Action. Routines. What you do every day is what leads to lasting results.
Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. […] Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now”Epictetus
I am a practicing stoic, and for me, the action is where the magic happens; walk the talk as the saying goes. By doing, with action, I improve. Nowadays, I am constantly striving to be the best version of myself. And it is hard, really hard. But it can be done, slowly, bit by bit. For me, it requires a lot of discipline, grit, and persistence. Let me elaborate a little bit.
Action is practice
I read many books, but theoretical knowledge in books is nothing without action, without practice. In theory, practice and theory are the same, in practice seldom. For example, reading about the ancient Stoics and their lives, about stoic philosophy, is nothing without putting it into practice.
I used to do many detailed and ambitious plans for a healthy diet, exercise, career, etc. And they all failed. Because they were too theoretical and, most of the time, too ambitious. That needed to change. So I did. I focused on sustainable and attainable change by setting routines, bit by bit. For quite a few years, I have done this, first unconsciously, and lately steady, focused and disciplined, but paced.
At the moment, I work really hard to establish a writing routine. I will soon need to write every day as I move into a research position at work. Writing regular posts every weekend on this blog is an important part of establishing a new routine.
The action is what matters and where the magic happens. Routines are what works for me and the basis for action – more about routines in the next post.
Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.Epictetus