The Magic of Action

This morning I finished chapter 10 from the Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. This is the chapter on Action and it’s a great reminder for lessons I have learned here and there in my life but I’m not consistent about. I started reading this morning in the section about using “mechanical” means to get yourself flowing.

Do this today: Pick the one thing you like to do lease. Then, without letting yourself deliberate or dread the task, do it.

I'm not a huge fan of doing laundry.  The times when I am most effective about doing laundry also coincide with those times when I am resisting action on something that feels more dreadful than laundry. I don’t think that the laundry becomes more pleasant to do. It’s just more pleasant than starting on my truly dreadful task. And once started, it becomes easy. Resistance melts away in the light of action.

When I wanted to start working out for the first time in my life, I told myself that I should not make any excuses. Step 1: get my clothes on. Step 2: get my body in the gym and my feet onto a machine. The rest would take care of itself. And it did. 

The lesson of this section, and indeed some of my own life experiences is that action is the best way to get ready for action.

Use a pencil and paper. A simple five-cent pencil is the greatest concentration tool money can buy… The mind is not designed to think one thought and write another at the same time… When you write on paper you write on your mind too.

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can only take one thing with you. What would you take? A pencil and paper. This is usually my answer because I do believe that it would solve nearly every other problem.

What problems cannot be improved or removed with clear thinking?

Remember, thinking in terms of now gets things accomplished. But thinking in terms of someday or sometime usually means failure… Tell yourself, “I’m in condition right now to begin. I can’t gain a thing by putting it off. I’ll use the ‘get ready’ time to get going instead.”

This is very Tony Robbins-esque. Tie pain to certain choices to make them less likely. Associate pleasure to the ones that help you to make them more likely.

What is ultimate pain?


What do we associate with ultimate pain?

Someday. Sometime. Never.

How can we avoid it?

Act Now.

Not get started because we wanted conditions to be perfect and inspiration to be high is definitely the best way I can think to ensure failure. In fact, I haven’t written that much over the past month because I have spent too much time waiting for something. But I think I’m done waiting. I think I’m going to let myself write badly and that will be okay as long as it’s honest. And I’m going to do it because getting going is more important than some senseless idea that if I can’t start “on fire” I should just wait until conditions are better.

Conditions will if I start now