Decisions Without Actions

Published on November 12th, 2020

A decision without action is not a decision.

Call it a goal, wish, or intention. But these are all mental targets.

To decide is to cut away. To decide and say yes to one thing means you are implicitly saying no to other things. Actions are the actualization of this as you move towards the things you decided upon and away from the things you did not. But action is the crucial ingredient of actualization.

I know this because I can easily fool myself. I can declare to myself, my wife, and everyone else. "I've decided to do X." This gives the warm and fuzzy feeling that something has been done. And yes, you did get to a place mentally. But then something funny tends to happen. Days go by, and I didn't actually do it. So I made a commitment with my present self that my future self couldn't keep.

And yes, sometimes the original decision was wrong. Upon further reflection and new information, it was wise NOT to do it. But take comfort in the fact that this is a new decision rather than live in the delusion that the original commitment still stands.

Making a decision is great, but the action makes it real. And without action, a decision is just an intention.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.