This I Believe

Amanda - Bedford, Texas
Entered on July 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the power of action.

“I can’t do this now, I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m sick. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the energy…”

These excuses were as familiar to me as the most intimate of friends. They helped me to put off the things I did not wish to do, but they didn’t also keep me from realizing some of my most passionate desires. Everything from responding to emails to finally going out on a date with someone of whom my mother would approve never happened, because I couldn’t – or just didn’t – act.

One day, I decided to try a little experiment. If there was something that needed to be done, I would do it. Right then. No excuses. The first experiment lasted a little over 15 minutes. I was lulled into complacency by the television and the smell of a delivery pizza. “I can’t do it now, I’m hungry..!”

As I thought about it, though, I realized that some of the “usual suspects” – the excuses I fell back on when there truly wasn’t any reason to procrastinate – didn’t quite stand up to the light of day if I just did what I was supposed to do, now.

Instead of waiting to fold the laundry, I did it. Instead of waiting to file my taxes, I did it. Instead of putting off that trip to the post office just one more day, I did it. When I did whatever it was I had to do, it was an incredibly liberating feeling. Suddenly, there was nothing I couldn’t do. The ordinary, everyday tasks that used to hang over my head until I would finally break down and do them… suddenly weren’t there any more! My laundry was folded, taxes were filed, letters were mailed.

I came to see that the solution to many of life’s problems boils down to a simple matter of priorities. There is no such thing as having no time, or no money, or no energy, if something as a priority. Often times, thinking up reasons for procrastination takes more time than the action itself!

There could be some far-reaching consequences, if just a few people one day came to the same conclusion as I did. Say Congress truly wants to balance the budget for once. Well, cut the pork out of the appropriations bills and balance the budget. Now. Say that both sides of a conflict want to stop maiming and killing each other – say they want peace. Well… stop shooting each other. Stop it. Now.

It goes with saying that any action must be right action, and must be guided by a sense of morality. If you covet your neighbor’s wife, I’m not advocating that you go ravish her now. The morality of right action is a whole other belief, though, and I’ve got to go take some of my unused things to charity – now.