Massive Inspired Action – a Recipe for Success

As we seize our work life freedom, it’s often necessary to achieve measurable progress so that our confidence catches up to our intentions. The most effective tool to jump start momentum and insure success is massive inspired action – because it increases the probability of success.

Massive Inspired Action is a process I developed where you engage a variety of fierce and creative actions to increase the probability of reaching an objective. Bull

We make success more likely by increasing the sheer volume and variety of inspired actions over a short period of time. The success comes not necessarily as a direct result of those actions, but more likely as a result of the confidence one emits around the whole campaign. Five years ago, I was sitting in a weekend retreat facilitated by author Egbert Sukop when he said something like, “Results don’t necessarily come directly from the actions we take, but parallel to those actions.” (Image by pbr-angel on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

He went on to explain this observation. Cause and effect is not a sure thing. Many of our actions produce desired results, but often we can’t foretell which ones will work and which ones will not. Sometimes a method will work four times in a row and then quit working at all.

This got me thinking. Career coaching is a wonderful living laboratory because I get to experiment with so many different clients who hold multiple and varied beliefs on what does and does not work well. Over the years, after working with hundreds of clients, I developed this process to help more clients win the game they want to win.

The process of massive inspired action works so well in a quest for true calling or right livelihood because it counters all the negative energy that cautions us to play it safe and remain miserably where we are. The masses are always going to be against risk. The masses are always going to want you to stay with them so you can wallow together in the prison of employment. Freedom requires bold action; if you’re going to risk it all, why not increase the probability of your success?

Massive inspired action is a fierce excuse eliminator. It’s about the most responsible thing you can do for yourself when you’re ready to make your move. If you are going to seize your freedom, you’ve got to give it your all. It’s imperative that you go beyond what’s required. Just going through the motions and doing the minimum is an employment strategy, not a self-employment one.

You might recall from an earlier post that this is the fourth stage in my Authentic Cycle of Probability. So, first make sure you’ve run your dream or project through the first three stages, discovery, decision and focus. Then you’ll be properly aligned for action.

Why does massive inspired action work so well? Let’s break the recipe down and look at the ingredients.

The benefit of action at first appears obvious. Without it nothing happens. Yet we can’t foretell which actions will produce desired outcomes and which will not. There are too many unseen factors – like subconscious beliefs at play. That’s one reason why it’s more likely that results come alongside actions and not necessarily as a direct result of them.

The benefit of massive is twofold. Massive creates a wave of confident energy, and confidence is a natural attractor. Massive also gives us the space to be creative and to put a variety of methods, approaches and actions in play. Like the prospector who pans for gold, has a sluice running and a mine, by leveraging the sheer number and variety of actions, we increase the probability of striking it rich. Staking multiple claims increases our options when adjustments are needed – and gives us an overall feeling of command.

Inspiration gives an authentic blessing to our massive actions. Inspiration is robust and alive. It provides a level of vigor and courage that’s seldom seen in a lesser campaign. That’s why finding your work life happiness and freedom is such an individual pursuit. Not all things work for all people, and not all methods work all the time. The more genuine your approach, the greater your probability of success. Massive inspired action allows your purest flow of exceptionality to come forth – and that attracts others who want to support your drive for success.

Massive inspired action is not an everyday process. We can only do massive for short periods of time. It’s particularly powerful at the start of a project, when momentum is so critical to success. Save it for the big game that really matters to you. It’s fun to give something all you’ve got. It’s a blast to make your move in a very big way and to follow through all the way to completion.

If you read this blog, chances are you’ve been holding back for some time. Holding back is for wimps. No matter how evolved we are, we all hold back on something. Holding back squashes delight. Are you ready to fly? Might this be your time to give it all you have? Are you ready to step forth and seize your freedom? If you are, then use massive inspired action. It works!


  1. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul says:

    Okay – I agree that taking action is absolutely imperative. And I absolutely agree that cause/effect is not linear, but rather energetic. Which is why I think that we can create the same effect through one very committed inspired action, instead of “massive” inspired action. Couldn’t this go very much in the direction of: “Let’s through a bunch of stuff against this wall and see what sticks?” It seems like a lot of effort that may be unnecessary.

    I suppose the level of action we need depends on our belief system. All action is a way of setting energies in motion through the Universe, so that we can then attract what we want. Quantity is not as necessary as the energetic quality of our actions – but I guess if we believe that “massive” is necessary, then it is. What do you think – can one action create the same effect?

    It’s funny – I just wrote a post on “right” action at the “right” time, which may be the complete opposite idea of what you are writing about. Great minds think in parallels! 🙂

    Thanks for this article – it really got me thinking!

  2. I don’t think Tom and Andre’s posts are in opposite camps at all.

    I’d like to emphasize the importance of “inspired” in the massive inspired action step in the cycle of probability. Whether you’re doing one action which is deeply aligned with what you really care about, (what really inspires you), or several actions over a short period of time, I believe it’s the inspiration and connection to one’s own core values and passion that carries the day and builds momentum.

    Still, if I do one great action, it seems to naturally give me energy to do one more, and one more, and one more, which really does increase my confidence, build momentum and often opens up new opportunites and connections as I do one after another.

    It’s key to allow a recharge period after this action, to bask in the glow of having taken action, and to feel gratitude, as the rest of the cycle shows. I find myself getting the best results doing more than one action, because it does not allow me to fall back into an old pattern of not following up.
    Thanks for the really helpful article Tom.

  3. John Morlan says:
  4. Andrea thanks so much for your comment and questions. You got me thinking back. 🙂 You commented… “Couldn’t this go very much in the direction of: “Let’s through a bunch of stuff against this wall and see what sticks?” It seems like a lot of effort that may be unnecessary.” I guess it could be but just throwing a bunch of stuff on the wall wouldn’t be very inspired; it would be more like desperate. That’s not how I feel when I use this tool.

