When I looked at this pic, somehow it spoke with me regarding few areas of my life and made me think that yes in some areas I am going on in circles and of course not getting the desired results and on top of it, I am not even looking up and rather through my actions or inactions, making the groove deeper.
There is little bit of this person in all of us. We all rather than realizing our dreams, working on our deepest calling, keep ourselves in perpetual mental and physical motion. We tend to have a lot of resistance when it comes to changing patterns and routines. we are more comfortable holding on to familiar problems, fears, and pains than choosing and facing new opportunities and possibilities. We get so caught up in our familiar patterns and limiting self-talk that, at some point, these habits become closed loops, limiting our progress and creativity. While we can expend a lot of energy, we get few new results other than digging deeper ruts into the same old terrain. A small story that I read might help you to understand this action vs activities difference, which makes all the difference, to help us stop and look up with curiosity and courage.
A rat was placed in a cage that contained a treadmill and lots of toys. In the middle of the cage was a red lever that, when pressed, will open the door and set him free. If the goal of the rat is freedom, no matter how fast he runs on the treadmill or how involved he becomes with his toys, he will never gain freedom. There is only one way out of jail for this rat, going directly to the red lever and pressing it.
In this story, pressing the lever is the freeing action; busying himself with the
treadmill and toys is the imprisoning and distracting activity. Sometimes, our situation is remarkably like the rat’s situation. Quite often, we will seek out activities that are not essential in helping us reach our destinations.
It’s so interesting to note that one definition of madness is always taking the same actions while expecting different results. We all do this sometimes. Whenever you suspect that you are “looping,” some questions can help you to come out of this:
Are we living out of habit?
Is this habit which served you well sometime, is it still serving you?
Are you going to select the same, old, comfortable, yet confining choice, or are you going to get courageous and take a different approach?
There is nothing wrong with pursuing activities if they are done with awareness and in moderation. We all need vacations, breaks, and escapes. What is dangerous is when we engage in a constant diet of activities and think they are actions. The skill is in differentiating between them. If you can answer at any given moment, “What am I involved with right now: an action or an activity?”, this heightened awareness can help you to select a healthier balance between them. If you cannot discern the difference, how are you going to know when you are on or off track?
The only way out is through.
That is the only way you will live more out of intent.