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Action in the Time of Isolation

Photo by Sawyer Bengtson on Unsplash

As the US “shelter in place” enters its second week, an email about action seems like a cruel joke. I pick topics for the year in January, and this was on the calendar for this week. I almost changed it but thought better of it.

We need action more than ever; if we stick to the actual definition, that is.

“Action: noun., the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.”

For too long, we’ve confused motion for action. It’s time to reclaim the word.

Motion is moving or being moved. The altering of position, perspective, understanding, reality, any of it is motion, but it’s not action. We thrash about with our feelings and concerns moving and being moved by the world around us, and we think it’s action. Action is doing something- to achieve an aim.

Every day, indoor or outdoor, from the office or home, you can transform the motion in your life into action if you aim. But how do we aim? With sight and strategy.

Sight.
I did Strengths coaching with USA Archery for several years and learned that I would make a terrible natural archer. I’m wrong eyed. I shoot with my right hand, but I sight with my left eye. Aiming starts with seeing. Specifically, we need to see the lines between where we are and where we’re going.

Here’s our problem, we want to close our eyes to where we are, and yet it’s impossible to see where we’re going. We may not see our future state, but we can see our future selves. To aim well these days, envision the you, you want to be no matter the financial situation in 90 days. What level of kindness will you have? What will your hope be in? How much extra grace will you have found for the world around you? The future isn’t clear, but you can have a clear picture of future you.

Strategy.
My coach Jon used to say; a strategy is simply tasks done in order. We focus on our tasks, but we fail to give them an order. Once you see you, you have to see reality and order the tasks to close the gap. Is this the time to take a class? Do you need to practice 30 mins of alone time? Do you need to start saying no to meetings that are time sucks? Do you need to finally cancel subscriptions leeching off your accounts that aren’t worth the financial drain?l

See and then create a strategy. This week, take time to look and then take time to plan. You’ll find action so much more satisfying than motion.

MD

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