Dreams, Decisions & Decisive Action: Living the Life You Desire
Like a DVD, Life is meant to be lived in the Play mode.
What keeps you stuck in an unsatisfying status quo? What enables you to make a move? How is it we can be in one place, one frame of mind, for so long and then one day, one momentous day, something shifts and we clearly see what has been there unnoticed, unrealized? What is the alchemy of such a dawning? That crystalline moment when we decide, take action and have no regrets! One realization can change everything.
What does it mean when you say you want something, and yet do nothing to bring it about? Some people seem able to grasp the rousing wisdom of Henry David Thoreau as captured in this marvelous quote:
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”
Why is it that some people remain stuck in the past, are basically unhappy in the present, or are bound by fears or daydreams, imagining the future in idle? Life is like a DVD: it definitely works best when you have it in Play mode. Rewind is a blur, and represents the past. Fast forward doesn't have sound and you miss the dialogue, lose the context. Only in Play are we benefitting fully and experiencing life at its best.
Change: Inspiration or Desperation?
So few individuals realize that any action begins in the present, right where we find our feet. That from the stillness of routine we must stir, and begin our journey with that proverbial first step. While others merely wait, maybe talk, possibly wonder, but do not initiate anything.
Jim Rohn adds light to this question by observing, “We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.” How often I have witnessed this; and experienced it.
Napoleon Hill similarly observes and urges us with this, “Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
Whether prompted by inspiration or desperation, love or fear, there seems to be a tipping point which some reach, recognize and respond to, while others do not. Some put it in this way: we make a change when the fear of remaining where we are is more frightening than the fear of changing.
Hope or Despair; Momentum or Paralysis?
For those of us who have intentionally passed through the turbulent waters of fear more than once, we realize that fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin, and it is true that fullness of life exists beyond our comfort zone. Sometimes it is our body, sometimes our mind, sometimes our spirit or our soul that sounds the clarion call, gives us the decisive prompt, is the deciding impetus.
There also seems to be a fine line between momentum and paralysis. Despair is the feeling that things will never change; the belief that we are forever stuck where we are. This is a paralyzing feeling and we can die in that place. Hope is the belief that things will not always be this way, that change is possible and that we do not have to remain stuck where we are forever.
Another realization that can engender movement relates to the passage of time. We may view a goal or the realization of a dream as being so daunting that we cannot attain it. It is too big and will take us too long to accomplish it. Once we realize that whether we are working toward it or not, the time will pass either way, it can be easier to take that first step on the thousand mile journey. As it has been observed, there are seven days in a week, and “someday” is not one of them.
So, what are the concerns, the fears, the self-limiting objections that keep you from moving forward today? What do you need to launch yourself on that first wave? Grab that opportunity before you? You know what you need to do, you know what you really want, and yet you resist, make excuses, lack belief in yourself. Fear, denial, ridicule and limiting beliefs can keep us stuck. Not knowing what we want, not believing we can change, can also hold us back and down and missing out.
Either way, you are right.
We have so many ways of kidding ourselves into thinking we are progressing, when we are not. I once heard a speaker say, “Don’t kid yourself into thinking you are doing the work; kick yourself and do the work.” While not supportive of kicking oneself, it certainly works as a metaphor for self-motivation, which ultimately is the only kind that is effective or sustainable.
If you are unhappy, or feeling stuck, and want to change that, it seems to come down to having a dream of your own, making the decision that you want to change your situation, and then coming up with a plan and taking decisive action. As Bob Proctor says, “Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.”
Remember that all important truth which can sustain you. Determine your heart's desire, dig deep to determine just how badly you want it, and then heed the words of Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” Dream, believe and achieve. You can do it.
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