Photo credits: Evan Brooks
Everything we do is an action being performed, mostly involuntarily and automatic like breathing, but a sizable amount of our daily action taken is of our own volition. Our actions determine our future realities. For example, should we stick to a schedule when it comes to sleeping, going to bed around the same time each night and waking up with the same strictness, then our quality of sleep will most likely improve. In contrast, should our actions regarding sleep be less regulated and strict, the likelihood of our quality of sleep being poorer is higher. The actions and little choices we have control over and make each day, bring about our future state. In other words, our actions quite literally determine who we become, so if we dream of a certain future version of ourselves, the best way to achieve said goal is to take the necessary steps towards it.
Starting is the hardest but most necessary action we can take. We may not fully know what we are getting into, or how to best pursue what we want, but by starting, we can learn and grow. Say you want to start a project with the main purpose to enact social change within your community, where do you start?
The first step for any project should be to as clearly as possible outline the goals you wish to accomplish. After creating a list of goals, or a general mission of what you want to do, the next step is to lay out all the resources you have available currently to make your project happen. Do not be afraid to seek out resources, engage the community around you and create partnerships. Once you have a clear idea of the resources you have available, you can next seek to better understand what your strengths are pertaining to the project and work off of them.
Action is not the difficult part, but we often get stuck because we may not know where to begin, making exploration an important piece of the puzzle. By going out of your way to see all the options and opportunities available to you, a lower barrier between waiting, and starting.
Harvard Law School put together an entire page of action words for your resume. Why? Harvard knows, and most any other career specialist will tell you, others want to know what you have done or are currently doing. If someone is hiring you, they want to know what you have achieved in the field related to the job. Say you are applying to a graduate school program, most of the application is centered on what you have done within the subject matter you wish to get a degree in. We should not only take action on what we believe is important to us, but we are also about to take note of what we have accomplished as well.
Seeking out projects for social change, or taking part in some of the organizations on campus, is a great way to expose yourself to opportunities around you. Taking action, as highlighted above, is a skill especially important to develop now. Through taking action now: you create an easier path for yourself to follow in the future in terms of getting started, you expose yourself to time sensitive opportunities only open to you now, and you build a network of partnerships along the way — aiding you further down the line.
As first stated, most of the actions we take, at least on a biological level, are already being performed involuntarily. Taking proper control of the actions we do get to have is imperative, and will shape where we end up in the future. Take some time, look around, see the opportunities available to you, and move on them. The present is ripe with opportunities for you to utilize — do not wait.
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civil and Professional Leadership EB916132@wcupa.edu.