#005 | Don’t confuse motion with progress

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“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make progress.”


Let’s think about this: are you susceptible to the belief that as long as you’re doing something then progress is being made?

A few years ago, a friend of mine recognized this trait in me and called me out on it. I’m prone to thinking that if I’m not DOING something… then nothing is getting done. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When I was growing up, my grandmother used to grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches… She had a little row house right in the middle of DC, nothing fancy. When it came to gardening, she knew just what to do and when to do it. And she knew when to stop and do nothing in order to get the desired results.

In order to get cucumbers, she planted the seeds in the spring knowing that in about two months she would have what she needed to make them homemade pickles my cousins and I loved. Had she gone out into her garden in the dead of winter, digging, planting seeds, watering… Yeah, she would’ve been doing the same amount of work or more, but she would’ve been wasting her time and energy (and cucumber seeds).

Look to nature as the example: once the seeds are planted, constantly continuing to dig (especially if it just not the right time yet) will not make the fruit of your labor manifest any faster.

I struggle with wrangling my ambition sometimes, but what has helped me tremendously with this type of impatience is not acting immediately, and meditating (or as some say, sleeping on it) in order to let the action I’m supposed to take come to me naturally. Once you calm your mind, you stop it from trying to make something happen. Sometimes you might find that doing nothing is the best action.

So think about it: What have you been confusing with progress that has really just been you spinning your wheels?


Today’s assignment: write a few sentences about a situation that’s got you running in place, but in your story, write what would happen if you stopped.


Today’s words are from Alfred A Montapert, an American philosopher and author, best known for his book, the Supreme Philosophy of Man.
{reference article: “Stillness, Solitude and Success” via INC.“}


music from this episode was provided by Khalil Ismail
intro: “Lose Control” from Red Pill Electronic [download] outro: “First We Need the Love” from Red Pill Electronic [download]