“Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin
Mistaking motion for action is a mistake so common, even the cleverest ones often fail to realize it. They do sound similar but are certainly not the same. Basically, it means that people won’t necessarily get anything done, in spite of all their work and bustling around. Moving around through our lives aimlessly is something that we all should watch out for. Movements can be turned into achievements with just a bit of extra effort.
Motion and Action
What is motion? Motion is when we put energy into doing something. However, that task doesn’t produce a result by itself. On the other hand, the action is the type of behavior that produces a result. For example:
– Eating a healthy meal is action. Reading books on nutrition and searching for a better diet plan is motion.
– Writing a research paper or taking a test is action. Preparing for a research project or studying for a test is motion.
– Performing lifts, squats, bench presses, and running is action. Asking for a personal trainer in a gym or designing a training program is motion.
– Going to the store and buying ingredients you need for making dinner is motion. Preparing and cooking a meal is action.
The motion will never lead to the desired outcome by itself, even though it is good because it enables one to learn, prepare and strategize. No matter how many times you talk to your personal trainer about your training program, you will never get in shape by that motion. The achieved outcome will be realized only when you hit the gym and start working out.
Why Do We Get Stuck In Motion?
It often happens because we need to learn more or plan thoroughly. However, we find ourselves procrastinating and preparing for a performance, instead of giving one. With motion, there is no risk of failure and it makes us feel like we are making progress. Avoiding failure happens without us being aware of it, because failure tastes bitter. However, it tastes like that only in the beginning. It is something that can be overcome and use as a feedback that will help us improve our performance.
One would like to write a literary essay, but doesn’t want to express one’s attitudes that are not widely accepted or get misunderstood. Instead, I will just read the theoretical work related to my topic of writing. Instead of exercising in order to get in shape, one will just speak with his/her personal trainer about their rates. You get the feeling that things are getting done, but really you’re just preparing for them. Making a change is necessary when you realize that preparation has turned into procrastination.
Next time you experience that you’re not getting any results, but put the effort in motion, ask yourself: what do I want to accomplish? What is the best way for doing that? How can I eliminate the obstacles that stand in my way?
Set a schedule. For example, if you run a video blog, publish new videos every Tuesday and every Saturday. If you wish to lose weight, plan your gym training schedule. You know that you will do or produce something on those days and get a certain result. It will make you feel a lot better. It is about simple action over motion. You are not planning, you are performing. It’s the best approach for making lifestyle changes and reaching on-going goals.
Shifting from motion to action. A daily or weekly schedule doesn’t work for goals that are not on-going but happen only once. Thus, you should pick a date for shifting from motion to action. Things that will happen only once, therefore, need some planning and preparation up front. Also, they require action in order to be completed.
For example, you have always enjoyed practicing yoga and have become very good at it. The thought of becoming a yoga teacher has been wandering in your mind for quite some time. Becoming a yoga teacher is an outcome and it requires action while practicing yoga is motion. What you need is your will power. You can give do online yoga classes, and get prepared for the trials ahead.
Just pick a date and mark it with an X on your calendar.
Always Choose Action
Choose action and don’t delay it. Activities will never be achievements. Being in motion is good, but they can never produce a result. Start now and ask yourself: what am I doing? Am I taking action or am I in motion? What do I need to do to achieve my goals?