Don’t Confuse Activity with Success

Here is a principle that works in many areas of life.  You’ll find it helpful in businesses, in organizations, in churches, in relationships and in your personal life.  Here’s the principle:

Don’t confuse activity with success.

I once wrote that growth covers over a multitude of problems.  (Read that post HERE.)  I know many organizations and people that mistakenly believe for a time (before it catches up with them) that busyness means things are moving in the right direction.  That may or may not be true, but long-term success always depends more on the quality of activity than on the quantity of activity. In the short-term, you can mask success with an abundance of action, but substandard performance will be discovered in time. (For more on this thought process, read my previous post, The Tortoise and the Hare Principle of Organizational Growth.)

If you want to ensure success, consider the goals and objectives trying to be attained, determine whether they are currently being achieved, and, depending on your findings, be willing to adjust activity accordingly to achieve better results.

Have you been guilty of being busy rather than being successful?  In what areas of your life are you more likely to allow that to occur?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Drew Snider says:

    "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." (Ps. 127:1) I know from experience that the only way for our labor to be fruitful is to go before the Lord and ask what He will bless — not ask Him to bless what we do. You could work 25 hours a day, but if it's not what God has planned for you to do, you'll be spinning your wheels.

  • patriciazell says:

    Here's one for you–all activity does not produce success, but all success requires activity. We probably should periodically evaluate our activity to see if it is bringing what we want it to bring.

  • marlastanley says:

    Yes, very true for us. 🙂 Both of us actually. Thank you for your honest, dear (@Masonconrad).

  • Mason Stanley says:

    This thought pwns me! Marla: "Hey babe, did you get more packing done today?" Me: "No, but I think I had a great line in today's blog post!" Marla: "Thats great babe but we're moving in a week, I need you to focus on the task at hand." Me: "Dang-it!" … True story

  • jskogerboe says:

    Great reminder Ron. Step one: Clarify the WIN. Step two: Take action. Step three: Assess whether or not you are actually moving toward the WIN. Step four: Modify actions accordingly… Thanks for the post. God bless!

  • I have used the phrase, "don't confuse activity with accomplishment", in the past. When you add success to the end, it becomes a bit more vague, unless there is a firm definition of success. Many people I talk with do not have "success" properly defined for their life. What a great opportunity this post creates for others to start working on their personal definition.

    For me personally, there will always be times when busy overtakes success. This is especially true for writing when I sit at the computer for hours and nothing happens (other than surfing the web).

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