I’ve been thinking about writing this sentence for days. I’ve been thinking about posting something for weeks.
And I haven’t.
But now I have and it feels incredible. It really does. Typing these words right now I feel a surge of power going through my body. It’s not a huge surge but something has shifted.
To be very clear, nothing has changed to make me take action. I just took action. I realized a few days or maybe even weeks ago that I needed to take action. I realized a few weeks or maybe months ago that I was in a funk. I was stuck in a low-level depressive state. I won’t call it depression because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t clinical and I wasn’t deeply sad. I was, however, not particularly happy and I was remarkably unproductive.
There may have been many reasons for this. I was having trouble sleeping and I just launched You Know It! The Game and it’s winter and my son is going off to college and Trump got impeached and then exonerated and the Democrats are being typically unorganized and Australia is on fire and China is sick and I am getting older.
But the reasons are actually unimportant.
I was in an unproductive feedback loop and I had developed some unproductive habits, habits of not working on non-urgent things. Consuming entertainment rather than creating it. Procrastinating until it was too late to start.
I spent some time thinking about what was wrong and I realized that it didn’t matter. What was wrong was probably not going to change unless I changed it and the way to change it was to take action.
I’m embarrassed to say that I had that realization days ago.
I am taking action now.
As I outlined in an earlier post, emotions, thinking, and action are all intertwined. Thoughts and actions affect your emotions. Emotions and actions affect your thoughts. Thoughts and actions affect your emotions. Counter-intuitively, the thing that is most under our control is our actions. Thoughts are completely out of our control (if you don’t believe me, try meditating on one thing for 3 minutes) and emotions are as well. I will go one step further and say that most of the time emotions are caused by chemical responses that have nothing to do with our thoughts but we back-justify our emotional states with meanings and stories. More on that later but the point is that what we do is more under our control than anything and effective, productive people (including me when I’ve been most effective and productive) have structures and habits in place to keep them in action whether they feel like it or not.
I didn’t feel like writing this, but I did.
And man am I glad I did.
Welcome back, John!