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The Art of Taking Action: Quotes and Notes

Welcome to the fourth and final part of The Art of Taking Action series, in which I share a few other ideas from the book I found useful – from Krech and a few of the other contributors.

In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination and part three considered the stress of not getting things done.

This time, I’ve collected some more of the best ‘notes and quotes’ in a wee magazine for you – just click the link below to view it in your browser.

Read ‘The Art of Taking Action: Quotes and Notes

https://readymag.com/474321

By the way, I first heard about Gregg Krech on my friend Greg Berg’s excellent podcast Life on Purpose, and today I found out that he’s returned to the show to record another fascinating conversation – both are essential listening for anyone who has found this series helpful.

If you don’t like the magazine format, read on below as usual!

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The stress of not getting things done

Welcome to part three of The Art of Taking Action series.

In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, and in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination.

In another excellent essay in the book, Trudy Boyle shares her research on stress, and is keen to point out that not all stress is bad for you – in fact, it’s a normal part of life to some extent, as without some stress we probably wouldn’t achieve anything at all.

There are definitely some stresses which we want to avoid though. Stress caused by procrastination can be particularly harmful to our mental and physical health.

Boyle describes something that feels quite familiar to me – Any fellow freelancers/creative professionals will probably also relate!

“My number one stress creator is not completing a task I have set for myself or following through promptly. The stress is compounded when I take on more than I can deliver in the allotted time. And my final penchant, which makes up what I call my “stress triangle, is to ignore the whole lot until the last sixty seconds!”

But does this matter, as long as we get the work done ‘just in time’? Maybe some of us are just wired to do things at the last minute.

The truth about putting things off until tomorrow

2016-01-09 19.46.49Welcome to part two of The Art of Taking Action series. In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech.

As well as Kech’s own writing, the book also features essays by other contributors which also have some great insights on the topic.

One of these essays is by the late musician and educator Shinichi Suzuki on the topic ‘To Merely Want to Do Something Is Not Enough’. Suzuki really gets to the heart of how we end up with the habit of procrastination and why it’s so unhelpful. He asks:

“Why is it that so many people think of doing things and do not do them?”

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The Art of Taking Action

“Consider the implications of a life in which you don’t have the power, focus, or single-mindedness to do what you say you will do. Imagine the countless times your wiser self decides on a particular course of action, only to be blown off course by the merest breeze of immediate desire. There’s a helplessness, a scattered, drifting quality about such a life.” 

Dan Rosenthal (quoted in The Art of Taking Action)

Did you start the new year, or the past week, or even this new day, with a clean slate? Unfortunately, I didn’t. I started it with a long list of overdue tasks.

I like the idea of ‘going with the flow’, but what if you’re floating down a river full of rocks and branches and other obstacles? What if you’ve also got your feet tangled in some river weeds and a hefty block of concrete chained to your torso? you’re not going to get anywhere fast.

It’s the same with unfinished tasks and unfulfilled dreams. They weigh us down.

Living Constructively

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“Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable man to learn to use it constructively.”

A Course in Miracles

It’s the very first day of 2016. We, collectively as human beings on earth, are about to take another trip round the sun. How immensely exciting is that?

What an amazing opportunity we have to make something of our lives and change ourselves and this world for the better, if we can only learn how to harness each day constructively.

It’s also scary, right? Because another year has come to an end and we aren’t perfect yet!