Taking action: From analysis paralysis to beast-mode execution

Taking action is the decision between you and the future self you aspire to be. I’ve mentioned how much of a fan I am of Atomic Habits, the revolutionary book by James Clear, in a previous post. I honestly can’t sing enough praises for this book because the conversation surrounding habits has been so helpful to me in establishing new habits and adjusting ones that no longer serve me.

I highly recommend you check out his book if only to learn about the psychology of motion vs. taking action. At the risk of sounding like a 90’s late-night infomercial, I’m going to walk through a couple of problem scenarios outlined by Mr. Clear, but promise not to sell you anything at the end. Here we go:

Do you find yourself…

  1. Soaking up inspiration for content you feel like you should create rather than actually creating the content and sharing it?
  2. Searching for the perfect diet instead of choosing a healthy meal?
  3. Going to the gym to ask about personal training as opposed to getting in a workout – or maybe a good walk?

Do you see the pattern here? Motion (getting inspired, searching for the diet, interviewing a personal trainer) is good but is not a substitute alternative for action. Action is getting the result you’re ultimately going after.

You don’t want to simply write an outline, you want a published work. You don’t just want to learn about the best diets, you want the foods you consume to align with your health goals. Motion is good for lots of things, but it can prevent progress if you let it.

But wait. There’s more to this motion vs. action thing.

Is there something you want to take action on? How about we do it now? You understand the difference between motion and action. Now that you’re clear on that, I need you to take action on that dream inside of you today.

Don’t be afraid. Just get to it. Go it alone. Go even if you’re afraid. Your future self will take you later.

Mark Patterson
Mark Patterson

A creator at the intersection of faith and culture