Life often calls for us to make choices and take action. Both controlled and inspired action are two approaches to life’s challenges that can either help us flow or add more struggle then need be. They are both necessary and can produce desired results when applied to situations that compliment them. Learning about these two approaches and knowing which one to grab onto in specific circumstances of our lives can help us cruise through life more fluidly.
Inspired action is commonly driven by a random thought, curiosity or inspiration to act. The energy behind inspired action tends to be free flowing, light, organic and open. The driving force behind this action is curiosity and intrigue. There is no force or resistance when our action is coming from an inspired place.
Inspired action doesn’t require a plan. It requires us to get out of our own heads. There are no rules or “should’s” to follow. There is no right, wrong or logical mindset at play. It’s not to be contained or controlled, which is what allows it to happen so naturally and be so organic. Simply put, it’s action that we just feel moved to do when it calls.
This action is not ego based, rather it’s based on what makes you feel alive and joyful. It often happens unexpectedly, like most special moments in life. It’s without a script or knowing. It’s just, straight up, Inspired.
When action comes from a place of inspiration the result of that action tends to be extremely powerful. Endless possibilities and big dreams stem from this type of action because it’s pure, true and genuine. It has no limits or boundaries.
Inspired action is based around the concept of flow. Flow is not questioning where you’re going nor where you’ve been.
It’s just………Being. In. The. Flow.
Controlled action has a very different energy to it. The energy that accompanies controlled action is focused, contained and more contrived. This type of action calls our logical minds and learned perspectives to “figure out” what we need to do in order to make our desired result happen. This way guides us to focus on “the how” a desired result can be approached. It's more systemic and procedural. In controlled action there's often a “step by step” approach that leads to the desired result.
Controlled action is great when you’re looking to complete the academic path toward becoming a doctor, lawyer or any other profession that has a specific criteria to follow to meet the end goal. Flying a plane, getting a black belt in martial arts, doing a math problem, putting a piece of IKEA furniture together and a lot of technical fields require this approach. It's necessary at times. (I know, random selection of events, no doubt.)
Here is where we get to make a choice……
If we apply the concept of controlled action to a challenge in life that calls for a loose and flexible approach, we can very much get in our own way. Fighting against what is will bring more suffering and struggle than need be. So, when we're 100% committed toward using a fixed approach to a topic that calls for space, freedom and no boundaries, chances are that we will be creating resistance and more struggle than necessary. Resisting is the more difficult way. For example, forcing any sort of relationship to BE a certain way or demanding that something NEEDS to happen in order to feel okay are situations that cannot be controlled. Who you naturally connect with and feel attraction toward just is. There are some things in life that cannot be forced.
I know this gets tricky when we REALLY want something to look a certain way or someone to feel a certain way about us. It can be crazy making. It’s easy to want to follow a step by step plan of how to make something we want happen or someone we desire to see us in a certain light. The reality is, when we use force when something calls for space, we often create an opposite outcome to what we desire.
I know that when I get uncomfortable or anxious in life, I have a tendency to up the volume of control. There’s this illusion that if I control what I can, I will feel better. Often this is why we can find ourselves running around “busy” all the time. It distracts us and keeps us in the doing mode, which gives us a temporary sense of relief. Distraction may mask our anxiety and fear, although it doesn’t deal with it. Dealing with those emotions and getting through them requires facing and sitting with them. I understand why we humans avoid, it’s our best attempt of self protection from pain and discomfort. The quick fix is to stay busy, but the way toward healing is to slow down and practice the concepts of letting go, relaxing, trusting, calming and accepting. *Believe me, I know that's easier said than done my friend.
With that said, there is a time and place for controlled action, as there is a time to let go, allow, trust and go with what’s happening because you're inspired. Hopefully having more knowing around these two sources of action can help you find more self awareness and peace in your choice of action.
* The above image was taken by Amy Bjornson, San Diego based photographer.