"There is a word for the difference
between wanting to do and choosing to do.
It's called action."
-- Albert K. Strong
New: Audio version
[Classic post from 10-29-15]
When I was a little kid, there used to be a saying, 'wishes are for fishes.' I still haven't got a clue where that came from or why fish get all the wishes, but I think the gist of it was that you can think about something, want something, wish for something, hope for something, but nothing happens without some kind of activity.
I was thinking this morning about a long list of things that I want or would like to do. I have three stacks of books that I want to read, I want to rearrange my office, minimize the clutter (there is so much going on in this room!), try certain recipes in the kitchen, make and drink more fresh green juice, become thin again, and well, I'm sure you have your own list and yours might even be as long as mine.
I wonder how much time and energy, fret and concern that I have experienced over the years of the things that I haven't yet chosen to do? Whew! I know it has to be a lot.
I have a book I would love to read. It is The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh. It has been on the bookshelf facing me for years. I've picked it up a few times and read a couple of bits. It's well over 1,000 pages, and I'm certain that it is fascinating based on the tidbits I've tasted, but it remains unread, right along with the three stacks on the other side of the room.
Yet, I have several books on my side desk with bookmarks of where I am in them and they are all being actively read, although I'm not in a hurry as I am enjoying them in pieces and sort of studying them, making notes, and highlights too.
Is the difference in the depth of my desire? That might be one way to look at it, but I think it is as the quote above states, the difference between wanting and choosing. The difference is in the activity or the action. I have not yet chosen to read the Lindbergh book, so there is no activity or action to do so. Whenever I choose to read it, I'm certain that I will.
Until something gets on to my to-do list, or rather until I choose to do it, whatever it is that I think I want to do or might like to do is not important. I no longer (well, it's a work in progress to better state the truth) let any of that those un-choices to interfere with the real choices. Some day, the un-choices may actually move over to the choice column, but it doesn't really matter.
The more I worry about what isn't getting done, the less I tend to get done, and the more guilt or other negative feelings I experience. When I focus on what I am choosing to do and let all the rest become insignificant, I feel good, and even if I don't complete it in a timely manner, or even if I choose to not complete it on purpose, I still feel good and that I have become more in the process.
When I Choose, I Control My Experience.
Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing to do so. Otherwise, it will not be done.