Denzel Washington is quoted as saying “Don’t mistake movement for progress; You can run in place and not go anywhere.”

Sometimes when I’m facing a major change in my life I describe the feeling as walking on the bottom of the ocean. Each step is slow motion, tedious and tiring.

The difference between running in place and walking on the bottom of the ocean is that progress is being made in one scenario, but not the other.

There are times that it’s comfortable to talk about doing something…whether it’s starting a new business, writing a book, finding a new place to live or touching base with an old friend. The action being considered isn’t important…taking the action IS.

It’s not difficult to trick ourselves into believing that thinking about action is the same as taking action. It is not. Thinking about it is safer than doing anything, though. That’s how we mistake movement for progress.

Anytime any one is thinking and not taking action, fear is involved. Procrastination is fear.

Mistaking movement for progress is fear. When I first heard this statement, it made me angry. Once I got past my ego based response, though, I realized it’s true.

Now any time I notice I’m procrastinating, I begin looking for the fear. Sometimes I find it quickly, sometimes it takes a while. Depends on how fearful I am! J

My challenge to you, especially in our Second 53 Years, is to pay attention to whether you are “talking like” you’re doing what you want to do, OR actually taking action.

I encourage action to be taken in small increments; I call them Baby Steps.

No one moves from 1 to 10 in a broad jump. We have to touch base on all the steps, 2,3,4,…

If you know what your “10” is, consider the baby steps required to get there. Then take the next one. Maybe your “10” is to go back to college. (1) Gather information about colleges in your area. (2) Decide which college to seriously consider (3) Visit a counselor at the College of your choice; are they receptive to older students? (4) Decide how many classes you are able to fit into your schedule (one is OK!) ….

you see the process. So far you have not made a decision to actually GO to college, but you’ve taken steps toward the goal.   You won’t be running in place any’ll be taking real action.

When you begin the baby step process you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll be happy to be taking action. Keep moving forward and you’ll reach your goal.

Let me know how this process works for you. It’s worked for many, many others.

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