Taking Action: How Passion Fuels Your Journey-If You Pay Attention
Is there something in your life that you need to do?
Is there a passion that you have, or may have lost?
Are you having trouble taking action; finding that momentum to get you moving forward, or in a new direction?
And if you do not Take Action now, on this something in your life, it will begin to effect your health, your work, and even the people you love. You are already thinking about it, though you have not commited yourself to moving forward on the idea. This thought weighs heavy in your mind.
If you are feeling uncomfortable and irritable about your situation this is good. You are paying attention to how you feel.
These are beginning sensations that give rise to the momentum needed to take action, one small step at a time.
It is okay to just move your body, or put yourself into action, one small step at a time.
It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop ~ Confucius
Small steps are good. One small step at a time can feel good. Even if it doesn’t feel good, your momentum leads you to further action. You do not even need to expend much energy.
- Sit up and down from your chair.
- Put your pen on paper and write a sentence.
- Throw one piece of clutter from your desk into the trash.
Disrupt that one moment of the day and take action, take a stance, take the bull by the horns.
Taking action is the committed effort of making something happen. It does not always feel good or look pretty. In fact, it may hurt a bit. There may be some tears drawn, sweet poured and sleep lost. Emotions connect your mind and body.
There will be times on your journey that you may stumble, get bloodied up a bit, and even fail. When and if this happens there will be the question,
How important is this to you?
What is the reason, or Why, behind the venture that drives you forward, each step on the path.
Questions to ask if your passion is actionable
Passion is an active, and engaged process of commited pursuit on a path. While a movement can be passsionate to a group of people, internal forces drive an individual to act passionately.
A definition of Passion tells us:
Passion is from Greek work “Pati” to endure or suffer.
These are people who see a domain, but not the path. The fact that the paths are not clearly defined is what excites them and motivates them to move into the domain. It also makes them alert to a variety of inputs that can help them to better understand the domain and discover more promising paths through the unexplored terrain. They are constantly balancing the need to move forward with the need to be present in the moment and reflect on the experiences and inputs they are encountering. John Hagel: Edge Perspectives
To act with passion there is a openness to change and a mind-set of growth.
Your passion must not stifle, or keep you on a fixed path on this journey.
Brian Gardner proposes this insight on Passion,
Following your passion might be the most often given career advice. But it just might be steering you in the wrong direction.
Brian Gardner goes on to give 3 Reasons that Following Your Passion(Purpose) may get in the Way
- Not every passion earns you a paycheck. Your passion may not lead to the best choice for your career, health, or relationship.
- You may have several passions. These passions may be in different areas of your life. Do not limit the passions you have. It is important to self-reflect on how these passions fuel your purpose.
- Your passions are not fixed, and may change over time. You are constantly evolving in areas of your life pursuits. Experience and practice have a major influence on this evolution of passion in your life.
So continue to ask yourself questions that not only help you take action, but lend to a better person of who you are today, how you contribute to others, and the betterment of You.
Is there a deeper purpose to your actions in life?
How does this impulse of purpose(passion) give you momentum toward your desired outcome?
What matters most is living in the present
It’s good to have goals and a vision for the future, but don’t let it cloud the moment. Anything worth accomplishing in the future is no more valuable than what you can experience in this present moment. ~Dan Pedersen
How does this challenge improve you capacity to deal with other challenges you will face?
Having a goal is an essential part of your journey. Goals provide that compass, a destination, a purpose for the efforts and energy put forth in passionate pursuits.
Paying attention to the present is what can be acted upon and controlled Now, and whether it is met with success or failure will provide the necessary experience and learning in your future endeavors.
Paying attention as an act of listening to the body, and mind
Paying attention, or being in the moment, is allows you to listen to those messages, sensations and awareness of Self and the environment that exist. Paying attention allows the possibility for transformation, whether your are healing, balancing health practices, or listening to what nature offers when you care to listen.
Rumi refers to this as “keep looking at the bandaged place.”
…if we bring with us the intention to pay attention, to be aware, to feel, to no longer “turn our head away” but instead to learn form all we taste and feel, we may enter into a relationship with…the worn-out places in us needing air and refreshment.
Do you taste the flavors of food as it sits on your tongue?
Do you smell rain before it comes?
Do you feel the response of your body after eating certain foods; flushed skin, upset stomach, or foggy brain?
The ability to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of the body is the basis for self-care and well-being. Without attention there is dis-connection, and in time, when one considers the bodily functions, a dis-regulation of the body’s inter-related systems. This dis-regulation leads to dis-ease.
The busy-ness of lifestyle demands; work, home, and relationships, is cause for loosing touch with your senses, your committments, and self.
There is no better way to pay attention than to just slow down, be quite and connect with the mind, and your environment.
The only way you can really connect with the inner and outer environment of You is to slow down for a moment and listen to what matters, and harness the healing power of yourself. This is where you become connected to the influences of Your Mind & Body.
Intentional thoughts become future action
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi
That thought that enters your mind, intention, will open future possibilities when deliberate action is applied.
What distinguishes an intentional thought from other thoughts is that it’s a thought which has the idea of a future action.
That first step toward a goal, or venture requires an intentional choice:
I will be able to walk around the block.
I will write one sentence for my book when I awake in the morning.
There are thoughts, that if not acted upon, will become lost in the abyss. They will only be good intentions.
How your actions influence your intentions is of greater importance.
When your intentions are in alignment with your actions, and have purpose, the gap closes between the goal you’ve set to accomplish, and actually achieving your desired outcome.
What gets in the way of intentions becoming actions:
- Mis-directed energy
- Fear of failure
- Focus on the future
What do you identify with today when you consider taking action, or getting thinds done?
How do relate to any of the above reasons that get in the way of you Taking Action?
Self-reflection as a tool for what action to take
Life is a full of activities, commitments and choices. How these influence our actions can be the source of pain, despair and anxiety.
As much as you may pay attention to what is going on around you, how often to you consider the impact your actions have on those in your life, people you connect with in a day, or your purpose?
Self-reflection is a manner of directed questions the allows you to slow down and consider what you have done, and where you are headed.
Naikan , which means “inside looking”, provides a systematic approach to reflecting on ourselves and our relationships that helps us appreciate the ways we are being cared for and supported, many of which we take for granted during the course of an ordinary day. It is taking a personal look at the influence on the actions we choose to take, and how we take those actions in relation to others.
By asking yourself a three questions you become aware of the impact your life has on the world, and gives some perspective from someone other than your own.
- What have I received from___?
- What have I given to ___?
- What troubles and difficulties have I caused___?
Naikan gives an appreciation of the consequences of your actions, how these actions have impacted others, and how you make take new actions in the future.
Passion may define your journey, and if not open to change and possibilities, it may limit these possibilities.
Taking action to fuel your passion, or getting you unstuck in your health, career or relationships, requires a mind-set of growth.
- How does this impulse of purpose(passion) give you momentum toward your desired outcome?
- How important is this to you?
- What gets in the way of you taking action?(ex. fear, procrastination,etc.)
- Are you paying attention to the present, not stuck, but listening?
- How do you self-reflect on actions you have taken, and what choices can you take to improve this?
- What is one action that you can take today that takes a positive step forward in your relationship to others, your health, career, and well-being.
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