When it’s time to ACT

Sometimes I send myself an email to remind me to do something. It’s usually an idea I want to pursue or a concept I want to include in something that I’m writing. But if I don’t follow up on it quickly, I tend to forget why it mattered in the first place.

This week I was trying to decipher just such a note when I realized the irony of my efforts. The note was two lines. Here it is …

Line 1: “I should. I need to. I want to.”

Line 2: “ACT! Admit. Commit. Try.”

Did I get that from someone else? Or did I come up with it on my own? I have no idea. And what was I thinking or going through when I jotted down those words? Again, I have no idea.

Here’s what I know: There are times when it’s easy to focus on what we should do, what we need to do, and what we want to do – but then to never do it. Like acting on a note you sent yourself that tells you to ACT. Ironic.

I knew, however, that there was some good medicine in those two lines, so I did my best to take it.

Admit what? Maybe that I’m not doing what I should do, need to do, and want to do. Confession is always a good place to start. It sets up repentance, which leads to positive change.

Commit to what? Well, for one thing, commit to my commitment. Sometimes I need to mentally promise to do something so that I’ll hold myself accountable to it. I need to commit to taking something from the “good idea” stage to the “it’s going to happen” stage.

Try what? Something. Anything. Ready, fire, aim! Doing anything – even if it feels unproductive – is the first step toward turning nothing into something. The surest way to go nowhere is to do nothing. A false start is often better than no start at all.

And now you understand what it took to write this blog. There may have been a deeper, more profound meaning to those two lines way back whenever it was that I jotted them down. There might have been some incredible spiritual truth. Whatever it might have been, I’ll never know. But by simply doing what my note suggested, I learned something, I got unstuck, and I got something done.

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