You Have to Just Do It

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Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands resistance. -Steven Pressfield

You have to just do it, or it will never be done.

We spend a lot of time just thinking of what will be when we get to where we’re going.  And so we often lose track of the route completely.  We also try to think ourselves into taking action, into doing something, into making change and into becoming somebody.  But sometimes it’s difficult to convince ourselves that those things are possible, so we don’t take any action.  We rely on motivation and inspiration, but these things are fleeting.  Amazing when present, no doubt, but they are not easily sustained in most of us.  Not always, anyway.

We may believe that we can do anything, if we believe in ourselves.  But how in the hell do we come to believe in ourselves.  How do you create that if you just simply don’t have it at the time?

Well what if it were the other way around.  What if action were the precursor to thinking.  What if we could cultivate the ability to just leap, and then will the pieces into place.  Or what if acting and doing were the only things that could convince us we’re able to accomplish something? Would we finally give up this game of ball-dribbling in the mind and get used to just grabbing the ball and throwing it the damn basket?

I write this for myself more than anything.   It’s easy to spend too much time envisioning what everything will look like when I reach a certain goal, but sometimes fail to achieve that reality because the time spent day-dreaming has taken away from the time spent doing, and so things that were supposed to be off my plate by now continue to thicken, simmering on the back-burner.

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Ultimately, we can talk about how capable we are and how easy something will be all we want, but until that thing is done, it is still an obstacle.  It still stands in our way and it can even taint the other things that are going well if we let it.  The things that truly define us and our achievements are the things that we are able to do on a consistent basis, day-in and day-out, habitually.  You are what you spend most of your time doing.  So in the end, you must do what you can and what is important to you rather than simply think of doing it, say, sometime.

The truth is there is no secret formula to get you to where you want to go.  The only tried and trued method of progress is to simply do what you have to do.  Sure, there are strategies and ‘hacks’ we can employ, but these simply increase the likelihood of success, not guarantee it.  However, if we allow action to guide the way, and rely more on consistency of habit than motivation, we just might find that the process is the reward, and the outcome is far less important than we had previously made it out to be.  In contrast, he who reaches his destination more on luck than on merit will ultimately find the outcome to be rather unfulfilling.  In this way, rich people are often the people that ‘want’ the most, with the reward of the outcome lasting no longer than the ongoing, ever-giving reward of the process.  But only if one chooses to take that perspective.

Eventually, we must stop looking in the other direction and face our challenges directly.  It is only getting-going that is the hard part.  Once underway, we sometimes even observe that we greatly enjoy the tough labor that is a love for anything.  And it is a compounding resource – work, saving, creativity, exercise, practicing, or whatever it is that we’re spending our time and energy on – as once we have observed the rewards of simply doing our mind catches up and understands what we’re capable of, which then fuels the strength to take on the next challenge instead of getting comfortable in the proverbial brain-hammock of fantasizing of what will be ‘someday’.  In this way, we can cultivate a belief in ourselves that will allow us to continue to do what we have to do.  Consistently.

You have to just do it, or it will never be done.

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