Sam Radford

January 12, 2022

See what happens

It was Richard Rohr who said the following:

We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.

If we wait for our thinking to change, we’ll be left waiting. We have to make a lifestyle choice and trust that our thinking will catch up with our new way of living.

Similarly, Mark Manson wrote recently about action and motivation, saying:

...action is not just the effect of motivation, it's also the cause of it.

In other words:

...not only do we take action when we feel motivated to do so, but taking action creates motivation to take even more action.

The key is to take any action-orientated step, and trust that motivation will follow:

...if we can just manage to do something—anything really—this almost always sets off a chain reaction where action begets motivation which begets more action which begets more motivation… and so on.

I found this a helpful reminder. I’ve long recognised this with my writing. Learning to just start typing—even if it’s gibberish—leads to meaningful words soon starting to flow. If I wait for that feeling of flow, I rarely ever make the start. 

I need to apply this to other areas of my life, like Manson suggests:

Not feeling like working out? Just put on your workout clothes. See what happens…
Not feeling like making those work calls? Just go to your desk and open up your notebook/planner and get a little more organized for the day. See what happens…
Not feeling like working on that book you're writing? Just start on an outline for a section of a chapter. See what happens…

He then concludes:

Tiny little actions like these can quickly snowball into a downhill train of action. Before you know it, you're knocking out huge chunks of work in no time.


Got some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you—do hit reply or drop me a note.

@samradford |

About Sam Radford

Husband, father, lover of books, writer, tech geek, sports fan, and pragmatic idealist from Sheffield, England.