Things are normally so busy and crazy in our lives. Work all day, run errands, pick up the kids, take them to after school practice, head home to make dinner, do homework, do some late evening work, get mad at the news, them more random stuff… 

Along the way getting through our day we make so many small decisions, talk with a lot of different people, interact with the world in such a hurried state. How many times have you gotten an email reply from someone who, you just knew, didn’t read the whole thing? You asked 2-3 questions and they just answered the first one. You KNOW they read it on their phone and couldn’t slow down long enough to actually reply thoughtfully.

Maybe you’re like me a lot of the time, you’re with someone but not really there. They’re talking to you, but you’re thinking about 100x other things… never to actually remember what the two of you discussed?

Not good…

Let us not be confused
With kaleidoscopic reality.
Using wisdom and courage to act,
Let us not add to the confusion.

Taoist Poem

I’ve often found myself becoming a victim to my day. Being the object and not the subject of my own story. Getting caught up in all the crap I have to do, blaming things externally “happening” to me. Like, i’m just a leaf floating down the river and it’s up to the river if things are slow or fast, smooth or rough.

Learning to act in the “right” way; the way that keeps us moving forward with positive momentum, is really freaking tough. Keeping centered and continuing to make progress on our goals and personal achievements can seem downright impossible. Being present with those we love and actually listening while still keeping your life on schedule…

Can it all happen at the same time?

No it can’t.

But, that’s okay.

It’s enough to make you just want to hide out and do nothing. To shut down.

Sometimes you get the “just get off your butt” speech or see those inspirational meme posts all over your feed that make life seem like it’s so easy and you should already be halfway done with whatever you’re working on. Well, “F’ that… #amirite?

We do have to take action to make things happen… things won’t magically figure itself out… that said, though, we have to do it in the right way.

Have you ever talked to someone who has been consistently personally successful in their life? Someone who has worked hard for what they have and have been able to keep it? The secret here is likely that they did act, and chances are good that they were deliberate in what they did to achieve their success.

This means they had a plan. It doesn’t have to be a Navy Seal quality plan. But a basic one. You need to think it through, just a little before you execute. I’ve always been big on ‘winging it’ – you know, making it up as I go along. Han Solo style. Thing is that shit works only 50% of the time, at best. 

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai

Don’t over-plan stuff though. You can create “Analysis Paralysis” for yourself. Just a rough outline will help. Like think about losing weight. I’m sure that’s one of those things on your to-do list of life. It’s on mine. Now if you get up in the morning and go from meal to meal with no plan, like you literally don’t know where you’re going to eat lunch or where your dinner will come from. Chances are good that one of those 3 meals in your day will come from a fast-food place. Not good… If you simply think about where your meals are going to happen, you can plan for it and make good choices BEFORE you are forced to make one because you’re hungry or running late in your day. You might even find you can get a few days ahead and prepare some meals you can take with you that are super healthy. It wouldn’t take much, just that little bit of planning will cut out 3-4 bad meals in your week and before you know it, it all adds up to a net-positive addition of 3-4 planned out healthy meals. No over-thinking, just some simple, low-stress planning.

Here’s a secret; When you act, the action must be a singular concept and be easy to understand. If whatever you are about to do is too complex to be a single act then you may be trying to work on too much at one time. Try breaking things down into a load you can carry, then you can tick off one win at a time. Big accomplishments in life are usually made up of many small victories strung together.

We cannot leave anything behind like bad outcomes or lingering traces of our actions such as: unhappiness, destruction, resentment or general sloppiness. If this is the case then your initiative was poorly approached. It was insufficient.

From the Hagakure a Samurai/Bushido text

I think you’d be surprised at how taking control of one small thing will lead to a larger wave of momentum. I know it’s easier said than done. You have to start somewhere, do something small, today, now. Get after it.