I start with this simple lesson because perhaps it is the most important. Nothing else is possible without actually doing. We cannot live our lives in our thoughts. We must do. Throughout this journey we will learn to turn off the voice in our head that discourages us from improving our lives (or at least not listen to it) and take action.
It is not enough to just read these ideas and nod your head in agreement…you must act to create change. Nothing else you read here will matter unless you make the commitment to contemplate and act when necessary.
Often I find myself talking or thinking about things I intend to do, but for some reason many of them don’t actually get done. I understand the seduction of living in thoughts instead of actions, but our thoughts only exist in our minds.
We cannot have an impact on the world unless we put these thoughts into action. It doesn’t matter how elegant our philosophy is unless we take action. In the same way, it doesn’t matter how much we love someone unless we show that love through our actions.
The opposite side of the spectrum is doing without thinking. This is habit and reaction and can be equally as destructive. The key is finding balance, a theme that will apply to much of what we discuss here.
We often tell ourselves these thoughts are priorities, but really the things we DO are our priorities. If we think about traveling, writing or spending more time with our families as our priorities but instead sit on our couch and watch television then we are engaging in self-delusion.
One of our goals as a happy philosopher is to see the world as it is and not get caught up in self-deception.
Congratulations! You have taken action by finding time to read this. As you meander through these writings, keep the concept of doing in mind. Everything will not apply to everyone, but I promise you will find something here that will have impact.
Even if you only find a few things that resonate with you there is potential for massive life altering change. Your homework for the next few days is to take action. It doesn’t have to be an epic task like running a marathon or writing a novel. It could be taking a short walk, reading a book, writing in your journal or telling someone you care about them.
In fact, start with a small goal like this and celebrate the win with a smile, fist pump or other happy dance.