Faith without action is only hope.

There is a quote to hit you right between the eyes. A friend said it to me the other night and since then I’ve been turning the implications of his words around in my mind.

Almost every day someone will tell me he or she wants to write. They hope to publish a book. They go to writers’ conferences, they have friends who are writers, they have a critical eye for any book written, and so on and so forth. And yet, these same writers haven’t written the first page of the book brewing in their minds let alone a complete chapter. Few who finish their books have the faith in the direction of their dreams to send to submit or publish. They are always polishing, revising, reworking.

I don’t blame them. Writing is a dream for many people and following dreams is tough. When I act on a dream, I’m putting more than my time, intelligence, and wishful thinking on the line. I’m placing the very essence of who I am out there for all to see.

And I’m not just talking about writing. I’m referring to any desire we hold deep in our hearts. It is how we see ourselves and yet have not shown the world. What if I can’t make a success of that business I’ve dreamed of opening? Or achieve that degree? Or lose that ten pounds? Or quit a bad habit?

I believe that if I have a desire to do something in my heart, it is there for a reason. I have faith it is what I’m meant to do . . . but it means nothing without action on my part. When people ask me what is the secret to my career success, I say it is that I am not afraid to fail, a trait I see in almost every self-made, successful person I meet.

Failing is scary but risking failure is the necessary first step toward success in any endeavor.

Now I find myself wondering what other dreams I’ve hoped to accomplish—and what action do I need to take to make them a reality?

How about you? What hopes have you not fulfilled? Are you ready to have enough faith in yourself to take action?

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