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Do the Thing and Then You’ll Get the Energy

Rediscover your purpose and motivation by releasing the kinetic power of strategic tension

Recently, it’s been a struggle to find my motivation to get out and do things, even things I love to do. Based on some conversations I’m having, I’m not the only one feeling this way. Why are so many of us struggling to get out and do the things we know bring us joy? Where is this resistance coming from?

I thought about the near-constant stream of bad news. All the social and political conflict. The threat of the virus pandemic, and the economic uncertainty… Dwelling on all of that leaves me exhausted, thinking, “Why shouldn’t I be struggling to get motivated? Look at everything that’s going on!”

Those questions were a distraction and an easy way to stay confused and uncertain.

Those questions were also a way for me to excuse myself from doing anything about it. By projecting my current worries and frustrations into the future, giving those questions all my energy, I was effectively excusing myself from the responsibility to take action.

For me, doing what I love to do means cultivating relationships and having transformative conversations. For you, it might be something different. We all know what energizes us, what gets us flowing in our gifts. The build-up of energy between thinking about doing the thing and actually doing it causes tension in the space between imagining our future and creating it. When we are not intentional about being in action, doubt and negativity creep into that space. We hear it in the little voice that whispers, “I don’t feel like it,” and “I’m not ready,” or “This can wait, do it tomorrow.”

Like all energy, this tension can be shifted from something that holds us back to something that propels us forward. Physicists define this as the transformation from potential energy to kinetic energy. That energy transfer begins with a release, with letting go of the excuses and being in action. When we do this, the tension holding us back becomes a mode of action propelling us forward.

Sometimes, when we feel ourselves slipping into the cycle of Thinking About Doing, we need a pattern interrupter, a thinking partner we trust who has permission to help us pause that cycle and help us refocus our thoughts so they become actions. Whether it comes from ourselves or someone else, that pattern interrupt creates an opportunity to step away from the questions that lead us in circles, all those ‘what abouts’ and ‘what ifs’ that take us nowhere. As we let go of the thinking and start doing whatever it is that brings us joy and helps us grow, the tension we feel, all that potential energy, begins to transform into kinetic energy, becoming the momentum we need to keep moving forward.

Sometimes, when we feel ourselves slipping into the cycle of Thinking About Doing, we need a pattern interrupter.

So, today, if you’re struggling to get going, finding excuses to keep from turning your thinking into doing, reach out to a thinking partner who will be a pattern interrupter for you, focus your intention, and do the thing. Just get started, and you will feel the energy begin to build and grow and change. Continue that mode of action, regardless of the circumstances, and the momentum will continue to build. Do the thing, and then you’ll get the energy to do the thing.

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A version of this article was originally published in the September 2020 issue of Sandpoint Living Local / Coeur d’Alene Living Local.

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