Acting is happy agony

No-one remembers the 32nd person to climb the Berlin Wall.

Or the 7th person to step on the moon.

We don’t hold the 26th person to cross the marathon line in more esteem than the 400th.

And the 40th person to stand up against oppression, is a statistic like the 43rd .

There are leaders and there are followers. There are doers and there are repeaters. There are thinkers and there are those that regurgitate.

We know the difference, we see the difference, we feel the difference. And yet at the same time, we seldom call it out when we do.

Regardless of what we do, each week provides a million opportunities to lead, to step to the front, to put our necks on the line. We have the chance to change things, to say things, to do thing, to become things.

And yet we wait, we hesitate, we defer, we absolve ourselves of responsibility and we look to a darkened horizon to provide the hope and the inspiration that we each hold within us.

We have the ability to act. We just don’t have the courage.

I don’t believe in an after life, I don’t believe in resurrection or absolution. I believe in the here, the now, the moment and the challenge. We have a chance every day to be something that makes a difference. We have a chance to be leaders of ourselves and of others.

Be brave, step out, and leave your legacy today. Tomorrow is there for the forgotten.


  1. Ade Adetukasi (@ohcsolutions) · August 12, 2013

    I believe there is still a place for followership and there is an increasingly shift in the role of followers. In the world we live and work in, followership can sometimes be as powerful as leadership.

    Absolutely agree with the push for more thinkers and doers. However, there is the danger that we will continue overvaluing leaders and undervaluing followers.

    • Neil · September 7, 2013

      Good point, but I’d differentiate between unconscious and conscious following. I think leaders can choose to follow. Maybe I didn’t make that point clearly enough, so thank you.

  2. Meg Peppin · August 12, 2013

    I believe that every day we have the choice to make a difference. Daily opportunities to be courageous. Yes.

    I don’t think I mind if I’m not remembered. I’m not that worried about whether I’m the first or the last, I try not to compare myself to others too much. I agree with Ade’s point regarding the potential to overvalue leaders.

    Derek Sivers’ TED talk on how to start a movement talks about the importance of followers better than I can; if you haven’t already seen this clip, you may enjoy it.

    • Neil · September 7, 2013

      Thanks Meg and as I say above, I think I maybe didn’t express myself too well on that point. It is all, really, about the choice. I should learn to write better. Thanks. 🙂

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