Acta Non Verba: Deeds, not Words.

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American essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Acta Non Verba is a Latin phrase that means Acta (Action), Non (Not) Verba (Words), which translates also to Deeds, not Words. To achieve anything worthwhile in life, you have to take the necessary action steps to complete your set objectives. As Sir Isaac Newton stated in his first law of motion, “An object will not change its motion unless a force acts on it.” Nothing moves until you move; to get the results you have never obtained, you must do what you have never done. As the saying goes, Motivation gets you started, but Self-Discipline keeps you going.

You might wish and intend to get physically fit and healthy, but that would not happen until you get to the gym, eat healthy and stay consistent. Most adults want to be healthy, wealthy, procreate, speak multiple languages and be happy. All this is possible, but you have to put in the work by showing up daily and doing the tough tedious work over a long period of time. We get rewarded in public for what we diligently practice in private. Self-discipline is the art of keeping the promise you made to yourself and following through by doing what you said you would do long after the initial motivation has waned out. The most successful people in the world are not usually the most talented, but they are usually the hardest workers in any room. They sweat the small stuff, they practice their craft diligently, they continuously show up and execute their plan relentlessly.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. – George Patton Jr.

American U.S. Army General George Patton Jr. once said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” To change your present situation in life, you have to change what needs to be changed and optimize what is presently working. You might have to join a class, stop doing some things, start a new habit, move to a new city, and embrace the struggle of creating to enjoy the joy of finishing. We live in a world where there are more speakers than doers, a world where patience is becoming a rare virtue, a world of instant gratification, a world where we tweet instead of doing, a world of performing to rachet more likes, a world of optics but the real lasting change is found in the doing and living life on your terms.

Our priorities reflect our values and what is important to us. It is not about what you say you wish to do; it is about what you are doing. As American motivational speaker Les Brown often said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Our time here on earth is limited, and it is in our best interest to live mindfully and consciously to achieve our objectives in life. One great way to follow through on your goals is to align your identity with the habits that you are trying to form. For example, when you begin to see yourself as someone who exercises often or eats healthy foods, following through would not be that hard.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Les Brown

In her 2014 Dartmouth College Commencement speech, Shonda Rhimes, creator, writer, and producer of the ABC hits Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and How to Get Away with Murder, delivered a very inspiring speech to the graduating students, One of the lessons that she shared in the speech is the importance of doing instead of just dreaming or talking about it.

When people give these kinds of speeches, they usually tell you all kinds of wise and heartfelt things. They have wisdom to impart. They have lessons to share. They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until all of your dreams come true.

I think that’s crap.

I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, engaged, powerful people, are busy doing.

The dreamers. They stare at the sky and they make plans and they hope and they talk about it endlessly. And they start a lot of sentences with “I want to be …” or “I wish.” “I want to be a writer.” “I wish I could travel around the world.”

And they dream of it. The buttoned-up ones meet for cocktails and they brag about their dreams, and the hippie ones have vision boards and they meditate about their dreams. Maybe you write in journals about your dreams or discuss it endlessly with your best friend or your girlfriend or your mother. And it feels really good. You’re talking about it, and you’re planning it. Kind of. You are blue-skying your life. And that is what everyone says you should be doing. Right? I mean, that’s what Oprah and Bill Gates did to get successful, right?


Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.

So, Lesson One, I guess is: Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just … do. So you think, “I wish I could travel.” Great. Sell your crappy car, buy a ticket to Bangkok, and go. Right now. I’m serious.

You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don’t have a job? Get one. Any job. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else.


In his bestselling book, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones 1, author James Clear writes about  ‘Identity-Based Habits’.

Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.

True behavior change is identity change. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity. Anyone can convince themselves to visit the gym or eat healthy once or twice, but if you don’t shift the belief behind the behavior, then it is hard to stick with long-term changes. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.

  • The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
  • The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.
  • The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.

Your behaviours are usually a reflection of your identity. What you do is an indication of the type of person you believe that you are—either consciously or unconsciously..

New identities require new evidence. It is a simple two-step process:

  • Decide the type of person you want to be.
  • Prove it to yourself with small wins.

“Life is a kind of campaign. People have no idea what strength comes to one’s soul and spirit through a good fight.” – Gutzon Borglum (sculptor of Mount Rushmore)


 In his book, Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life 2, founder and chief executive of The Vanguard Group John C. Bogle describes what it truly means to have “enough” in a world increasingly focused on status and score-keeping. One of Bogle’s rules for building a great organization is  Walking the Walking i.e. doing what you said you were going to do. He writes

Whether manager or leader, there are few more self-defeating courses of action than “talking the talk” without “walking the walk.” So whatever you preach, you’d darn well better practice. The principle is simple: If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy. If you demand hard work, work hard. If you want your colleagues to level with you, level with them. It’s not very complicated!

Personal visibility is one of the key elements of leadership, and it doesn’t happen when you’re sitting behind your desk. And if you’re an executive—a “suit,” in common parlance—don’t limit your ambit to conference rooms filled with other suits. Get out and meet the people who are doing the real work: those in the mail room, the security guards, the programmers, the accountants, the money managers, everyone upon whom your daily work depends.

If you demand hard work, work hard. If you want your colleagues to level with you, level with them. It’s not very complicated!


  • Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Trick or Treat
  • Many of us move through life disconnected from ourselves because we pretend to be someone for others, which doesn’t feel authentic. We are pressured to act a certain way, look a certain way, always be strong or happy or hold specific beliefs. Perhaps it is time to reflect on the mask that you wear and why you wear it.
  • Have you fallen into wearing it out of habit? Who are you trying to please? Sometimes, we change and grow out of our constraining masks, but we want to remind ourselves that we can always choose to take them off.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” ― E.E. Cummings

  • Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Standing Out/Fitting In
  • Give yourself grace amidst the tensions of being human. The friction you feel is natural; it can be challenging, but it is just part of being human. The reality is that there isn’t a right way to be; instead of unbearable, we can practice acceptance rather than resisting; we can resist the pressure to choose a specific path.
  • The question isn’t which is better; the question is which is better for me right now in the moment.


  • Productivity Toolkit: How To Achieve Any Goal, Focus & Enter Flow State On Command | Cal Newport

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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