If you don’t take action, not a lot will change. You’ll be perpetuating the same habits, and likely won’t get a different result. This thought has been on my mind all February, the importance and the power in taking action.
My mom and I are creating an e-course based off of her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. Every day we’ve worked on it, maybe with the exception of one, we were horribly unfocused. I remember thinking, “I want caffeine!” “I want my brain to work!” “I want focus!” Even though I felt like I was moving mountains to sit still and focus on the e-course, I still got stuff done. Both of us, although unfocused, got a lot done when we worked on it together, or alone. If I waited for focus to come, it wouldn’t have. If we waited for the perfect moment to start working on it, that moment never would have come, and we wouldn’t have made the progress that we have made.
My brother called me earlier this month and our conversation was largely about the power of taking action. He told me that he started making short films with his friend. They shoot them within a day and a couple days later they’re live. He told me that other people take weeks, months, even years to do the same thing. They plan and plan and plan, and wait until they have the perfect team, the perfect equipment, the perfect everything, and it takes forever to get done, or it doesn’t get done. Instead of putting things off and waiting for that perfect moment, and likely getting disheartened and giving up, they just went right into it and created four short films within a month.
My brother has been in LA for a year, and in that year he has booked a lot of commercials, some national and international, TV game shows (and won one, a car, a trip to Canada and money), non-TV acting gigs, landed a lead role in a feature length film, got the green light for the sequel to that film (which will be filmed in another country), got flown to Vegas to create a promo video for one of the films, got a lot of standup gigs, got invited to tour with standup people, is being flown to Japan next month to film a follow up to a previous commercial he did (there’s a billboard of him in Japan because of the character he played in that commercial), he has been editing scripts, helping rewrite scripts, will be in one or two other feature films, and the list goes on. He also has a commercial agent, a manager, I think a voice over agent and one of the best theatrical agents in LA. This has all happened within a year because he continues to take action. He told me that people are out in LA for acting, and they’ve been there for 10 to 15 years, and they haven’t gotten a fraction of what he has gotten in the last year. The one thing he noted is that the majority of the people are dispirited, they’ve already given up. My brother is submitting himself to auditions online every day. He’s networking like crazy and he’s always putting himself out there. Each and every day he’s taking action, and it’s paying off.
I remember interviewing a filmmaker for Curve Magazine, Desiree Akhavan. I asked her what her experience was with making her web series. She responded:
This experience has been really nice, well because Ingrid and I are both students at film school, and I find that we’ve been really precious about our work and spending so many years crafting things and shooting on film and making it look perfect. While we were shooting, we made an episode a week. I’d write the episode Monday. We’d shoot it Thursday and we’d edit it Sunday, and then have it online. And you know, you just can’t be precious. You get it out and if it’s not perfect, it’s not perfect, but you’re constantly doing. I think that’s been a really great lesson.
Their web series ended up getting a lot of awards, and she went on to make a feature-length film, was featured in Filmmaker’s Magazine as an upcoming filmmaker to watch, got a lot of other press and is now continuing to create film.
My mom and I host the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge each year via this blog and the Love Warrior Community. I created the Facebook event page on a whim, two days before the event, and it exploded. We had the most participation and self-love posts submitted ever. Over 500 self-love posts were submitted in the month of January.
I launched a campaign and contest for my publication The Human Experience this February. I didn’t get as big as a response as the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge, but then again I didn’t put as much time into it. But it still did great. I got a lot of submissions, submissions that I didn’t have before, and a lot of more people are aware and in love with The Human Experience, which was my goal. Often, my expectations are extraordinarily high, and I can get disappointed easily. When that happens, I temporarily take a step back from whatever I’m doing, which means I stop taking action and stifle progress.
Throughout this month I had a handful of days where my focus was very low and I wasn’t very motivated to do anything, but wherever my energy and focus levels were at, I continued to take action, even if it was only one small step. And that one small step kept me going, and that first step lead to a second step and a third step and so forth.
I could spend all day thinking about what’s not right, or about needing X before I can do Y, but in reality, I can always take action – at any moment. All I have to do is decide to take action. I have to act.
What was important for me to remember during those days, was that one step was enough. I may have wanted to do 10, 20, 100 things, but if I took just one step, then I tried to celebrate that one step, and worked on letting go of any negative thoughts that came up and let them float on by.
I remember a couple years ago when I was big into following lifestyle design and digital nomad bloggers, all of the ones that were really successful, had a lot of followers and turned their online community into revenue, they all said they same thing. The difference between them and the blogs and online communities that didn’t succeed, is that they didn’t stop taking action. The other people stopped blogging, and the successful ones didn’t.
It all boils down to taking action. When you begin to take action on what you want in life, it happens. If you don’t take action on what you want in life, it won’t happen.
If you want to love yourself, begin a self-love practice. Start cultivating loving thoughts, feelings and actions, today. If you want to get better sleep, find ways to make that happen. Maybe not watching TV before you go to bed, or reading before you go to bed, or whatever works for you. If you want to begin a yoga practice, begin a yoga practice. Whatever you want to bring into your life or let go of, you can choose to do that at any moment. It may not be an easy journey. It actually might be extraordinarily difficult, but as long as you keep on taking action, one step at a time, then eventually you’ll manifest what you want in your life.
– Emelina Minero
Emelina Minero uses her passion for writing, editing, social media and offline and online community building to feed her other passions. She’s the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Human Experience, a queer publication that’s inclusive to everyone, queer or not. She’s the Co-Founder of the Love Warrior Community, an online community that fosters self-love and acceptance. She’s the Founder of Community Bucket List, an online community that helps people take action on their passions through action-oriented bucket lists, and she’s the Social Media Chair for nonprofit Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc. Emelina also writes for various queer publications, and is a contributing writer for Curve Magazine, the best-selling lesbian magazine in the U.S.