Ep #4: Focus on Deliberate Actions and Constant Improvement Instead of Infinite Planning and Thinking
The idea is to start where you are, do what you can and use what you have! We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives. These goals may include travelling, starting a business, eating healthier and losing weight, becoming a better parent, saving more money, and so on.
But if we are not able to practice intentional actions, then our goals will only remain goals and never manifested.
It can be easy to believe that the difference between your present and your future (where you want to be) is due to a lack of an external resources (like money, knowledge, opportunity, or education). While I’m not saying that these resources won’t aid accomplishing your goals, I am saying that we have allowed these items to become tools in our procrastination and manifestation of fear because we believe that “if we only had “X” we would be able to achieve our goals”.
Listen, we are all guilty of this – even I am. Just the other day, one of my Marketing Managers asked me when I would be done with my new podcast episodes and my response was: “man, I wish I had better tools to record and I also need an intro jingle and an outro. And all these things just made me feel like recording was not as effective as it could be, so why do it?
Now, while this may have truly been the case – I realized later that week (after much reflecting) that I was simply making excuses. I was letting my habit of procrastination dictate the actions I took intentionally
We all get bogged down with the minutia of the day to day and we all have fears. But I’ve realized is that starting trumps excessive wanting “to-do”. New knowledge or new resources won’t necessarily drive the results you are waiting for – it comes down to practicing intentional habits and doing. We can plan all we want but there is a big difference between action and inaction.
In the book, The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner, he notes that “When we practice something, we are involved in the deliberate repetition of a process with the intention of reaching a specific goal. The words deliberate and intention are key here because they define the difference between actively practicing something and passively learning it.”
Here’s the truth to it!
- Learning Can Be a Crutch That Supports Inaction
In many cases, learning is actually a way to avoid taking action on the goals and interests that we say are important to us. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight, reading books and online materials on the best way to lose weight, may actually be a hindrance to your actual weight loss. Instead of reading and watching – why not start implementing small habits into your daily routine? By seeking out the resources, it allows us to feel as if we’re actually working towards our dreams/goals when we really aren’t. We’re just stuck!
- Practice Is Learning, But Learning Is Not Practice
Constant learning or seeking out knowledge is not physically do it. While it’s easy to think that because we are getting the information, or seeking out the information we are actually achieving our goals, while knowledge is important, it is the act of doing that allows us to get one step closer to our goals.
Even more important to not is that actions (however small) are the only meaningful way to achieve the end goal. Yes, if you’re planning to start a business, you can take a course, do research, gather information or read book, but until you actually launch your business will you truly experience learning.
- Practice Focuses Your Energy on the Process
Our lives are a sum total of our habits and beliefs that we practice each day. When you realize this and begin to direct your focus toward practicing better habits day-in and day-out, continual progress will be the logical outcome. It is not the things we learn nor the dreams we envision that determines our results, but rather that habits that we practice each day. Focus your energy on the process, not the product.
Food for Thought: Spend less time seeking out the resources and more time actively practicing based on the goals we’ve set out to accomplish. Stop thinking and start doing.