28 April 2010, by A. Cedilla
It’s a sad truth that we generally spend more time spinning day-dreams than laying-out the steps to make these dreams come true, and even less time actually taking these steps.
Admittedly, dreaming cost us nothing. You can day-dream about whatever you want, wherever and whenever you want.
Acting on your dreams, on the other hand, can cost you a lot. That’s why it’s can be so uncomfortable and nerve-wracking to take action, because it involves risks, consequences and the possibility of failure. Emphasis on consequences. (And the possibility of failure.)
Actions lead to consequences. You want a particular consequence, you have to commit to the particular set of actions needed to get that particular consequence.
Again: If you want a consequence, you commit to doing the particular set of actions that lead to it. Doing. Not just planning, not dreaming, not measuring, DOING.
If you prefer to avoid making the hard choice to act, you endure the consequences of that non-decision as well.
And sometimes, more often than not, someone or something else important to you suffers too.
There’s a time and place for everything in life, but don’t ever lose sight of the reality that life is meant to be lived out for real, not just for pretend or vicariously getting your jollies from accounts of other people’s lives.
You’re worth better than a second-hand life, and you can certainly do better than settling for one. One step you can take towards owning your own life is to change the formula below from > to < :
It’s in action that we make a difference. Not in feelings, or emotions, or planning, ACTION.
For example, look at something as ordinary as taking out the garbage.
Yeah, it stinks, and you took it out the last time, but if you wait around for someone to do it for you without being told, you could be looking at a long wait. Let go of the frustrations and feelings of injustice, do what’s needed, and take out the garbage.
After you deal with it, go and talk with the rest of the household about chores and responsibilities. Letting things pile up and fester because you’re pouting doesn’t you get anything but a smelly kitchen.
There are other scenarios, just as ordinary, which demonstrate this principle:
- You’re exhausted down to the marrow, the bills are piling up, and you just feel all hollowed out after a good crying jag in the kitchen while the children sleep, but you will get up and make breakfast in a few hours, and see them off to school because you will be damned if you let your kids worry about money, or see you break.
- You get up at an ungodly hour for your morning run before coming in early, before practice, to get more time in before the team comes, because you love the game, and you want to be the best you can be at it.
- You keep teaching, despite the unbelievable goofs and gaffes of your Intro students (“Seriously, how did they graduate? How?”) because of that chance to teach that one student who gets it, who sees the spark that makes your subject come alive. To somehow make a difference in even just one life with what you have to share.
Despite the frustration, the sacrifices and the pain, you commit to a goal and value it more than you allow the discomfort to affect you, so you do what it takes to meet that goal.
Another helpful principle to live by is that your actions build up over time. It also follows that build-up leads to results.
- Ignoring exercise over time leads to sub-par health, especially in your older years. Use it or lose it.
- Ignoring the daily care a relationship needs leads to an impaired, weakened connection between the two people in it. Make it or break it.
- Ignoring the little expenses leads to money issues down the road. Mind it or lose it.
You want something enough, you have to do what it takes to get it and take care of it. Dreaming’s free, but the reality of achieving your goals is priceless. You just have to take action.
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