Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Less Talking, More Walking

We’ve all heard the phrase before. You know, the whole, “You can talk the talk, but you can’t walk the walk” bit. But most of the time we hear it in a joking, flirty manner. Tonight, I challenge you to think differently.

You see, we’re all guilty of it: committing to something and then failing to follow the commitment through to completion. But, think about it long and hard: life isn’t characterized by how many times we said we were going to do something—it’s made up of how many times we followed through.

Because, at the end of the day, our actions speak louder than our words. Nobody likes someone who says one thing and does another. It’s the doing that matters; consistency is king.

As of late, I’ve noticed so many complainers. Hell, I’ve probably been one of them And I’m tired of it. My friend Sarah even noticed it in herself.

But as long as we can spot it, we can change it. In doing so, I’m making more commitments to myself. For example, today I tweeted: “I promise that I will not settle for mediocrity in any aspect of my life. I deserve the best.” We all do. Obviously “the best” is completely relative and subjective—but figure out what that means to you.

Because you need to be doing your best to deserve the best in return. It’s personal karma. It’s healthy. It’s cyclical. It’s just the way that life works.

This may all seem extremely lofty or out-of-touch, but it’s so damn true. We all become complacent and comfortable—or perhaps too busy for our own good—far too easily. It’s important to stay focused on the walking as opposed to the talking.

Personally, I’m finding it helpful to make more lists and to plan better. Organization is the key to any well-oiled machine, and so I’ve devised a plan to get my credit card paid off and get caught up with my student loan payments. I’ve made lists of items I need to purchase and have planned when I will be able to afford them. I’ve also made more general rules like, “less drinks, more books” and “bigger lunches, smaller dinners” in an effort to be healthier and diversify what I do in my spare time.

Honestly, I’m tired of saying “Oh, I think I’m gonna rest up this weekend, maybe go to the park or a museum—perhaps finally explore Brooklyn or go to Fire Island for the first time.” And then never following through. I get pissed at myself because I always go to the same clubs, drink the same expensive drinks that I shouldn’t buy, waste my days away recovering from the nights prior. It’s such an exhausting routine. I’m putting myself through my own version of rehab and forcing myself to stay in and watch movies, catch up on TV shows and live within my means.

A few days ago, I looked at my list of New Year’s Resolutions from early January. I’ve accomplished none of my goals. None of them. How’s that for following through? Yeah, extremely poor. Talk about a personal fail!

So I’m holding myself more accountable—mentally, professionally, financially. It’s time for some forced personal growth. It’s time to branch out. It’s time to start doing.

But it all starts with saying it (hence, this post) and recognizing that the choice is there to be made.

I’m duct-taping my Nike’s to my feet. They’re gonna be getting a lot of mileage here soon.


  1. The way I see it is that life is made up of choices. In fact in many cases when we make one choice, we actually make two. What do I mean?

    When I wake up and choose to shower, I make the decision to shower and then another to actually get up and do it.

    In your case, you made a list of decisions, "resolutions", at the beginning of the year. The tough choice though is to actually decide to follow through as you say. For me it has been a long summer with lots of choices that I have made. As I read your post I keep thinking about all the choices I have made and thinking that in many cases I have made only one of two required choices.

    People can realize something big in their life that needs to happen and decide that things need changing, but it doesn't matter unless the make the choice to change things and as you say, get to walking.

  2. Wow - I never really looked at it that way. But you're totally right. It all boils down to the same thing, though: the walking is what gets remembered and how you'll evaluate yourself and others. So we should stick to doing, no matter what!

  3. After my own little meltdown in the last few weeks, I've come to the realization that it's easier to do the things that you want to do if you hold yourself accountable.

    See, I've been telling myself I hate my job and that I should quit, but that's not the same as holding myself accountable for what I'm saying. So now I choose to. So I'll be walking the walk because I'm tired of just talking.

    And I'm glad I'm not alone in my quest. Good luck walking!

  4. We're always on the same wavelength -- even with all this distance separating us! I LOVE it! My one year 'anniversary' with my job is approaching, and what do I have to show for it? Not as much as I would like for various reasons, unfortunately. Now, I've created lists, time-tables, organized folders on my laptop, etc ... all my ducks in order to put me where I want to be in a year from now. Good, right? Nuh-uh. Because I haven't figured out how to beat Resistance.

    I'm reading this genius book called 'the War of Art' by Steven Pressfield (which I was planning to send you today, along with other presents, but my car crapped out on me ... a story for another time). We all have Work to do -- the work of our true passions, not what is expected of us -- but Resistance stops us. Resistance is unbelievably powerful, especially when channeled through Rationalization. So we have to fight it -- everyday.

    I'm snagging a quote from the book and putting it up in all my spaces where I need to do my Work: "It is one thing to study war and another to live the Warrior's life" -- Telamon of Arcadia, mercenary of the fifth century B.C.

    We have to give Resistance its due respect and decide to be strong Warriors ... to fight.