    You went on to say… “I suppose the level of action we need depends on our belief system. All action is a way of setting energies in motion through the Universe, so that we can then attract what we want. Quantity is not as necessary as the energetic quality of our actions – but I guess if we believe that “massive” is necessary, then it is. What do you think – can one action create the same effect?” Yes, I agree that one action could create the same effect. It just doesn’t happen as regularly that way for me. Please don’t think that when say massive I’m talking about a lot of hard work. I’m not. I’m marshalling all of my forces and having a ball commanding them.

    Somehow the massiveness of my campaign creates a greater confidence that leads to victory. It’s kind of like when an athlete wants to reach a higher level of fitness. She doesn’t just lift weights; she also runs, cross trains, takes supplements and adjusts her diet.
    By leveraging a variety of actions she increases the probability of success to a far greater likelihood than taking anyone of those actions alone.

    Kay that’s a very good point. There is an accumulative affect of taking frequent actions that keep building the momentum on one another. I’m the same way as you are. When I have more horses in the race I increase my chances of a payoff. Thanks for your astute thinking.

    John you made me smile. Enthusiastic mistake making is such a light and easy way of moving forward. More folks could benefit from your example. I love the Meyer quote as well. Thanks.

  5. Tom,

    The syntax in your blog is awesome: Massive, Inspired, and Action. These words bring to mind the possibility for greatness. Most of the time we just sort of go along with whatever the day brings and that’s fine as far as it goes.

    But some days, Wham! A thought occurs that requires jumping out of your comfort zone and into new and dangerous territory. If the thought is allowed to drift away, nothing happens. But, if we do jump up and take immediate, massive, inspired action, the world as we knew it changes. There’s unbounded energy and the brain can hardly keep up with all the ideas that lead to inspired action. That’s when we’re most alive. And the few times it’s happened for me have led to some mighty big changes in my personal and business life.

    So, Tom, combining the three ideas seems to me to be a recipe for joy and happiness. Who wouldn’t want to live in the middle of massive inspired action?

    Thanks for your inspired thoughts. Hope they lead us to massive action.

  6. Evelyn Lim says:

    Thank you, Tom, for such an inspiring message about taking massive action and giving it our all. I’m placing my bets on a new direction in life and venturing into unchartered waters. It feels risky but I’ve never felt more Alive!


  7. Shann Vander Leek says:

    Right on!

    Some days I could propel myself to the moon based on the energy I create with massive inspired action!

    Thanks for your inspiration.


  8. Tim Brownson says:

    Massive action is what it takes. Can it be inspired too? You bethcya. I think it also depends on the personality of the individual. Some people need inspiration to move forward because simply taking massive action doesn’t do it for them. Others need to take massive action to get inspired. I agree pretty much with Kay.

    Discussion between Larry King and Bill Gates a few years ago and I’m paraphrasing from a poor memory!

    King: Why did Microsoft become so successful?
    Gates: Because we had a great product

    King (laughs) No, that wasn’t it, why did Microsoft become so successful?
    Gates: Well I suppose we were in the right place at the right time

    King: No that wasn’t it either. Why did Microsoft become so successful?
    Gates (looking ruffled): We had done great research and understood the market place

    King: I don’t think so. Why REALLY did Microsoft become so successful?
    Gates: Because we took MASSIVE action. We called IBM every day, sometimes multiple times per day for 6 months and when they finally agrees to see us we were there on the same day and refused to leave until we had a deal

    King: That was it.

  9. jonathanmead says:

    Inspired action is the key to success. You’ve hit the nail right on the head Tom!

    I think it’s important to bring inspiration into our lives on a daily basis. I’m actually working on an article about just that right now. It’s funny how synchronicity works like that. =)

    Not holding back is Key! You have to give it everything you’ve got. Living with anything less than exuberance and verve is a disservice to our divine spirit.

  10. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul says:

    Tom, I love this discussion. Thanks for your comment on my blog – I wish I’d read your comment here before replying to you over there …. argh, we’re having two conversations at the same time!

    I guess I’m coming from the perspective of someone who gets a lot done and takes action with great ease. It’s easy for someone like me to get into “action mode” and completely over-do.

    Doing makes us feel in control and powerful. Doing is very satisfying for the mind – action evokes possible futures and outcomes, births new ideas and concepts. Our mind feeds on all the energy we give it, because we are doing and doing. All of this is fine to a point – but the mind can definitely run away with the project. Suddenly our actions are “inspired” by ego and mind, rather than by our Spirits. We act because our minds tell us to, and the more we act, the more ego-based our actions become. Our Soul’s purpose can get lost in all that mental energy.

    So all I’m saying is – there must be a balance. The energetic output of “doing” but be balanced by the energetic receptivity of “being.” Otherwise we lose out on the fruits of our labors. Our society is heavily focused on doing. We often miss out on the other half of the equation.

    For every action we do, we must receive the result mindfully, attentively. The consequences of our actions teach us about the quality of our choices. If we take massive action all at once, how do we know which one created the desired result? After all, as you say, results are not linear.

    If we don’t know which action created the desired result, then we cannot duplicate it, learn from it, expand into it, can we? So then we’re always doing ten things, when one would perhaps suffice … and there’s that danger of egoic action-frenzy taking over.

    Sorry to comment-hog!!! This is a great discussion that I’m thoroughly enjoying.


  11. Dorothy yes sometimes inspiration comes right out of the blue and it hits us wham-like. I agree it feels very vibrant then, perhaps it’s the surprise of it. What I want you to know is that you can use this formula to proactively jumpstart your inspiration with a strong intention to do so.

    Shann – to the moon and back I hope. 🙂 Yes it is such a glorious feeling, thank you!

    Tim, welcome man, I know what you mean. I too can take massive action without inspiration but that’s a damned heavy load to carry. I’d much rather be inspired on all of my action both massive and smaller. I absolutely love that Gates/King dialogue. Thanks so much.

    Evelyn, welcome I’m sending a hearty blessing on your new unchartered course of massive action. You sound wonderfully strong. Come back anytime and tell us how it’s going.

  12. Andrea I too am enjoying this discussion. What a bold thought I just had. I may even pick up the phone and have an even more vibrant discussion with you. 🙂

    You said, “If we take massive action all at once, how do we know which one created the desired result? After all, as you say, results are not linear.” My answer to that is, who cares? Really, if it feels good and we hit our desired objective, does it really matter if we know which one of many actions actually delivered? Please consider Egbert’s point regarding outcomes coming parallel to our actions. If that’s the case perhaps not any of the singular actions worked. The same actions don’t always deliver the same successful results. Cause and effect, I think, is more of a mystery than we want to believe.

    I’ll give you this. You have one hell of a powerfully developed intuition. Perhaps if I were similarly evolved and knew that I could create with such singular ease I too would enjoy taking less action.

    The massive inspired action I’m talking about definitely does not feel ego-based and frenzied. It feels more like the flow I used to feel on the rugby pitch in my playing days. Sometimes I’d be in the game and reach another level of observation so that I could get to where the ball was going by really tuning in. I was both player and observer and swirling all around me was brutal, inspired and gloriously massive action all happening simultaneously. That’s the feeling I get when I’m on top of my business game moving boldly into the unknown.

    Don’t ever apologize for comment hogging. In my book, there is no such thing.

  13. Egbert Sukop says:

    Since you are talking of Blog Hogs, here I am and I do owe all of you a flowery apology. Tom asked me to scare him–uh, maybe I misunderstood that in my drunk stupor or through my notorious language barrier–and I obediently I do as I was told.

    Tim, I love your paraphrased King-Gates interview!

    Most well-to-do people have NO clue why they are where they are, financially. If you want to “learn” from successful individuals and you drill them for recipes, you are doomed. They LIE, intentionally or unknowingly. Of course, Larry King’s question was not answered there and cannot be answered. Anybody else pestering IBM the same way at the same time, or Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer harassing IBM a year earlier or a year later exactly as they did, would not have yielded the same results perhaps and their efforts could have been a waste of time altogether.

    That answers Andrea’s rhetorical question: “If we don’t know which action created the desired result, then we cannot duplicate it, learn from it, expand into it, can we?” In the real world we hardly ever know, we can’t duplicate the quantum leaps in our–or our company’s development–we are almost incapable of learning. Hence Tom’s remark that cause and effect are not a sure thing. Effect Y is rarely a linear function of cause X in the business world. Well, in hindsight it may look like it on occasion, but we cannot duplicate exact cause X in most instances. For example, Michael Dell’s Initial Public Offering was June 22, 1988, at $8.50 a share. If you could duplicate that moment in history with all its details and find another IPO as promising as Dell in ’88, we would all have money coming out of our ears!

    “Half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half. Actually, it’s closer to 1% of your advertising that works, at the most. Your billboard reaches 100,000 people and if you’re lucky, it gets you a hundred customers…” –Seth Godin. Tom mentions gold prospectors. Why did these idiots pump so much dirt through their sluice boxes, when they knew they were after nuggets? When the mob was digging for gold, the smart people invested Massive Inspired Action into selling shovels, running saloons, hiring girls, and opening banks. Why? To get a piece of the action that would come out of the 1%–often perhaps only 0.1%–of prospecting efforts.

    On April 11th, General Electric’s shares fell 12.9% after GE reporting a 5.8% decline in first-quarter profits. Don’t you think Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of the largest corporation on Earth, would have loved to apply cause A to “create” effect B? He simply doesn’t know what the hell cause A might be and when he should have implemented it. And trust me, he has enough forces at the ready to unleash an Earth-shaking case of Massive Inspired Action.

    Dear Andrea, please don’t feel offended: You said, “there must be a balance. The energetic output of “doing” [must] be balanced by the energetic receptivity of “being.”” I wholeheartedly agree with you, when you apply this to life in general! But, I understand Tom’s MIA (Massive Inspired Action) as an exception from business as usual, a time in one’s life that calls for extraordinary initiative–even imbalance.

    MIA overrides EVERYTHING you think and do in your life on a regular Tuesday morning. Sure, Massive Inspired Action should be based on rational decisions after gathering a minimum of data. Of course it’s nuts to just storm into the dark, full speed ahead! MIA can bypass your normal responses, convictions, even some of your principals (I advise you, though, to keep your actions legal!). No familiarity here. No cozy chat at the water cooler. No sleep before sunrise, if at all. MIA scares the Bejeezus out of us and it should. You can’t do exclusively what you love. MIA calls for hundreds of things each day you probably hate. Ask Senator Obama if he loves everything he’s busy with right now. And there we have a practical MIA example:

    U.S. Presidential Campaign 2008: Don’t be scared, I won’t open that can of worms! Just watch the candidate you’re rooting for. If you want to be president–and I have no idea why any sane person would want this job–you must engage in MIA nonstop for more than a year. Once you have made it, of course, it gets worse for another 4 – 8 years. After that, you don’t need a doctor to tell you that you will have aged 15 – 25 years.

    If you want to have a chance to reach that goal, you have no choice but to “throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and see what sticks.” At least a year of your life, hundreds of millions of dollars, friendships–in short everything you can move and more than you thought you could. And you have no guarantee it’ll work. Covering the country with your intentions? Not enough. People in Israel want to know what you are thinking and how you might act as president. Canada and Mexico demand answers what you mean when you mention NAFTA. You don’t run for president of the U.S. just in America. Someone in Kenya can turn over an old stone tomorrow, find a snippet of controversial information, and a couple of hundred million people expect your immediate response.

    You don’t want to be president, and that speaks for you. However, is there something you want as badly as Hillary wants to be president? Let’s face it, we are all insane. The job serf can’t ween himself off mom’s breasts, metaphorically, and entrepreneurs are pathological egotists (at least I hope you are). If you are self-employed, you must be obsessed with something or I’m afraid you won’t make it. You have probably experienced that already and you have increased your effort here and there. That’s sweet!

    MIA is NOT about “increased” effort! Nobody gets elected as president by ways of “increased” efforts. If you have dabbled with shamanic concepts, you have come across the phenomenon of the “power animal.” Now, if you wanted to choose the appropriate power animal to support you for Massive Inspired Action, I suggest the MACK truck. At least, but an adult Tsunami is better. No wonder people are afraid of MIA. Nobody cares to get run over by a bus or a truck. This time, YOU are the one driving it, you’ll have to unleash the MACK Truck to accomplish your objectives, and–God forbid–you will hurt some people’s feelings. If you care to win the presidential campaign, you must be willing to alienate close to half of the population on certain levels.

    “Massive” calls for you doing something monumental. Incremental increase won’t do. Not even effort helps. Efforts are like doing something, looking up for parental approval, and patiently awaiting the fruits of your labor. MIA doesn’t wait for fruits to develop. There is no planting of seeds, watering, and praying for good weather. Remember Tim’s King/Gates conversation: IBM was under Microsoft’s SIEGE for six months! There it is: Massive Inspired Action can be understood as the equivalent of war. Small wonder only a few are ecstatic and happy about it!

    Colin Powell expanded upon the “Powell Doctrine” by asserting that when a nation is engaging in war, “every resource and tool should be used to achieve DECISIVE FORCE…” (Don’t blame Colin Powell for the status quo in Iraq: since Donald Rumsfeld’s ego was more important than General Powell’s experience, the Powell Doctrine and decisive or “overwhelming force” was NOT used. Hence more dead people and exploding costs. Btw., the Powell Doctrine worked perfectly during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.)

    Karl von Clausewitz (Prussian Major-General and military historian, 1780 – 1831) said that war is neither only an act of brute force nor merely a rational act of politics or policy. He talks about a “fascinating trinity (just like Tom’s MIA):” a dynamic, inherently unstable interaction of the forces of violent emotion, chance, and rational calculation. Clausewitz also mentions “the essential unpredictability of war.” Or in our terms, exact links between the causes we employ and the effects we aim for cannot be established: MIA is wildly unpredictable. When you plunge in, you have no idea how you’ll come out the other end! Enough of massive action and this awful violent talk? Scared? Excited? Both?

    “Inspiration:” Greek, Latin, and English have plenty of things in common, and this is one of them: God’s divine influence and God breathing life into the human form is one and the same thing. ???????????, theopneustos, means quite literally: “God-breathed.” The Latin ‘inspirare’ means “blowing into.” You can look up ‘inspiration’ and ‘inspire’ yourself. Being inspired is not just having an average idea you’re pondering of pursuing. No, Ma’am! Inhaling, getting animated, and receiving divine thoughts are the same damn thing.

    Inspiration is going from being a dead glob of clay to the ecstasy of a vibrant, enlightened human being! Are you with me? No time to “make up your mind” whether you should study architecture or it might be more fun to breed Yorkshire Terriers … or maybe going to law school like dad. Once inspired, you burn. BURN! No time out, no second to lose while asking aunt Lucy for advice.

    If you are inspired, there is no way back and you can’t think it through, first. You are moving fast and of course, you need your mental faculties to be as sharp as they can be every step of the way. If you are a government employee, with decent seniority and benefits, I suggest you KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF Massive Inspired Action. You may not survive it. For everybody else: DO NOT TRY MIA! You don’t “try” sky diving and when you’re half way down, you quit and ask for assistance. If you still have all your marbles–unlike most individuals I surround myself with over the age of 21–don’t touch MIA, and 40 – 60 years from now you will die in bed peacefully.

    If you can hold yourself back from MIA, or you can convince your spouse to hold you back sufficiently, GOOD: step back from the action. If you CANNOT hold yourself back, and nothing and nobody can stop you: Good also, and I don’t have to tell you what to do or when. You have been warned. This stuff works like cocaine. Massive Inspired Action is business coke, and no diet option available.

    You are on your own, Baby! Good Luck!


  14. I laughed and cheered out loud when I saw the post from Egbert. There is nothing so energizing, scary and roller coaster fun as MIA. Truth, as we heard from Egbert, is good too! I like the way it makes me feel when I am about to do something that is both a risk and comes from my own core values and passion.

    I once jumped off a 30 foot cliff into a whitewater river, to see what it’s like to go WAY out of my comfort zone. My body tried valiantly to stop me from going through with it, but I ran yelling for the drop off anyway.
    Result: huge lift to my spirit and my confidence – easy compared to finding out that not everyone out there likes what you have to offer in the business world!

    Part of the good that MIA does is to make me much better at managing the parts of myself who are stuck in old patterns or mindsets I’d rather let go of. Even if the MIA doesn’t bring the exact results I’d prefer, it does bring me more alive, and it leaves me no time to listen to the 3-headed committee in my mind of Judge, Critic and What-If.

    Quiet down over there, you voices, I am heading for the edge, where the good stuff is!

    Great Discussion – keep it coming…

  15. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul says:

    Wow, Egbert! There are so many points I disagree with here. I’ll go with the two that stick out the most, and leave it at that.

    You write: “That answers Andrea’s rhetorical question: “If we don’t know which action created the desired result, then we cannot duplicate it, learn from it, expand into it, can we?” In the real world we hardly ever know, we can’t duplicate the quantum leaps in our–or our company’s development–we are almost incapable of learning.”

    That was actually NOT a rhetorical question at all! And to say that we are incapable of learning is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. What the heck are we here for, do you think? To learn and evolve and grow through a system of choice, followed by consequences. That’s it. That’s what life is all about.

    If we’re not applying ourselves to discover exactly how we are creating our lives, then we’re not living at all. Of course, maybe it’s just about reaching a goal for you. That would put you into the majority of people in this country. Goals like making money, winning presidential elections, etc. Too bad life isn’t about reaching goals. Life is about the journey, not the destination.

    Cause and effect may not be linear if we look at it “logically” – looking at facts and events won’t help here. But if we really look at who we are being while we are doing, the energetic qualities of our actions, what intentions are behind our actions, you will find that we manifest results that energetically directly align with those factors. No, you can’t duplicate a chain of events. But you sure can create the life you desire for yourself, when you apply a whole lot of mindfulness, detachment, and intention to your choices.

    To say “hey, I’ll never know why this or that happened in my life, so I won’t worry about it” is abdicating the greatest responsibility we have. That responsibility is to consciously create our life.

    The second point: If MIA can be understood as the equivalent of WAR – wow, no thank you! We have enough of that on our planet, don’t you think? Are you going to actually create war in your own life, for the sake of reaching a goal? What do you think the quality of the journey will be like? Do you think when you get to the goal, there will be peace within you? Yeah, right!

    You talk of inspiration – yes, I know where the word comes from. Do you think divine thoughts can ever be likened to waging war? The ego wages war. In war, there are winners and losers and victims. There are huge costs. If that’s how you do business – yuck. I know lots of people do. Corporations certainly do! That’s why we’re entrepreneurs – to do things differently.

    MIA is business “coke” – this was exactly my point! You get really high on it and you want more and more and more, because you feel powerful and in charge and the ego loves it. Last time I checked, coke was not good for you.

    Kay makes another great point: “Even if the MIA doesn’t bring the exact results I’d prefer, it does bring me more alive, and it leaves me no time to listen to the 3-headed committee in my mind of Judge, Critic and What-If.”

    Or maybe we could come face to face with the inner judge and critic and doubt. Ignoring them is really NOT the point – they are still there. Just because we don’t have time to listen doesn’t mean we have resolved these parts of us. Launching ourselves into action to get away from these aspects of ourselves is short-sighted at best. And, just like “coke” – highly addictive. We could end up believing that these aspects of ourselves don’t exist anymore. But you know they are still there, and will eventually undermine our best efforts.

    I have nothing against taking action. I am all gung-ho especially about inspired action, even lots of it – God knows, I am joyfully busy. But every action must be taken mindfully, so that we can truly receive the results in our lives, and learn from the consequences of our choices. If we lose the mindfulness, we’ve lost the reason we are here.


  16. Andrea, Thanks for your comments. I have the advantage of knowing Egbert personally, and he is very fond of stirring things up like any good teacher. It has worked once again! He has mastered the art of pissing people off so that they will look to themselves for answers and freedom, not to any system or guru.

    When I comented on MIA bringing me alive and leaving no time to listen to the 3-headed committee of Judge, Critic and What-If, I was in NO WAY suggesting that we should all get high on action vibes and ignore those parts of ourselves forever. It IS vitally important that we place our attention on what we want to expand, and I do not want to expand those voices’ impact.

    It is my desire to accept ALL parts of me, even the nasty shadow parts, and integrate them into the whole, not allowing them to take center stage whenever they want to. Sometimes surprising them into silence is a great way to move into a new way of being, where my Higher Self is running the ship instead.

    This feeling of “coming alive” during MIA instead speaks to BEING present in the now, much like an olympic athlete when she is up for her race. The race and her body, and her preparation all come together in a one-pointed focus, and it’s a beautiful thing. She is using self-discipline to quiet any voices of fear or doubt, and it works.

    When I am in action on behalf of something which inspires me and comes from my deep passsion, I am most definitely in the present moment far more than when I am focusing on the other voices in my head. When I am in movement which aligns with the highest and best expression of myself that I can imagine, I am using a kind of spiritual self-discipline to keep my attention on the action which brings me closer to that expression, and I couldn’t be more Present.

    To Your Deep Gladness & Inspired Success,

  17. Clem Gigliotti says:

    The fascinating thing for me, about massive action in several different directions all with the same objective, is that often a result appears out of no where….tied to none of the various actions being taken. Proving, once again, that results come alongside of action, not necessarily because of it!

  18. Boy howdy! Is this a conversation, or what!!!??? Woo-hoo!!

    Kay – I LOVE the image of you running, yelling, for the drop-off – talk about courage in the face of fear! Wow! Now THAT’s the feeling that comes to my mind when I read about/talk about Massive Inspired Action!

    Egbert – the emotions your response evoked in me remind me of the times I have, in fact, taken MIA – pushed myself to the limit and then felt the wind of the Divine beneath my wings just when I was sure I was about to fall flat on my face. I get kind of ‘swept away’ by MIA – but I think that’s part of it, as I think about it. To be in total control is both a myth and an impossibility. It’s the ‘inspired’ part of MIA I feel is responsible for that swept away feeling – others call it ‘flow’. I’m (at least not the thinking me) not driving that bus – that’s my Higher Self at the wheel.

    Andrea – in my experience (which you and I have discussed recently) I have called myself taking MIA when in fact I was missing the ‘I’ part completely. That’s the “coke”-induced addictive ‘do something – anything-everything!’ trap our minds like to trick us into believing will give us the positive outcome we desire – no matter how many times we prove otherwise. No one knows better than I how to stay extremely busy ‘doing’ yet accomplishing next to nothing at the end of the day. And no, I don’t want to knowingly engage in anymore of that! MIA, for me, requires me becoming present, in the now, and quiet so that I can see/hear/feel/know the inspiration that awaits me. Once I get a sense of that, MIA feels (to me) more like Kay’s running at the drop off – yelling as much as a result of the joy of Being as fear. Exhilarated…and spent, when it’s done.

    Tom – bless you for initiating this!

  19. Egbert Sukop says:


    Oh dear, what have I done? I am stuck between two dilemmas: firstly, my answer to Andrea’s comment may distract from Tom’s subject “Massive Inspired Action;” secondly, my star sign, the worst anybody could end up with–Sagittarius–won’t allow me to be polite or remotely diplomatic. What can I do but ask forgiveness in advance?! Not that I care much for it (you see, even forgiveness is hocus pocus I don’t believe in) but at least I asked …

    Dropping a grocery bag filled with cash into a busy mall just before Christmas causes about the same effect as peacefully mentioning the word ‘war’ during a harmless conversation about recipes for chocolate chip cookies: individuals lose their heads, and a different part of the brain takes over than the one capable of discussing Pieter Bruegel the Elder or Søren Kierkegaard. Fight-or-Flight kicks into gear and even if you hate war–or should I say especially then?–you are in the middle of it, engulfed by “the fog of war,” triggered and fed by details of our DNA that are in evolutionary terms a month or two older than our inventions of fire and wheel.

    Kay is right of course, I am an evil entity, and it behooves you to break out into thunderous laughter before you get caught in my trap or in your mind.

    I did not write the previous comment as a response to Andrea: I wrote the comment as a response to Tom’s initial post and I only mentioned something Andrea had said (I also commented on Tim’s post, if you recall). Andrea, however, took the bait. She did what others didn’t dare. Please do know, Andrea, that you have my utmost respect! It is not at all my intention to hurt you, but that will not stop me from saying things you or others may not like to hear. My beloved Kay blew my beloved cover: I will even say things I don’t agree with myself. It’s too much fun to play devil’s advocate, doubly so when juicy fruits can be gained from it.

    Even though I seem to be answering Andrea here, I continue to have Tom’s subject matter (MIA) in mind and this is NOT a dialogue between Andrea and me. I am talking to YOU. For Andrea it would be a healthy idea to detach herself a bit from taking my answer too personal, everybody else might benefit from feeling meant. Please do yourself a favor and put yourself in Andrea’s shoes. We have all been in her situation, and that includes me.

    Andrea (I’m not talking to you, Andrea, remember?) went off on a tangent, defending her life’s philosophy, but she didn’t really address the content of my comment as it pertained to Tom’s MIA. Something I said ATTACKED her core beliefs and she lost the objective, MIA, out of her sight.

    First off, it looks funny when you’re fighting for your life while trying to convince me that you believe in peace more than I do. Examples of “the fog of war?” Andrea insists on disagreeing with me without noticing that we are actually in agreement:

    Let’s take something harmless first. Andrea: “If we don’t know which action created the desired result, then we cannot duplicate it, learn from it, expand into it, can we?” According to Webster’s, a rhetorical question is ‘a question asked merely for effect with no answer expected’. Andrea did NOT expect anyone to answer her “question.” She meant it as a self-explanatory statement. No agreement necessary, and for sure a dumbass answer like mine was neither called for nor expected. AFTER going into defense mode, however, she was afraid that pretty much everything I say must be an attack or at least something negative. Calling a rhetorical question a rhetorical question is simply stating a fact, no evil ulterior motive behind it. Nevertheless, Andrea felt compelled to tell me that her rhetorical question was not a rhetorical question.

    Do I care who is right? Of course not. What did happen though, was that she had lost her “grounded stance,” and the very balance she finds so important. Any engagement in Massive Inspired Action is futile and completely screwed if you lose your focus, if other people’s behavior (mine) can distract your thoughts, unsettle your feelings, or disrupt your actions towards your aim.

    I couldn’t care less what you think how life works. Neither do I want to “teach” you the nonsense I believe in. As Kay said, I care about you discovering new answers for yourself (mine ain’t it and I’m glad you’ve figured that out instantly) instead of being caught up in your old ones or by undoing yourself messing with me. You are after fresh answers, YOURS I hope, and that’s why you are subscribed to Tom’s blog.

    Another agreement Andrea believes we disagree on: Andrea doesn’t like war and she believes I do. Hm, I wonder why I fought a lengthy lawsuit against the German government to become a conscientious objector, depriving myself of the opportunity to learn how to kill and die proudly for my country and for the legacy of my genocidal ancestors (it’s a rhetorical question, Andrea)? That, of course, you could not know. You could have known that I WARNED you of MIA (“You have been warned.”) and possible dangers–like becoming hooked on getting high, or did I not? Accusing me of promoting cocaine or anything equally addictive as a great thing and helpful for your business is slightly on the silly side.

    Do I promote Bill Gates’ business strategies and tactics? No. Do they work? Duh! Will I tell you what works if you ask? Yes–even more than Gates will ever reveal (if you cared to read my previous comment, without getting stuck in your morass of ethics). Does that mean I suggest you do the same as Billy boy? No. But I won’t bore you or patronize you by peddling “moraline.” Did I tell you that winning a presidential campaign should be a worthwhile goal for you to pursue? Nope. I said it’s rather insane to do so, but it is the most extreme example of MIA you can watch unfold right before your eyes day by day on your TV screen. Watching the 2008 campaign is a crash course in MIA, with three different approaches, for free. It’s not a good idea to just do away with it as stupid. You care for learning MIA? Read the Wall Street Journal, listen to NPR and, God forbid, listen to conservative talk radio. The “brief burst” of MIA–called “Blitzkrieg” in Egbert’s private dictionary, to rattle your cage a little more–to get momentum up to speed takes a lot longer if becoming president happens to be your objective.

    Again, if you have an objective–and Massive Inspired Action is superfluous to consider if you have none–DO NOT waste precious time and energy with other people’s real or (worse, as in this case) PERCEIVED disagreements! Tom said, “Massive Inspired Action is a process I developed where you engage a variety of fierce and creative actions to increase the probability of reaching an objective.” He also talks about a “project,” “your drive for success,” and of increasing “the probability of your success.”

    Now, if you don’t have an objective, projects, or any interest in some sort of success, you don’t need to increase the probability thereof. Not even making money is of interest to you? Then, what the hell? Grow your own celery and throw your car keys in the trash. Why do you bother reading my claptrap and responding to it? In that case you don’t need “fierce action.” You don’t need anything massive. All you really need is a nap and perhaps a warm cave when the OPM level gets too low.

    Andrea (please do recall, this is not about Andrea) has goals, even though she tells me how wrong I am to have goals! Not only is she telling me how ignorant of me it is to have goals (“Life is about the journey, not the destination.”) and how mundane (“like making money”), she also feels it appropriate to insult “the majority of people in this country.” I am not sure what she means with being “joyfully busy” while feeling such tremendous resentment (it’s not bitterness, is it?) toward the majority of people in this country (the United States of America, I assume, which is painful for a lot of people to publicly admit). Not enough, she believes you are pretty much dead if you don’t live as she thinks you should (“If we’re not applying ourselves to discover exactly how we are creating our lives, then we’re not living at all.”).

    Bad move!

    I don’t know Andrea–though I sincerely hope we get to know each other at some point in the future–but we do know a few of her goals, even though she claims not to have any. “Peace” might be one of Andrea’s goals. “Balance” another (“The energetic output of “doing” [] balanced by the energetic receptivity of “being.”). Reduction of “ego-based action” and an increase of living one’s “soul’s purpose.” Etc. It’s all beautiful stuff, and if I’m not too mistaken, she would love to share the exceptional spiritual gems she knows of and she is experiencing with the majority of the people of this country. Am I that wrong (rhetorical question)? Don’t think so.

    If that is true, and you have those or similar objectives for your immediate human environment and for humankind, I think you should consider Massive Inspired Action as a possible tool!

    See, I can offend people people all I want because peace is not my goal. You can’t! I love tension. If peace is what you want most and you tell the majority of people how stupid they are and how wrong, perhaps you are after something that I call “John Lennon Peace.” Kinda bigot, don’t ya think? Ask John’s son Julian how Mr. Lennon and Yoko Ono thought about “imagine no possessions,” “sharing all the world,” or “peace” in the family. “I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will live as one.” Really? What a coincidence! Adolf Hitler thought the same thing!

    I am not joking. There will be peace when everybody thinks the way I do, and the way I think is best for the world and for you? What? Oh, that would be bad and ego-based, causing unnecessary tension and war, but if the world joins you and thinks and feels and acts as you do–it’ll be called PEACE? John Lennon was a damned fascist if there ever was one (and there were, and there are, and I’m afraid there will be plenty of them in our future). God, I hope that’s not the peace you have in mind, Andrea. And if it is, don’t tell anyone because it’ll be hard for you to accomplish your goal that way, with or without MIA.

    Please note: if your goal is not popular–or you are not popular (and you won’t be if you tell the majority in any country that they are dead beets)–DO NOT permit anyone to discover your true objective, the way you really think, the way you feel–or any Massive Inspired Action will be met by a counter force large enough to suffocate your greatest efforts in their infancy.


    If you pursue an objective, via MIA or slow and gentle, anything you hate along the way will COST YOU DEARLY–unless you learn how to love to hate it. Fight it tooth and nails, and you will lose. It does not matter whether you are right or wrong. Oh, it does actually: when you are right about an issue, you are tempted to invest more energy into convincing the other side of your opinion. Can you see how dumb that might be, when you’re trying to get to the airport fast?

    Poor Andrea, we need to use more of her wealth of examples (Andrea, I love you! I am serious. Please don’t take this personally: You are doing us–and yourself–a huge favor by being so open and generous about the way you think and feel!).

    Say, an issue as heavy as war pops up, and it triggers you to get off like an IED and you forget about your objective altogether while jeopardizing your MIA mission. You don’t like war, I don’t like it. The average general (and most generals are anything but average)–at least the ones I have talked to or whose opinion I have dug up–hate war a thousand times more than you and I do. They have witnessed it first hand, smelled it and felt it!

    You MUST find a way to “integrate” it (no, I will not elaborate on that until you’ve paid me huge amounts of filthy lucre!), make peace with it. Peace with war? Damn right! If you don’t, it’ll haunt you. The I-hate-war demon–or any other kind that pisses you off and causes you to snap into a defensive mode at every street corner–will suck your energy resources dry. Since MIA requires you to unleash ALL energy you can possibly muster, and preferably at once, anything that feeds off the same resource must be considered an enemy.

    Exactly, even if you hate war, war is not your enemy: hating war is your enemy. Don’t try to love war instead. That’s what the army of positive stinkers try and regularly fail with. When you see there is a side of you ENJOYING how you hate war, you may continue hating war, but energetically it’ll be transformed into something else and useful and playful. Enjoying how to hate? Yes! Have you ever been in a heated discussion, a screaming match even, boiling and pissed off about someone who didn’t “get it,” but you secretly LOVED the intensity of your feeling, your engagement, the bristling sizzling NOW of that event? Don’t lie to me! Have you ever been crying, bitterly sobbing in grief or sadness, and reaching a point of awareness how comforting and miraculously wonderful that felt? Of course, you have, but usually we don’t talk about how cool it was to cry next to the open casket of uncle Eric, do we?

