“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace, Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus (65 BC-8 BC)
We’ve all got a lot on our plates in recovery. There are literally dozens of things we need or should be doing today and every day to help strengthen our foundation in sobriety. Even if we’ve been sober for many years, there’s always something new to learn, some activity or pursuit or endeavor that will make us more resilient, increase our self-confidence, boost our self-esteem and contribute to our overall happiness and fulfillment.
What many times we forget is that none of this occurs by itself. Accomplishment doesn’t just happen without our input. Well, it may very well happen to someone else, but that’s not what we’re after. We want to achieve our goals and make progress toward realizing our dreams.
Guess what? We need to take action in order to get there.
Action is not a bad thing, even though it is often perceived as some herculean effort that we’re bound to flub or cannot possibly master. The truth is that we will never know unless we try. And even if we stumble or don’t achieve the desired outcome on the first attempt, if we train ourselves to learn from our mistakes, we’ll have gained valuable insight that will help us the next time out.
It may be tough to get started on certain tasks, particularly if they fall into the aforementioned really difficult category, but also those that are routine, mundane and even boring. Who wants to get up at the crack of dawn to do some stretching and meditating before embarking on the day’s responsibilities when we so want to grab just a few more winks? That kind of thinking will do us in, giving us an excuse for our bad behavior, our laziness, if you will, that prevents us from taking action.
Remember that inaction is not action. To act means to get up and do something, take a step, the first or second or however many it takes to achieve results – or learn something, which is a result in and of itself.
When we first entered recovery it was probably a lot like going into a funhouse at an amusement park. It was scary, unfamiliar and without any clear path to follow. We may have felt uncertain in these strange surroundings and didn’t know where to turn. What if we made a mistake and became trapped in some weird world that we hated? Over time, however, and by keeping our commitment to maintain our sobriety, we came to learn the way. People we met in the self-help and support groups became, if not friends, at least our allies in recovery. We began to realize they will always be there for us to encourage our recovery efforts and to share in the successes we each achieve.
Again, this takes action. It also takes a plan, some reasonable approach that we can follow. We don’t want to just rush out and lurch into an activity without any idea how we’re going to do it, or what we’ll need to accomplish our goal, or even who we may need as a guide or resource.
Being active is integral to our overall health and well-being. So it’s time to realize that action is what we strive for. Keep in mind that small acts count just as much as those really big and involved projects we take on. There’s no difference in the tally. Every action we take counts, so make our actions count by doing the very best we can at all times. See everything as a learning opportunity. Be proud of our accomplishments. Seek to move the bar a little higher each time so that we push ourselves to do more. And we can do more. We always can. The best part about this is how great we feel when we realize our dreams. The sweetest reward comes after we’ve given our all. And, yes, we do deserve it.