Movement vs. Action

My life’s gained quite a bit of overall activity as of late, and in the midst of all this activity I’m reminded of an Ernest Hemingway quote that I’ve loved for a very long time, which is that we must “Never confuse movement with action.”

Hemingway was famous for having a very active lifestyle. He traveled all over the globe. He reported on the Spanish Civil War. He went on safari in Africa. He interacted with countless lives, had countless adventures, basically any words I write can only bring forth bland images of his vibrant life well-lived. I could only dream of living quite so active a life, but I’m sure some people out there will be blessed enough to live just as fully as Hemingway did.

I’ve done my best to stay in a state of doing in my life, I just try to stay moving as much as I can. But there are moments where I feel this strong impulse to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind myself that anything I do should be for a productive purpose. That I shouldn’t just be doing things for the sake of doing things. For the sake of established habit. I should be taking actions for the sake of improving myself as an individual, and doing what I can to improve upon those actions to optimize their benefit.

But there are sudden moments where I find myself wondering if it’s all futility. If I’m just Sisyphus pushing a rock up a hill, and that life is just a strange punishment for some original sin of existing. Some joke of a Higher Power on us all.

I’ve been in a state of constant happy movement, but I had a weird, sleepy, semi-objective look at my life today while I was waking up. A rampage of questions bombarded my groggy mind. Am I taking the steps I need to take with my life? Is this a place from which I can springboard into something more? