“We cannot cross the sea merely by staring at the water.”
- Rabindranath Tagore
ACTION. What do you need to accomplish today? Is something holding you back from living fully? What step can you take right now to bring you closer to your life vision?
Many of us live in our heads. We create stories of what we will do and re-live the emotions of what we’ve done – for good or bad. This prevents us from being fully Present in the moment. Sometimes we get stuck either due to routine or simply thinking too much. Analysis-paralysis sets in leading to procrastination. Procrastination can also come from lack of direction or fear. For example, one of my entrepreneur-clients a few years ago was laboring over launching her website. She had already spent many months working on every detail but kept on delaying the actual debut. As she was deliberating, the content was getting old and the technology was changing. Nevertheless, she wanted everything to be “just right.” She was living in her head. She finally launched the website and is now enjoying the freedom of her virtual presence. She is also receiving direct feedback from her customers which has helped her evolve her site to be of real service.
Whenever I’m stalled in taking action, my mom says, “Honey, time just goes by.” What she means is that time will go by whether you do something or not, so you might as well move forward. Ironically, my yoga practice has made me more action-oriented. It has given me the ability to balance my thirst for knowledge with the discipline of mindful action. At a certain point, you must move from the intellectual realm (“I know what to do”) to the experiential realm (“I am actually doing it”). In yoga, the study of philosophical texts is important. However, you must practice to receive the full benefit. It’s one thing to read about the virtues of breathing and meditation; it’s quite another thing to experience the sense of calm and clarity from exhaling deeply and focusing the mind. This same principle applies to all areas of your life. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, reading a diet book is not going to miraculously help you shed pounds. You have to actually eat better and move more. Similarly, if you want to become known as an expert in a particular field, thinking about it won’t make it happen. You need to start writing articles, speaking at events, etc.
When asked to describe significant regrets in their lives, most people focus on actions they did not take rather than actions they did. Tomorrow is not promised. However, don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of never living. Life will pass you by if you wait until conditions are “perfect” in order to realize your divine destiny. Think of each inspired thought as a gift from God. Honor it with immediate action. Otherwise, the urgency will diminish and you will lose the initial enthusiasm. Action is the food that will nourish your success. We often look for big actions and big results. Instead, take small steps which will systematically move you closer to your destination, and increase your confidence. Once you start, unforeseen circumstances will help propel you forward. If you make a mistake, you will learn and grow in the process. We are meant to evolve.
Begin where you are, with whatever you have. Be mindful and specific in your actions. Participate fully in life. Live each day purposely with joy and passion. As long as the action synchs with your core values, then go for it. The key is to do something. The first step will inform the rest and if you’re listening, you will be guided along the right path. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Today, I take action.
I begin in order to win. When an inspiration comes to me, I honor it with action. Instead of “trying,” I do. I recognize that good thoughts are no good unless they are executed.
I develop a sense of urgency in my life. I do not put things off until tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. My life is waiting; I just have to go out and get it. Once I make a move, the Universe will back me up.
Today, I take action.
Listen to the Affirmation:
Copyright Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy. Power Living® Column Vol. 15.03, originally published Week of July 27, 2003; revised May 2008. Teresa Kennedy has written over 70 “The Power of…” columns that are a part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series and available for syndication. Call 212-901-6913 for more information.
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