One of the writers’ groups I’m in offered a challenge to blog articles about topics in order of the alphabet. I had some trouble getting started so I didn’t participate. I had convinced myself I had lots of other things going on and that I didn’t have time.
While there is only so much time in the day, and we do have to prioritize, I realized I let my blog writing slip. My blog IS a priority for me. Uh-oh. Now I have to prioritize my priorities?! I have several irons in the fire that have all played a role in boosting the joy in my life. I need to be better about allowing them a more balanced percentage of my attention.
The blog challenge I didn’t have time for was structured “A is for ___. B is for ___,” etc. I am morphing that structure into the Joy of A, B, C, etc. So, today’s blog is “The Joy of Action,” appropriately named at the start of this series since the only way to get it going is to take action.
I do a lot of planning, organizing, idea-collecting and even intending. A lot of the time my intentions do transform into action. I believe that our thoughts become things. However, I also believe that in order for “things” to happen we need to take actual steps in that direction. Otherwise, those “things” are merely wishes.
I have noticed that I have been squirmy, uneasy and at times irritated that I have not found time to write. The reality of this situation is that I have not made time to write. There has always been a compulsion in me to write. It’s hard to explain other than to refer back to similar feelings shared by other writers. It’s just part of being a writer. We need to write. But the only way to write that book is to write it!
I feel this compulsion with the other areas in my life as well. I believe that most people feel a compulsion to engage in their passions. My issue may be that I don’t define myself by any one profession, interest, or job. Just like many people I am a whole person made up of multiple parts. I am a psychologist, educator, writer, yogi, essential oils lover, wife, mother, daughter, caretaker of the earth, friend, and cultivator of joy. Among other things.
In each of these areas I have taken action and moved forward toward my goal. It is likely that this compilation of identities means that I’m still trying to figure out who I am at my core. Midlife crisis? Perhaps. Shared human experience? Definitely.
The challenge for me becomes pausing on one goal or dream in order to advance on another. Perhaps I’m too scattered. I doubt it. I’ve always been an achiever. Even an over-achiever at times. When I set my mind to something I accomplish it. Eventually. Many paths in my life have been direct routes from the decision to begin, completion of a set course of action such as college or grad school, and graduation or simply the end. Other paths are less direct and more of an adventure. These are the paths that are outside my earlier comfort zones. I’m getting better at going with the flow. My comfort zones are expanding, but only because of the actions I have taken to move in that direction.
Fear. That’s what causes my pauses. Fear of failure, the unknowns, the lack of control over my outcomes. Fear is what got in the way of me starting that blog challenge. I didn’t know for sure if I would finish it within the guidelines. However, one thing is for certain. If I don’t take action to begin this journey I will never complete it.
Taking action is the only way we can make our dreams a reality. No one is going to do it for us. We are in control of our actions. While we may not be in control of the outcome, we do control our behavior to commit to the goal, which begins with taking action. Refraining from action only guarantees one thing; that we will not achieve that goal.
By taking action we confront fear head-on. No excuses. I now know that every time I pause in the middle of a journey I just need to ask myself what I’m afraid of. Name it. Slay it. Keep moving forward. We have goals and dreams for a reason. Those experiences, adventures, realities, life changes and risks bring us joy, happiness and sense of fulfilling our life’s purpose.
With every goal met and dream realized we open the door to the next one. Those are the steps along the path to a gratifying and enjoyable life. I look forward to finding the next adventure that awaits me. How about you?
Slay the fear. Take the action. Spread the joy.