What Is Action? Why Should I Take It?

by Pranav Bhatia
(India)

Question:

Dear Adam,

First of all, thank you for this site and its articles. While my journey to my present day enlightenment hasn't been an easy one (full of confusion, anxiety and lotsa' thinkin'). I do believe it to have been worth it. So, thank you!

Now, I wanna ask about action. Or rather 'doing things'. Why should I go to school? Why should I work? Basically, why do I have to do these 'common' things. What's point of doing anything is what's been on my mind lately. I am missing the 'why' in all that I do and thus I am not able to do it very well. For example, I am preparing for an exam for a degree in French so that 2-3 years later after school is over, I can move to France. But why should I do it? Why am I DOING it? What's the point in doing this or exercising (another example)? Why? Or what's the point in learning guitar and becoming a rockstar? Or anything for that matter. "You don't have to be anyone or anything. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone including yourself." Just be. I am. Please, do correct me if I am mistaken. :D

Action and basically just 'doing things' is what I don't seem to be able to wrap my head around.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
Pranav Bhatia


Response:

Yes,

Well usually the society teaches that everything worthwhile is in the future. Now is not enough, there must be more, and you will get more and be happier in the future when you get something, achieve something, or something happens. Of course doing things, achieving things, getting things is not wrong, and it can be very natural, but it is often sold as the way to become content.

You may be seeing that no matter what you get or do or achieve, whilst looking for fulfilment in these things, the fulfillment does not stay for long. It perhaps has become shallow, meaningless, or just like a pale reflection of something that is deeper and more true as a source of peace.

Many people may be driven to act and work and achieve, because of what is promised as a reward in the future. Or it comes from fear of what will happen if they don’t. Perhaps it was like this for a while with yourself. Now, instead of action being fuelled by future reward, as a means to an end, let action continue by itself. Breathing happens by itself, heartbeat happens by itself, eating happens by itself. Let everything else happen by itself, without your resistance, and without you trying to force it.

You may well find that things just carry on. Or, if there was something that was previously driven by an outcome that you are no longer interested in, then you may just not have the energy for it anymore.

But I am not sure what to say in terms of your studies. I don’t know why you are doing it. You don’t seem to either. Was it someone else’s wish that you do it? I don’t know of your situation, but I do know that resenting something whilst doing it is pure futility. Either don’t do something, or do it without resistance. The resistance, the complaint that seems so real and justified, actually does not help at all. It makes you miserable, uncomfortable, does not stop you from doing something, and it makes the quality of work lower. So if you are to continue with whatever you are doing, for whatever reason, then see how futile it is to fight against it.

Why exercise? Again, many people exercise because of the result of it, or they think they should be doing it. Maybe now you will only exercise when you find exercise you enjoy.

It is fairly obvious that often the most “successful” people do what they do not just because of what they get in return, but largely because they actually enjoy the doing. This supplies more energy to the doing, makes it more enjoyable and makes the person vibrate at a higher frequency.

Doing things as a means to an end seems to be like a minor or major hell. Next time you do anything, be in no hurry to get it over and done with. Then living becomes more enjoyable.

Adam

Also the human is conditioned to think in terms of purpose, in terms of reasons, why and how. Perhaps ultimately, life has no purpose, it is a light dance on the surface of eternity. I don't know. Purposelessness can on the one hand be interpreted as absolute misery, but on the other hand, it is a liberation and a joy, when it is seen that the "doer", the contracted energy inside that says "I am doing all of life", is seen as an illusion.

 

Comments for What Is Action? Why Should I Take It?

(from previous website)

Jan 03, 2016
Thank you but NEW
by: saraswathi  

Can I do something I don't enjoy now at present because it leads me to where I want example: preparing for entrance exam to become a doctor? 
Or is it my resistance or ego that says I don't enjoy the preparation for exam of your passion?


Jan 03, 2016
Yes NEW
by: Adam - InnerPeaceNow.com

Of course you can do it. If you still want to take that path, then go the whole way and dive in. Is it really your passion if you don't like it though? I'm not sure. But if you want to do it, you may as well go all in and embrace it.


Jan 06, 2016
Before enlightenment NEW
by: Diana

I read this somewhere: 
Before enlightenment, you carry water chop wood. 
After enlightenment, you carry water chop wood. 
So there are actions that are taken with proper care, but without concern for the result. Make those faithful actions as an instrument of the unfolding world.