My very favorite line from the entirety of Star Wars comes from Yoda.
“Do or do not, there is no try.”
For a long time, I didn’t fully comprehend what he meant by that. However, after a lot of years of sitting with and studying this statement, I get it. A try leaves room for failure and incompletion. Doing leaves no such space.
This is not about the physical act so much as it is about the attitude. If you try, you are saying “I’ll attempt,” which leaves room for doubt and failure. If you do, you are saying “I’ll do,” which brokers no argument.
What if you do and still fail? It will happen. Odds are, I’d wager, that you still learned something along the way.
With the New Year, people tend to make resolutions. They “resolve” to do something. It might be to eat better, go to the gym, call their parents, or some other idea they’ll “try” for a time. It’s a soft, flabby idea that is easily dismissed.
It is for this reason that, back at the start of 2012, I chose to take a New Years’ Action, rather than make a resolution. That action? Write one blog post per week.
Eight years later, I am still writing this once-per-week article about Pathwalking, which has evolved to better explore my personal philosophy of conscious reality creation and mindfulness that comes of it. That, in turn, evolved to my current daily writing practice.
Actions are powerful
When you take an action, any action, it is powerful. You don’t just consider or think about an idea. It is on you to do something about it. You act.
Action is powerful. It is also one part of the practice of mindfulness, along with thoughts and feelings. Actions belong to you and you alone, in that you are the only one who can choose to take them…or not.
There is nobody but you inside your own head. The thoughts, feelings, and actions belong strictly to you and nobody else. While that might be a cause to feel lonely it’s actually a very good thing. Why? Because that means you get to choose what is best for you and what you will do.
It gets too easy to not act. Why? Because you might fear that if you take the wrong action there will be consequences. You might be right, there may be consequences for wrong action. However, there may be consequences for inaction, too.
Not acting because you are concerned about what may go wrong means you do nothing. When you do nothing you yield control. That might mean you are giving control up to the Universe, to another person or entity, or simply away. It means you are not acting in your own best interest.
Hence why I chose, eight years ago, to take action instead of making a resolution. The consequence of that action? I opened myself up to writing more and improving my skills as a writer by doing that work. I also witnessed how action is key to the manifestation that comes of conscious reality creation.
New Years’ Action 2020
Rather than resolve to do something this year I am going to act upon something new. This means there will be more focus on what I am doing, but I believe that this will be totally worthwhile.
I want to share my planned action with you here for two reasons. First, as an example of taking a New Years’ action and doing something to create a change. Second, and more selfishly, for accountability.
Here is my action put out in the world. If you know me in the real world you can ask, are you doing it? Hell, you could even message me and ask — but the point is that putting it out there gives it more energy. This makes it a more real action because it is there.
Unlike blogging once a week or anything that requires a physical element, this is a more self-directed action. I will actively monitor how I speak about other people.
In conversations with friends and loved ones, I will actively work to not gossip, not talk about other people in any way that I would not speak to them directly. Ergo, if I think someone is being a moron, rather than discuss it with other people I would tell them they are being a moron. Or keep it to myself.
It is far too easy to think badly of people. There are so many things to criticize, and criticism comes far too easily. So, I am going to act in my own best interest and be less critical of people.
How is this an action rather than a resolution? Because I will be maintaining a physical accountability journal. Every day I am going to check-in with myself to keep tabs on my mindset.
This action is truly one of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is action
Practicing mindfulness and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions is in-and-of-itself an action. Why? Because when you are focusing on what is inside your head you are in the now.
The now is the only time that is utterly and truly real. This is the reality that you perceive and can impact in any way. Since nobody else can think, feel, or do for you it’s entirely up to you to work with. Nobody else is inside your head but you.
Frequently, we are subconscious in our thoughts, feelings, and actions. What does that even mean? It means you go about your day as if by rote, just going with the flow. To be fair, there are times where that’s a perfectly great option and can be purposeful.
But if you are looking to make any changes in your life, or take control over what is happening directly to you, mindfulness is necessary. The act of being more aware of your own mindset can be a pretty daunting action, in especial if you have not been really aware up to now.
My New Years’ Action is a mindfulness practice. This is me not subconsciously talking about others negatively and thus putting more negative energies out there. Instead, this is me considering not just what I say but what I am thinking about when it comes to other people in my life.
I need to put a caveat here. This is not an utter elimination of criticism and critiquing the world I live in. Sorry, President Trump is a narcissistic asshole and too many Republican politicians are selfish, arrogant, awful people to just be ignored. Also, they are all part of the big picture, over which my influence and control are nearly non-existent.
Indirect versus direct action
This is specifically about the people who are a part of my life. My friends, my family, coworkers, associates, and people who I actually interact with. Rather than get into snark-fests, gossip, and other downward spirals about people I know, I will actively either step away from such…or take a more direct approach.
It may be unpopular, but when necessary I am going to be direct with someone if their actions are impacting me and mine. This is not about changing how someone else is thinking and feeling — because I can’t. Nobody can. This is about acting in my own way when another’s actions (or inactions) will impact my life in some way.
My New Year’s Action for 2020 is to practice more mindfulness, specifically in regards to how I react to, speak about, and think about other people. To be sure, this is going to be a challenge, but worthwhile. And I am convinced that actions are more powerful than resolutions.
Are you planning anything different for your New Year?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter. Happy New Year!
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on January 1, 2020.