The 4 Stages Of Action Theory.
Action is paramount to life. And this is our basic theory on how different actions impact you in different ways. You can add complexity to any given idea and the same holds true to this theory. But for sake of argument I have simplified it to four specific stages. These are what I believe to be the four stages of action.
First and most powerful is “Persistent Progressive Positive Action,” this type of consistent action will put you on the road that leads to success. It’s the actions that challenge you to constantly improve and to get better in any particular area of life. This is where we want to strive to maintain. Actions rooted in stage one will drastically improve your life and the lives of those around you.
Second is “Passive Action” which ultimately leads to mediocrity. This type of action is, at the very least positive, in the fact that you are taking a small action every day towards an easily attainable goal (say getting yourself to the end of the work day) and not standing still. It’s this type of action where you have reached a certain level over understanding and cease to make any more larger improvements. This is your 9 to 5 people, improvement is slight and minimal at best but it’s far better than inaction.
Which leads us to the third stage “Inaction” this action or lack there of, leads to atrophy, if you don’t use it you lose it, and complete inaction is death. If your heart, lungs, or brain are inactive you are effectively dead. Inaction can spiral you into a state where even the easiest of task can feel like climbing Mount Everest, steer clear of this phase if you can. It takes way more energy to move a stagnant object then it does to push one already in motion. Stay active and you’ll never have to worry about moving the immovable object. At the very least stay in stage two.
Lastly our fourth action is “Negative Action” these are the actions that inevitably lead to destruction. For example these are the actions that put you in jail or worse. Your drug users and thieves. Those using actions to commit poor acts that impact them negatively or work against their progress. However, we will see that this can be a highly useful tool in the four stages. It is when one begins to decline from peak performance that they can apply this stage. If you a the greatest in the world at what you do and you begin to decline in skill after applying every possible strategy to improve. It could be time to apply stage four and retire from that given arena. That’s not to say giving up, when you leave one area of expertise. You should begin immediately back in stage one with the next project you plan to master.
These four stages are brilliantly displayed in a documentary I recently watched called “The Fear Of Thirteen.” It’s a life story told by a man who spent over 20 years on death row, all because of the actions he took throughout life. Seemingly small actions that exploded to catastrophic results throughout each choice he made. He began in a world of negative actions both taken against him (he is raped as a young boy, which was not handled early on and we can see it snowball into self destructive tendencies later on in life) and applied by him. He started out as a small time crook robbing cars and using drugs. Which is always going to be a path that leads to negative results.
He finally gets arrested for his actions and at the time of arrest he chooses to be slightly difficult with the arresting officer (another stage 4). They book him for his crimes and add evading arrest and attempted murder of an officer. So he’s looking at hard time now. While awaiting trial for these accusations he came across a news article about a women who was raped and murdered. In his infinite wisdom he decided that he would turn states evidence about this crime. One he did not commit nor did he know anything about it but he figured if he could make up a convincing story he could roll that into a plea bargain deal and get a lesser sentence for the crime he was booked for. So he decided to make up a story to tell the cops about a guy he once knew as a heavy drug user and throw his name under the proverbial bus (stage 4). He spins an elaborate story about the murder and how this drug user commits it. What he didn’t know was that drug user had since cleaned up his life (stage one) and was clean and sober and nowhere near the scene of the crime. So after the trail for his current charges (theft, evading arrest and attempted murder of a police officer) was held. Most of the charges were dropped but since he provided so much in depth information on this other crime, the rape and murder of a women. And the person he implemented was not the murderer, he inadvertently became the only suspect in a crime he did not commit (stage 4).
It was an open and shut case, he was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death. While on death row he was not allowed to speak. For two years he was in complete silence, complete inactivity(stage three). While in prison he made even more negative choices. At one point he escapes transfer and goes on the run making many more mistakes while on the run but ultimately turns himself in because he knows if he doesn’t life will constantly be a struggle. His story takes a positive turn finally when at one he was given a book to read on death row, he had never read before but soon fell in love with the practice he began reading everything he could get his hands on always making progress to get better. He met a woman at this time and after getting to know her better he finally confesses to her he never killed that women. They begin to take positive actions to clear his name, filing petition after petition (stage one). Soon their is a breakthrough in DNA sequencing and the blood at the crime scene could now be tested. He tries over and over to get the blood tested. Years and years of walls and barriers to no avail. But its not all for nothing. No one ever completes the full test and when it seems like all hope is lost after 20 years on death row. He commits the biggest act of defiance and ask the governor to have his execution to be moved forward and instated promptly (stage four when all hope is lost). The governor surprised at this point, wonders how a man so fervently trying to display his innocence for over a decade would all of a sudden want to be executed. He immediately orders the medical examiner test the blood from the crime scene and it is proven he is not the murderer after all.
He is eventually released from prison but not before they take away all his freedom one last time, they take all his books and everything from him but what does he do with this time. He doesn’t stay inactive or begin sulking, he spends his time envisioning the perfect future he wants to build for himself when he finally gets out. And in turn he eventually makes that vision reality (stage one). Hopefully you can see how the choices we make and the actions that follow, can easily turn the tide and change the direction of your life completely, however small or large. Knowing that, you can use this information as a guide to improvement, stay out of the final two, sometimes three stages. unless the fourth stage is absolutely necessary completely avoid it. Be persistent, be positive, make progress by always taking massive actions towards those type of goals.
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