    In the same way, you can discover your enjoyment of hating war! Gandhi loved war also. No? Oh, being beaten to a pulp, fasting your body almost to death, and intentionally risking to be killed is not violent, I guess? Non-violent fight for independence is not war? When people die as a direct effect of your non-violence, it’s not violence? You don’t like killing? Don’t go to a hospital, then. Two-year old daughter of a friend of mine got leukemia, during chemotherapy her body was practically killed 8-times: that was almost ten years ago, and she is healthy, bright, and happy. Bad? Our peaceful non-action kills people in Darfur, North Korea and elsewhere every day. A good thing? Right, I forgot. Don’t remind me of the peaceful role of the U.N. in Rwanda!

    My life, my very existence depends on the ugliest war in human history so far: my parents would have never married had the U.S. not entered and ended WWII–saving the Germans from slaughtering each other and everybody else–because my father did not want to turn my mother into an early widow. They married in 1945. I am grateful to every American soldier who had to kill Germans and may have lost life or limbs himself for me to show up eventually. Want to talk about “cause and effect?” There you have it. Quite a perverted heritage to live with, don’t you agree?

    I don’t love war! I hate when people get hurt and killed! I am not happy my life was made possible by people butchering each other! But, I cannot disconnect my life and my love of and for life from the facts of war and all its doom and bloody gloom. Hell, to become a conscientious objector at age nineteen, I studied the history of war and I used strategies of war, as taught by Clausewitz, to get and stay OUT OF war.

    To engage successfully in MIA, you cannot afford to have major obstacles in your way! You’ll have to learn to turn them into something else, and I am confident you got the message.

    Last, but not least: You got God(s) you believe in? Unless you want to build a congregation–or your objective is to talk people out of the God business, like Richard Dawkins–don’t let anybody know what you think. If you do, it’ll hurt your MIA. Why? Simple: whatever you say, somebody (me, in this case) can easily dig up crap proving the opposite perspective.

    “Do you think divine thoughts can ever be likened to waging war? The ego wages war.” Yes, I do believe divine thoughts can be likened to waging war! The Judeo-Christian God–if that’s what you believe in–has committed genocide many times over (flood, Noah? Any faint memories of stories about God drowning the ENTIRE known world? Sodom and Gomorrah?) Yeah, but they were bad people and they deserved it. Yippee ki-yay, that’s the kind of peace I am talking about! No living breathing ego left to haggle with. Now I understand. Moses, drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea? An act of divine peaceful intervention.

    Jeremiah 14:14-16: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons, or their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.” Killing prophets and men, women, and children who happened to listen–or who didn’t listen and just picked their noses–is the divine thing to do, if you ask me.

    That’s divine nourishment we should all crave. I dunno where you buy your bibles, but in mine I also find numerous examples of God just getting so goddamn angry that he kills a guy just because he feels like it–not in an ego-based way, of course–even when that person is busy doing something positive FOR God: “When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.” (Chronicles 13:9-10) Nice! It was probably a peaceful death.

    You want to peddle God and divine stuff? You better be ready, willing, and able to sell and defend genocide, mass murder, and lynch “justice” as something wonderful and important to make us the civilized bunch we pretend to be. If murder don’t look too good on your God’s resume: don’t talk about it.

    Just act massively and look inspired!

    ta ta

    P.S.: Ego-Guarantee: I promise every single word I write and its meaning is purely ego-based. The sheer length of it should convince you of this eternal truth!


  20. I like the idea of taking massive inspired action, but I believe that most people don’t do this because it scares them. It’s almost too much to handle. I really do prefer dipping my toe in the water and seeing how it feels then getting in up to my knee. If it’s not quite my temperature or there is some slimy stuff at the bottom I can get out. I know most great businesses aren’t built this way, but it’s what feels good to me.

  21. Kay the aliveness of simultaneously feeling both risk and inspiration is a beautiful observation. I’ve also felt that vibrancy and it may also be one of my motivations for engaging in massive inspired action.

    Clem yes results do come out of the blue and the surprise of it is extremely delightful. Would they come without massive inspired action? Perhaps they would but in my experience the likelihood is greater with MIA.

    Suzanne I enjoyed reading about your feelings of being swept away with your higher self at the wheel. I especially identified with being deliciously spent and exhilarated.

    Karl stepping slowly into the water is a strategy that works and it may even suit your personality more to do so. Yet I’m betting that one day you will jump into massive inspired action when of course you are massively inspired. One thing about MIA if the waters cold you don’t even feel it. In full inspired frenzy the thoughts of going back just do not come up.

  22. Andrea and Egbert, wow guys, I appreciate your spirit and your convictions.

    I love and respect you both and I know that you’ll come to appreciate one another.

    Black and white this discussion isn’t. It’s a juicy grey that I intend to come back to and comment further. Thank you both for being the strong individuals that you are.

  23. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul says:

    Thank you, Tom! I always value the authentic exchange of our unique ideas and perspectives!


  24. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul says:

    Well, Edgar, I am actually quite disappointed to know that you just play devil’s advocate and write things you don’t even agree with. I usually love discussing these types of topics with people who come from a different perspective! But if you’re just saying things for shock value or to get “a reaction,” that kind of takes the fun out of it for me …

    Oh, well …


  25. Egbert Sukop says:


    I actually thought about proposing marriage to you, Andrea, but since you’re already having so much trouble reading my name–not to mention the unmentionable things I think and talk about–I changed my mind.

    Of course, I apologize for everything I’ve said. Nothing of it is true, as you have figured out so brilliantly.

    The real truth about Massive Inspired Action is: do a lot on a Sunday afternoon, when you otherwise would just take a nap, and you’ll have better results than from the nap alone.

    Trust me. It truly works! Oh no, ouch! Please don’t ever trust me, ’cause nothing is more threatening to decent human beings–I’m not one of them, obviously–than the imminent danger something might work.

    Good Luck & I love you too!

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