When actions don’t follow thought.

How fear prevents action

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

― Gandhi

It’s presumptuous to think that everyone knows what they want; that they are able to clearly envision living — or attaining — a successful life.

However, the majority of people do at least all have a sense of what they want to do or achieve in life.

One of the greatest failings of Western society, however, is that very few people end up doing what they want to do in life. People know they can & should do something, but never do.

Is inconsistency in thought & action caused by fear? Is it a lack of self-reflection? Does it stem from a difficulty in measuring your progress? Or just something some people don’t really think about that much?

It is a travesty that many of us do not even know where to start when it comes to aligning our thoughts with our actions.

You end up in the same miserable relationship because you are too scared to admit to yourself — or your other half — that it’s not working.

You remain in the same dead-end job until retirement because you never end up making a start on that new business idea you had.

You crumble in the face of opposition when your principles come into conflict with someone else’s.

In essence, you waste vast swathes of your life umm-ing and ah-ing, left with a pile of ‘what ifs’ rather than of great memories & experiences.

But is this just a modern societal issue? Are we the first who seem to stand for nothing? Or whichever trend seems to grab our attention for a few fleeting moments?

When I think of holding firm to your thoughts & beliefs, I think of peoples like the Celts, exterminated by Caeser 2,000 years ago, who refused to bow to this external cultural threat.

I think of resistance to Nazi Occupation, Rosa Parks, the suffragettes. I think of the countless small, unnoticed acts of bravery that we will never even know about. In essence, I think of people that had beliefs, stated those beliefs as openly as they could & acted according to those beliefs.

Yet here we are, in the 21st Century, with most people unable to even stand up to one of our colleagues in case the boss finds out.

We seem to be afraid of everything, despite living in the safest period of human history.

We are afraid of ruining our career, of what our friends will think, of disappointing our parents, of not being able to afford that new car, of having a weak CV.

We are so afraid of trying something new & of the unknown that many people never even start. They remained trapped, in a protective cocoon of their own creation, happy to pursue mediocrity rather than ever challenging themselves.

Aligning thoughts with actions

I know first-hand the effect of confronting your fears. ::I hated my job::. I was unhappy because of my job. So I made changes. I started blogging, building a new business. Ended up getting fired before I handed in my resignation.

And you know what? All those fears? All those scary unknown entities? They all fell away.

For the first time in four months, I was happy.

So I urge you: start breaking society’s rules. Build your defiance as you would build a habit.

What small thing can you take action upon today? What nagging thought keeps coming back, left unresolved, never going away?

Write it down. Confront your thoughts on paper. Tell someone, so that the thought exists & has form. Then act, so your actions may reflect that belief.

Repeat this &, over time, what you think, what you say, and what you are will always be in harmony.

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Henry Latham

Henry Latham

Founder, Prod MBA

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