Focus and Do


If we stood in front of a mirror and took off the blinders of habit, we might say something like this to ourselves:

What am I waiting for? There are two things I know about today: First, since I know that everything in life enters through the door of the present, that means everything that can happen must happen in this thing called “today.” And second, this day is another bead on that long but finite string of beads, and one day like this day will be the last bead. So what am I waiting for?

Get on it. I must make a list. No, I’ve already made the list. What’s the first thing on the list? Make the calls, go get the supplies, fill out the application, hit “send,” meet the people, write the presentation, get out the ladder and the work boots, gas up the car, make the phone calls, write the emails, make the other phone calls, tune up the guitar and the banjo – what a list!

We might tell ourselves, and we’d be right: Action is action, and talk is talk. Even reading this is not action; it’s reading about taking action. Even if you’re already a high achiever, take a look around. Are you passionately, truly in your life? Or are you sitting on the sidelines like a spectator? The living of life is defined by action, even if that action is sitting quietly in meditation or practicing yoga. But you can’t just observe. Human life is defined by the actions we take, the motions we make.

 So flap your arms and run around in a circle. Stand on your head. Imitate birdcalls. Even if your actions seem absurd, they’re light years ahead of sitting on your assets and watching others do things on the screens that now surround us and sing us the sirens’ song of inaction. That song sedates us with the idea that studying a thing or reading about it or watching a video of it or talking about it is the same as doing it. It is not. Only the doing of it is the doing of it. Put yourself in action. Find your cause, your passion, your focus, your direction in life, and put yourself in action in the cause of that passion. Focus and do. Focus and do. Lather, rinse, repeat. That’s the instructions on the package insert of life. Focus and do.

If we stood there in front of a mirror and took off the blinders of habit, we’d probably say something like that.

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