The Disease of The Present? Inaction
Not making a choice is a choice
Welcome to the YouTopian Journey, a Substack featured publication. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom that can help you in the daily battles that we must all fight in the game of life. This week we discuss why you must protect yourself from the disease of inaction.
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BEFORE WE START
I had the pleasure of being interviewed for Rewind and Thrive, a great site that champions mental health and personal struggles. We talked YouTopian Journey, motivation, and more. Here is a snippet…
I think a lot of the time, we feel like there are so many commitments with everyday life that sometimes dreams have to be put on the shelf – not that it should be used as an excuse, if you want something, then you have to work hard to get it.
One of your pieces is detailed around reforging yourself. What is your view on people who struggle with the mundane job, the ones who want to chase the dream career?
I don’t know why we are here but I’m pretty sure it isn’t to work a mundane job, pay our bills and overall live a mundane life. I think we all struggle with mundane jobs because deep down we know that they are beneath our abilities. We need to focus on finding something meaningful to us that we can go after and make our own. It could be a dream job or even just a new job.
At the end of the day, we have to provide ourselves a financial salary and a mental salary. The financial salary is to make a living, the mental salary is to make a life. Don’t give more effort to one while ignoring the other.
You can read the rest here.
If you want to interview me for your site, podcast, class, etc. Please feel free to reach out. I am always happy to help.
Now onto the good stuff.
THE INFECTIVITY OF INACTION
“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.”-Meister Eckhart
It has happened, although few know how.
Some plague has crept in from God knows where, stealthily spreading through our society. From the boardroom to the classroom, no one has been spared.
We can feel it, deep within us. A creeping dread that oozes out of our pores and has taken root in our hearts and minds.
No one wants to be the first to volunteer to say it. No one wants to take the first step or raise their hand. But there is a disease that is present, a new pandemic that has quickly replaced the last one.
It has infected us with a feeling of sloth and powerlessness. We can’t describe it, but we know it’s there. We feel the aimlessness with each and every breath. We have failed to develop an inner compass, one that points true north.
What is this pandemic? This disease that bypasses all testing? An infection so subtle that few even know it exists? A plague so viral that the majority of society are carriers?
The disease of inaction.
The wasting away of time as you sit on your couch, scrolling through your phone.
The dreaming of better days but lacking the will to make those dreams a reality.
The hoping and praying for a change that won’t begin until you take the very first step.
The frittering away of your days at a role that would forget you as quickly as it would fire you.
Yes, you may be working, or studying, or following whatever orders your superior gives you. But is that really action? Is that moving you toward a future of your choosing? Is that really living? Did you imagine yourself in such a role?
I can promise you that you didn’t.
Yet when the time came to fight, to act, to make a stand, what did you do?
You conformed. You submitted. You gave up. You took the only available path and thought it was temporary, only to realize that it has become a permanent fixture of your life.
“They call it ‘9 to 5.’ It’s never 9 to 5…And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does.”-Charles Bukowski
This choice led to other poor choices. Before you knew it, your entire existence was one of inaction. It wasn’t just at work or at school.
It followed you home, where the free time you had wasn’t used to work on something meaningful. In fact, it wasn’t used at all. Your time, your most precious resource that should be protected and utilized, was wasted. The beast that stalks us all gorged itself on your inaction.
There is no cure for this pox. No vaccine that is widely available with a high efficacy. Understand that inaction can only be treated with its opposite.
The ability to take hold and move forward. The desire to make a stand against the current status quo of your life and change it for the better.
And the longer you hem and haw, the longer you wait for circumstances to be right or the stars to align, the weaker your will becomes. You cannot make this mistake. It is far better and superior to pick a side, make a decision, take action, and see it through to the end than to remain idle. Even if this action ends in failure, you will have become stronger for it.
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”-William James
Understand that the disease of inaction can only be treated by you. It can only be cured by a will to change things and the desire to transform that will into meaningful action.
It is that simple and that difficult.
There is no magic bullet. Try as we might, nothing will change if we remain still.
Too many are sitting idly by, watching their life go by and their time wither away. As they make plans for life, life passes.
Do not be one of them.
“When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.”-William James
ACT NOW AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE
“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”-Viktor Frankl
I cannot begin to stress the importance of taking action to combat inaction. I don’t mean action toward your daily routine. Your ability to act has nothing to do with the supermarket or the mall. It has nothing to do with what video game you play or what you binge.
It has to do with your goals, your desires, your dreams, what you want to achieve and who you want to become.
The human being lives far too constrained within its small field of vision and capabilities. We have traded our potentialities, the greatest parts of ourselves, for safety and security. We no longer desire to be the flame, preferring a warm and comfortable spot near the fire. When the storm comes, we have the sturdiest of shelters to protect us. We never once imagine that we, ourselves, could become the storm! It is far easier to yield and belong to the collective group than to take action in solitude.
This must change. Nothing of great achievement or importance was achieved by being comfortable or playing it safe. No ship ever left port that didn’t intend to contend with the hazards of the sea and no great adventure ever truly began until the comfort zone was miles behind.
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”-Jack Kerouac
How can we achieve such a drastic change? Are we even capable?
Drastic change is the result of making a choice to act. One conscious decision to go forward into the unknown and leave inaction in our wake.
When this happens, you change for the better. You see angles instead of angels. You become the resource rather than complaining about the lack of resources. If this is so simple, then why don’t more people do it?
Fears and doubts.
Fear of failure. The doubting of themselves and capabilities. Ultimately, they fear what their peers, associates, professors, parents, managers, bosses, and friends will think.
“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
You cannot let this happen. You must push past these fears and doubts, going forward and forging your own path. It will be difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. You will be frightened, but all are frightened. You will face anxiety and you will defeat it.
How do I know this?
Because I experienced these very same fears and doubts.
Nearly two decades ago, I had my watershed moment, my nexus point. I made a decision to act toward a goal that wasn’t just outside of my comfort zone, but outside my universe (trust me, that is how it felt). I combatted the doubts and the fears, always moving forward. I can safely say that it was the best decision I ever made. It led me on a journey that was uniquely my own and that was worth every struggle that I had encountered.
Now it is your turn.
The world will not wait for you. It up to you to take a vow of now and seize the moment.
Start that Substack or write that song, the thoughts you unleash will lift you to new destinations.
Take on a new career role, one that is not based on clout or prestige but on personal interest and meaningful work.
Look into starting something, whether it be a company, a product, or a concept. Your thoughts and ideas matter. It could catch on in ways you never thought possible.
Begin to exercise, nothing helps with your thoughts than physical activity.
Seek out likeminded people who are taking action and defining their own definition of success, not one that is determined by society.
Above all, do your best to live in a fearless and active manner. Don’t give in to the opinions of others, least of all strangers on social media.
The choice is yours. Action begins with you.
It begins today!
“We are our choices.”-Jean-Paul Sartre
ONE LAST THING
None of this would be possible without help from subscribers like you. If you know someone who could benefit from this issue, please share it. We need forward thinking and courageous individuals who can put their creativity to use and benefit not only their peers, but society at large.
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.