Have you thought about why taking action is important? I think about it a lot, I’m often thinking about how to take action or evaluating why I’m taking actions towards goals.
“Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability. ”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
This quote reminds us that our hope shouldn’t be confused with something we want to happen but should be based on how we make it happen.
Why taking action is important
If you read this blog then you see a trend around getting the most of life and figuring out what we want and how to get there.
Often, we think to ourselves “I wish I was this”, “I wish I had that”, “I wish I were more like”. If we just wish for things and do nothing. When something challenging is in the way, and we apply this wishful thinking, it’s not going to happen.
We can let ourselves be like that, it’s easy to do, all we have to do is nothing. Yet, people living this way don’t get much of what they want, do they? You’ve probably known some people with this attitude or like myself, had this kind of attitude.
Those who have a purpose in mind, they know how to take action and why taking action is important. They are willing to work around, over, under, or through any obstacle in their way.
The paradox of action is that not taking action is an action. By not taking action you’re leaving control of your circumstances and direction to factors of your environment.
It’ll lead you in directions you may not want to go. Then you have to deal with the consequences.
The reason why taking action is important is that it gives you as much control as you can over the direction you want to go, the outcomes you want to see.
How to take action
This is one of the life lessons I should have paid attention to when I was younger. I didn’t know why taking action is important and how it takes a certain motivation to keep you going. The motivation comes from having an idea of what you want to do or the direction you want to go.
I didn’t know how to take action so I spent a lot of time not really doing anything. Maybe this is something we see with age.
Eventually, I found what direction I wanted and had a roadmap on how to take action and make this a reality. I found what I had to do to get into Pharmacy School and I completed all the necessary steps that could get me to an interview.
I was invited to interview at every school I applied to, I was excited, I was seeing the results of my action and things were going well.
That changed when I failed out of Pharmacy School after my first year.
Sometimes it takes a good boot to the head to figure things out. For others, it’s part of them from an early age. The result, either way, is the same. Some people make things happen, while others wonder what happened.
The people with a purpose are the ones who know what they are doing, and why they are doing it. With both, you have direction and a driving force. Without both, you’re not really going to have a purpose, are you? And without a purpose, what are you likely to accomplish in your life?
Taking actions towards goals
Action starts with an idea.
It is an approach to determining what you want to get done and why you want to do it, and that applies to every aspect of your life.
Let’s think of an idea as a direction of travel. If you don’t know where you’re going then you’ll just walk or drive around aimlessly. Wasting time, resources, and energy without purpose, what do we accomplish? We might stumble upon something now and then, but we have a lot of empty time.
If you have an idea or direction at least you have a chance of getting something done. How much you do will depend on your motivation and discipline to keep going, this is the “why this idea?” or direction.
What specific plans (goals or personal vision) you make will be dependant on exactly what you want to get done.
It could be anything you want it to be. It can be work-related, we know plenty of people who work for money so they can support the things they want to do in their lives.
You may be employed doing one thing and that shouldn’t limit us from exploring other things. We see this in others who look for a purpose in life, yet their passion is something completely different.
It would be great if we were paid for what we really like to do, what you call your purpose, but it doesn’t always work that way, right? This is why taking action is important, we shouldn’t let failure hold us back?
The point is we all have something. Most of us have several somethings. The question is what are you doing about it (or them)?
Take a moment and consider what actions you’re taking and why you’re taking them. Make a list of the top four or five time-consuming activities and make notes of what they are and why you do them.
After a few items, you’re probably seeing a trend. Mine was centered around work and home life. All work and no other outlets for growth. I had all this time available and I wasn’t using it wisely.
Another thing to consider is your “why”. How important is your reason why you do the things you do? If it’s not very compelling, you’re slipping away from working towards what you want, to wishing or hoping to get what you want. You start losing time and time is something we can never get back.
That’s probably not where you want to be. I know it wasn’t where I wanted to be after my first year of Pharmacy School.
So where does that leave us? Life throws responsibilities at us and we get through the monotony of the day while we think of things we would rather be doing. I’m not saying to throw away or neglect your responsibilities.
I’m saying we should think about what’s important to us and why and if what’s important to us isn’t on the list of things we are working towards then we should make time for it.
Explore what’s best for you and what you want from your life. What’s right for me may not be right for you.
It’s hard to know what you want out of life, if it was easy then everyone would be doing this. Yet, don’t expect to know what you want after a few minutes of thinking about it.
It’s going to be hard when you start taking action and even harder to know how to take action.
It’ll take time to really get to know what you want and you might experiment with things and realize it’s not what you wanted. Nothing has to be perfect. It’s trial and error but you’ll pick up skills and knowledge along the way that could be helpful or fun.
Now you have your assignment. Are you going to do create movement and take action or are you just going to wish something would happen? It’s up to you.
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