I saved this quote from a recent email of quotes that I get every day – “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” (Amelia Earhart)
You might also say, “You can’t keep going if you never get started.” For many of us, it is that getting started part that is the hardest. I find that I spend way too much time thinking about what could go wrong, rather than what could go right and that often prevents me from doing anything at all. In the end, when I actually do something, it usually turns out alright and my fears almost never come to pass. Does that happen to you, too?
In physics there are the concepts of inertia and momentum. Things at rest tend to stay at rest and things in motion tend to stay in motion. There are people like that, too. Some people seldom get started. They allow themselves to stay at rest because they see that as the “safe” option. Other seldom rest, they seem always to be doing something to be constantly in motion. I’ll bet that you know both kinds of people. Which do you see yourself as being?
The thing is that nothing happens until something happens – until you put yourself in motion. Things, including your life, won’t change for the better all by themselves. They need to be nudged, to be put in motion and you can provide that nudge. You need be more than a by-stander in life. So, get started already.
What holds many people back is indecision about what direction to take. The truth is that moving in any direction is better than sitting in place. Even taking a direction that is wrong at least gets you started and you can make course corrections as you realize your mistakes. One learns, not from sitting there imagining how things might turn out, but from actually doing things right or wrong – from being in motion. So, get started already.
What will you do today? Will you sit there frozen into inertia by fears of what could go wrong or will you strike out in some direction and make corrections as needed? Make the difficult decision to act and then be tenacious about staying in motion. So, get started already.
The quote that Pastor Freed used in a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words was from Tony Hsieh – Former CEO of Zappos – who tragically died in a house fire. “Remember that at the end of the day, it’s not what you say or do, but how you make people feel that matters the most.”
Many of us may look back at the end of our day and think about the things that we got done, the things we check off our To-Do lists; but how many look back and recognize the people that we made feel better that day? I would have perhaps re-stated Mr. Hsieh’s quote to focus it upon the things that one can say or do to make people feel better.
It is all too easy to feel that you are too busy to stop and compliment someone on how they look that day or just to hold a door open and let them go first, yet those simple acts of recognition and kindness can make that person feel better for that day. All people wish to be recognized; they want to be appreciated and acknowledged. To be completely ignored is to be insignificant and that is a lonely feeling.
So it is what you say or do that is important. When you encounter people today, at least acknowledge them. Be kind if the opportunity presents itself or maybe just say “hello” and give them a smile. That simple act of acknowledgement casts you noting and could make a big difference to someone who has been left lonely and perhaps depressed by the interpersonal restrictions of the current pandemic. Even if you have to speak to them through a mask, the fact that you spoke will not be lost on them. It is not enough in today’s environment to smile behind our masks, we must take overt actions.
If you have the opportunity, taking action to make someone feel better is even better. Holding a door open is the least you can do. Helping someone carry or load their groceries is possibly another. Going to do volunteer work at a local non-profit organization is another change to impact many people at once.
Each of these things, and anything else that you can think of, are examples of you taking overt and thoughtful action to make others feel better. At the end of the day, how do you think that will make you feel?