By Shelly Webb
There is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, “Do the thing, and you will have the power. Do you ever find yourself saying, “I’ll do such and such, when such and such happens”? Maybe you want to get your hair done, learn a new skill, or go on a road trip with your family. Maybe it is something bigger like traveling the world or buying a new house. Whatever it is you want to have or do, you get there by taking action. We often want to have all the things, but we don’t want to take the actions that will get us there.
For me, the thing I really wanted was to be physically fit, and be able to run and dance. Per doctor’s orders, I couldn’t run or jump until I had lost a significant amount of weight; those two activities were not good for me in the shape I was in. I used this as a partial excuse not to do any of the exercises I loved, which included dancing, kickboxing and running. I was absolutely miserable with my physical condition, so the first thing I did was start working on my thinking. I wanted to think like a physically fit person. Not too long after that, I decided I was going to start doing the exercises I loved regardless of how overweight and out of shape I was. I would hold off on running for a while, but I knew that dancing and kickboxing could both be done with low impact modifications, and I could avoid jumping. It was difficult in the beginning, especially if I compared myself to the me four years ago who was in so much better shape. I continued to plug along, though, and eventually it became fun to work out, and I looked forward to it. Not only did it become fun, though, it also helped me lose my first 40 pounds.
One morning I woke up early to do my morning personal development and exercise, and I realized I felt inside like the person I wanted to be. I was still far from reaching my ultimate fitness goal, but I was already becoming the fit person I wanted to be because I changed my thoughts and took the actions that would lead to health and fitness BEFORE I was healthy or fit. This is where Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote comes in. We must “Do the thing” first. The power comes after we take action, and often the inspired actions we must take reveal themselves to us after we align our thinking with the end goal we have in mind. Think, do, be; those are the first steps. Only after these steps do we obtain the desired possession, experience, or ability.
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