There's a big difference between the two. Talk is cheap. It won't get you the same results as action. When you take action, you'll inspire other people to do the same. And in the end, you'll change the world.
I talked to Wes Chapman when he was in Vermont for the 431 Project. I discovered he's doing exactly that. He's not just focused on himself, or trying to get ahead. Instead, he reaches out to young people, and he changes their lives and the lives of people in their communities. And he does this not by talking, but by doing.
"There's a ton of talking going on, on every topic," he told me. "Religion, food, exercise, emotional wellness, whatever. There are very few actions going on, and I think that's where we've got to stop talking and start acting. I end every one of my podcasts by saying, 'This is Wes Chapman. Take action!'"
The Human Podcast is one of the three top podcasts that Wes produces. In it, he discusses "human issues, and how the things we do as adults affect youth." Wes talks about a broad range of topics, ranging from sex to gay and Christian issues to food. We complain all the time about how kids don't eat healthy, right? And then they see the adults around them eating junk food. What does that say to kids?
"What we talk about is great," Wes says. "But we have to take action."
Wes takes action through his Human Project, an organization that works directly with troubled kids. The group recruits people who have been through traumatic situations in their youth and have turned out to become amazing entrepreneurs, athletes and leaders. These people interact with kids and tell them their secrets. "The message is, you can be your own self, this is how you do it, these are the steps," Wes said. "And it's people the youth can relate to, just reinforcing that idea over and over again."
But Wes said the "secret sauce" is getting youths to act. The Human Project put together programs where kids are rewarded for serving their communities. "They take what they've learned from coaching and all the programs, and then they go out and implement it," Wes said. "They do positive things to get self-fulfillment, to get some self-worth. They build self-respect, and they empower themselves through confidence."
That kind of service to the community motivates people. It motivates anyone doing something for the greater good. Maybe it's a little selfish on my part, but it motivates me to get up every day. It motivates me to work hard, and I get something back from that. These kids get the same return.
When the kids in his program help their communities, that's when The Human Project really starts changing the world. It takes the kids--and the program--to another level. All because Wes showed them the way by acting, not by talking.
It takes a certain kind of person to do that. Wes told me that you've got to be cocky enough to think that you can change the world. You have to be crazy enough to know that you can change the world. "You have to have all that mixed in," Wes said, "but then you have to be confident enough to step back and tell someone, 'hey, really, you're the one who did it.'"
"You've got to have that energy, that craziness about it," Wes says. "Like Steve Jobs, it's the crazy ones who change the world."