe that this is my angle; my answer, to myself that I share with you has to be no. There are many great ideas that are shared and reach practical application from the poorest beginnings. What is it that controls? Allows? Facilitates some and not others?

So, so many more possibilities?  There we have a “Yes.”

So many other ideas that if we stopped to listen to them all; nobody would do anything?

“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.”  ~Arnold Glasow

Do you remember (have you heard) the story about Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.?

This is a story about four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.

Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did.

Somebody got angry (about that) because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody knew that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Somebody wouldn’t do it.

And (/It ended up that) Everybody blamed Somebody because (/when) Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

or the alternative last line:

And (/It ended up that) Everybody blamed Somebody because Nobody actually asked Anybody(The alternative last line is more appropriate for illustrating principles of responsibility and delegation, whereas the one above it is more appropriate for principles of individuals taking personal responsibility, irrespective of delegation):

I can quote others words ad infinitum it seems. Truly there are more great things said about action over ideas easily referenced than I can believe possible without either, much more action or a change of principle.  So I’ll use just one more:

“Note to self: finding a cool quote and writing it in your journal is not a substitute for Getting. It. Done.”  ~Betsy Cañas Garmon,

It does seem reasonable that a good thought, a positive intention is not as impacting as the action showing it or indeed a lack of action not showing any such realistic purity.

Is it that the realities, the apparent physical restrictions of life make it hard to act as we ‘feel’ correct?

As an example, how many of us justify our ‘not giving’ to homeless on the street?

How many times have you heard from friends that they, the homeless, should ‘get a job.’?
How many of those statements, made by my friends – newly employed in the later 80’s early 90’s are influenced by Yosser Hughes style flippant reaction to the gross unemployment of the late 70’s and 80’s and the extreme contrast of the YUPPIE of the day?  I write this to portray my state of confusion.
I look at reports of unemployment and recession in the UK through this century and wonder if I was on another planet in 1985-87 when I earned more than I have since. Statistics allow us to summarise what is or was? Due to my own dreams, visions of a better world and ideas as yet unspoken I often feel that I live in that whole other world. I have started these lines of self questioning and wound up wondering which planet I was on then, or now.   As I endeavour to consider with as much realness as I can muster I flounder. The uncountable contrasts outweigh the comparisons to the point that I have no true idea what influences our apparent lack of compassion for our fellow-man and other living life forms..

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

 Mark Twain

“The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts – it gives you what you demand with your actions.”

 Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

Another question, that is more of a statement, that I have set here fires back to my prefrontal cortex:


And this man writes and speaks of spiritually freeing ourselves. Maybe this quote has lost context? For is it not our thoughts that engineer the majority of our actions?

As a general definition each thought that we think; each and every word that we say is apparently an affirmation. As are each way in which we act, express ourselves, the language that we use etcetera. The what we say and how we say, mindfully or habitually are an important part of our creating the images that we will manifest into our actual becoming. And how large is the separation here (or there) between thoughts, dreams, desires..  and actions?

Where does action separate from thought? Thought generally comes first? I find it difficult to imagine that there are very many autonomous actions beyond the sympathetic nervous stuff keeping us breathing.

OK I don’t buy this entirely – for, as I wrote there is the ‘habitually.’  We are prone to say many things that we do not truly feel or believe. I find myself using phrases when I communicate with some, that they use. Words that I rarely use at other times become common place. That in itself is a particularly sad aspect of my/our ability to communicate, be it through words or actions.

Accepting that all of our self-talk, that inner dialogue – especially that which we repeat is a continual stream of affirmations.  Have you ever found yourself using phrasing that another person uses, simply because you spend a relative amount of time in that persons company, simply because you hear the phrasing repeatedly you find that you adopt it – even if you actually disagree with it?  The power of words?

In repeating are we affirming subconsciously with our words and sub conscious thoughts? If we go through a phase of, childhood peer influence in which we start swearing: If we do not challenge this – or have it challenged – how hard does this become to change? Have you ever tried to use a word or phrase less often or cut it out of your all too common repertoire? I tried this with the word ‘but.’ It was suggested that ‘but’ had negative connotations attached to it. That it attracted a rejection because others receive or hear it as a rejection of their own statements. One simple word. A thought or an action?

Is this continual flow of affirmations creating our life experience in every moment?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions,  Your actions become your habits,  Your habits become your values,  Your values become your destiny.”

 Mahatma Gandhi

When you judge another, you do not define them you define yourself.

Wayne Dyer

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

― William James

Following this line of thought then your thoughts make a difference in defining you.

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

― Mother Teresa

As I wrote a few paragraphs back, It does seem reasonable that a good thought, a positive intention is not as impacting as the action showing it or indeed a lack of action not showing any such realistic purity.

Yes, I accept that actions speak louder than words so to speak 😉
Though this is not of course entirely true. Most actions themselves make more noise than words unless involved in the action of speaking, shouting .
Physical effect has more importance than mental, emotional?

How did our thoughts, dreams, emotions, feelings… become of such less importance? Of such little consequence to wish for good if all that we can generate is bad?

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

I’m thinking about it. But what shall I do?
Do, do-do…(the childish side of my active personality? 😉


About JJBollOX

This is an update. The slight humour aka sarcasm will be lost on anyone who hasn't read this before the update. I am, still a British male. Still living but not in Switzerland. I intend to remain, living and male. When I wrote before I had "spent the better part of two months negotiating the change in my self identity. Unemployed and sharing home with a now ex-girlfriend. I've moved. Moved on. Maybe a year has passed by. Have I moved in an upward direction? Is upward the only way to go if we are to expand, broaden and grow? Realistically, the most dramatic (not exactly decisive) direction I have taken in the time was down. Down, down and deeper than down. I fell off of a mountain. My life got complicated yet simple. This in itself is a fair summary of my personality. I have posted the first words of blogs to be written which I would like to turn into a book. 'A normal life.' Let's see how well and how fruitfully I can express my frustrations, pain, healing process and the constant changes that are life.
This entry was posted in abundance, action, anybody, clichés, common, communicate/communication, different factors, do, doing, Dreams, everybody, everything/anything/something, feeling and feelings, homeless, justification/justify, philosophy, positive, random, tangent, think, thought, why? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Action over Words

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    This is great, Johnny – I really appreciated this one. No. 1 I love all the quotes – & that quote that finding a cool quote & putting it in your journal doesn’t substitute for getting it DONE. So well said.

    When you say you write to express your confusion, well, yep, me too. It is confusing. It’s just so bizarre in this world, so much confusion (to my view).

    Loved this, Johnny – & all your links. Heading over to the wild thyme right now…

  2. Pingback: Alfred Adler |

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