The-Art-of-Taking-Action-V2

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Very good book on living a life of action with a different, but pleasantly different feel due to the lessons originating from Japanese psychology.

Recommendation: 4/5


My Highlights

"If you want to do something, do it."

"There is no merit in just thinking about doing something. The result is exactly the same as not thinking about it. It is only doing the thing that counts.

People who get a lot done manage it because they have the ability to get each necessary thing done right there and then.

  • know your long-range purposes
  • work in the service of some cause that you can respect
  • attempt to live and work in an environment in line with your own innate value
  • develop a philosophy of gratitude
  • reduce procrastination - it can be dangerous
  • use muscular activity to alleviate frustration
  • understand that aimlessness causes harmful stress
  • work itself is good and a basic life necessity

"It's not what happens to you in life that counts, but your attitude and what you do about it."

Aimlessness and procrastination create frustration, and the stress of frustration is much more likely than that of excessive muscular work or engrossing mental work, to produce disease.

Don't prepare. Begin.

The enemy is Resistance.

Start before you're ready.

Good things happen when we start before we're ready.

Courage begets more courage.

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

It's best to get clarity before you begin, but it's also best to begin before you have clarity.

It's easier to work towards something that has a clear vision attaches to it. It's easier to stay on track. But sometimes you can't get clarity, even if you try. — What should you do?

Go ahead and get started. Get started without clarity. Take some small steps. Investigate, research, look into possibilities, check things out, talk to people, and . . . . if at all possible - try something out in real life.

Action isn't something that comes after figuring things out. Action is a way of figuring things out.

...the law of momentum — it is easier to keep going once you've started than to get started in the first place.

One of the best ways to start something is to step back, look around, and say, "What do we have here?"

This puts you in touch with the reality of your situation. It shifts your attention from your feeling stat (boredom, anxiety, confusion) to the concrete reality of the circumstances surrounding your work.

"It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop." – Confucius

"Never mind likes and dislikes; they are of no consequence. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness." — George Bernard Shaw

The only way to really deal with the problem of excitement is to stop becoming dependent on it. We stop connecting the feeling of excitement with the persistence of action-taking. We stay with something because it remains important, even after our excited feelings are gone.

We overcome our anxiety by going around it, not by destroying it or freeing ourselves from it. You don't need to travel in a straight line. Because of its flexibility it is impossible to contain it. Let us learn the are of ocho and live more like water.

The fundamental change we need is a shift from a feeling-centered approach to decisions to a purpose-centered approach. The question isn't "What do I feel like doing?" but, rather, "what needs to be done?" All the time management systems in the world won't really help us very much until we've developed the capacity to make decisions based on purpose rather than feelings.

When you shift your attention to encouraging someone else, you have removed the nourishment for your own suffering.

"Give up on yourself. Being taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator or unhealthy or lazy or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die." — Shoma Morita, M.D.

The realization that we may fail can result in a failure to even attempt what we wish to do.

"Monotony is the law of nature. Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises." — Mahatma Gandhi


The-Art-of-Taking-Action-V2-1

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