Action. It isn't hard to do....right? I mean we act ALL the time. Right now I am actively typing this blog post. Maybe you are actively reading it. These are undoubtedly actions. But are they definitive actions?
This is where I must stop for a brief moment and define two terms. Action, as in, the state of doing, is related to, but fundamentally separate from what I will call big action. Big action involves anything a person does that fundamentally changes their life path. These are the decisions that move us from one life (literally) to a new life. Let me make one distinction. A big action is ALWAYS in our control. Thus, big actions do not include acts that disrupt and move our old life into a new one against our will. A person who chooses to cross a street and then gets hit by a car is not acting the big act. Their life was disrupted and replaced by a new one, yes. But their act to cross the street is still just an act. Unless they chose to get hit by the car when they crossed the street, their act could never be a big act.
So big acts have two, necessary elements:
1. They are chosen by the actor.
2. They create new life.
I think big action is one of the hardest things any of us can do. Why is that? As I have thought this over, I came up with the three most debilitating elements to big action:
1. getting too comfortable
These three things cause in-big-action. The consequences that come from it are numerous. In-big-action keep us all from reaching our full potentials. It forces us to be coasters instead of actors/doers/choosers in our own lives. It causes unhappiness, discontent, and anxiety. And why wouldn't it? It's not like all of us don't think about actually doing the big act. We do. A LOT! Which feeds the fire of inactivity even more. I think most of us are able to dream up grand things for ourselves. When we were children we thought we could be prima ballerinas and pro-football players and astronauts. We pretty much thought we could rule the world. What happened? I believe most of us adults still think we can achieve those elusive dreams, though we may be more practical about. Maybe I can't be a prima ballerina, but maybe I will be able to own my own dance studio. Things like that. We adapt our dreams because we recognize our ability levels. And that's okay.
What is NOT okay is constantly fearing the big-actions. It is getting too comfortable in that house you've lived in all your life, surrounded by people you've know forever. It is settling for less because we're afraid we could never get more. It is always thinking and thinking, until it makes us forget the value of acting. It is never taking chances.
How does one break free from inaction? How do we get rid of fear, laziness, of the comfortable? I have yet to answer this question in my own life. But I do have the words of those who have big-acted before me, and I take comfort in the simplicity of their words.
To begin, begin. Peter Nivio Zarlenga
If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don't do it, and it won't happen. Joe Dimaggio
You must act as you breathe. Georges Clemenceau
I agree the most with Goethe...
Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
And to conclude with the famous slogan of those shoe-making geniuses....
Just Do It. Nike