A couple of years ago, I wrote an article called How to Take Purposeful Action, and I always get a kick out of reading the things I came up with. What I lacked in experience, I made up for with desire and enthusiasm. While the message of the previous article is somewhat diffused, the principles are sound.
Taking action is an important part of the Body Life Area. I’ve written a lot about the spirit, but the body is where the rubber hits the road, or the shit hits the fan, as they say. We live in an action-oriented world. It’s all about taking action; any action. Do, do, do. Go, go, go. Gotta be doing something, making something, saying something. I used to buy into all of that, but now I’ve got a new perspective on taking action.
I base all of my actions on how I feel about doing it, not on what I remember from the past, or what I think the outcome will be in the future, but on how it feels right now. I’m realizing that the best actions are those that come about when you’re feeling good, ideas float into your mind, and you take inspired action. Sometimes I find myself in the middle of doing something, and I check to see if I’m choosing to do it, or just reacting out of habit. This helps me to be more conscious of my actions.
Actions that aren’t inspired are just a way of floundering around and treading water, a kind of hoping that what we’re doing will result in something good. That’s the novice’s way of doing things. The master takes no action except in his mind, and when he does take action it’s effective and inspired.
The opposite of inspired action – the kind that’s quite common and mediocre – is desperate action. I’ve noticed there can be a kind of desperation and futility in what we do, and I think that happens when we’ve lost track of our inner guidance. Looking to society for what we should be doing, seeking approval from others, isn’t the path of self-mastery.
The key is to become completely free – emotionally – from external conditions and results. Only then will your actions be creative and inspired, instead of reactive and conditioned.