I’ve come to loathe inspirational quotes. How many times have you read one and felt empowered? You get this rush of adrenaline. You are convinced you are going to change your life forever. You tell yourself, you will run 5 miles every day; eat kale until your shit turns green all while mediating. Then inevitably the next day you’re running shoes are still in the box, you ate at McDonalds for lunch and you’ve decided instead of a morning mediation routine you’re going to masturbate.
We like inspirational quotes because they make us feel good. We get the satisfaction of doing what it is the quote is inspiring us to do without actually having to do anything. Sounds pretty sweet, right? What gets lost is the action part. Speaking for myself, a quote, no matter how profound or insightful has never spurred me to action. I’ve flooded my email, twitter and instagram feeds with all the motivational quotes I could find, but nothing was going to actually change unless decided to take that first step towards doing something.
I know how hard it is to actually take action. You can always think of a hundred excuses of why you can wait and do it tomorrow. Whatever “it” happens to be. Oprah often times asks her guests what is the one thing you know for sure. If she asks me that today I’d say, “Doing something, anything, is better than doing nothing, because at least if you take action and it doesn’t work out, you’ve learned something.” You’ve actually put yourself one step closer to success then you were before.
This past summer I kept telling myself I was going to start getting up early and establish a morning routine, but every day for 3 straight months I was able to successfully self sabotage my aforementioned goal. I knew how your mornings are what determine how the rest of your day was going to be? I hated the fact that noon would roll around and I had accomplished squat. Needless to say I ended my day feeling exhausted, unfulfilled and unaccomplished.
I don’t know why, but 3 weeks ago I got tired of making excuses of why I could not set the alarm for 6am. So I did, I set my alarm for 6am and have done it ever since. How long it will last is tbd. The biggest change I’ve made to my daily routine is when I first wake up in the morning I mediate. Yes I mediate; I find masturbating first thing in the morning upsets my stomach. I then write down on a piece of paper what are the 3 things I can do today that will move me closer to where I want to go. These don’t have to be big, earth shattering, needle moving actions.
The point is to do something. I know I said I hate motivational quotes, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Now has this revolutionized my life? No, but I’m one step closer to become a better version of myself. You take a few small actions and a funny thing happens. Really growth occurs in areas of your life where it wasn’t before.
My meditation practice has allowed me to interrupt my thought processes when I notice I’m stalling or not taking action. The fear of failure for me is so prevalent that it became almost automatic for me that whenever I felt the slightest bit of discomfort or friction I’d freeze, because in my mind not doing anything was better than failing. Which is such horse shit.
To be honest with you it really did not matter what the action was. I’d be standing in the bread aisle trying to decide which is the, now imagine I’m doing air quotes as you read this “the best” type of bread to buy. My OCD convinced me that I need more information before buying bread so it was better to just table that decision for later. Later!! Are you fucking kidding? I’m pretty sure we have decided to invade entire countries on less information then I had on that bread. You can’t make this shit up.
Now I recognize when I’m starting the conversation of rationalizing why not to do something. I’m able to stop myself, watch the thought and say to myself, “hey asshole you’re doing it again, you know coming up with some bullshit reason to not do something.” At that moment I choose to take action. I chose to do something. This scenario plays itself out over and over for me on a daily basis. It is why several weeks passed in between my blog entries. I did not feel I had anything to write about, or at least write about well.
But you know what?
That was just an excuse to put off doing something. No matter how shitty a post and this maybe one of them. I need to sit down and write. I will probably throw up a few stink bombs, but eventually I will write something pretty sweet that makes a real difference for me or someone else, but if I don’t try I will never know. Plus it is in the shitty post I learn something about myself and about this processes of writing a blog. So here I am, writing. I hope it is not a piece of shit. If so I apologize and thanks for reading.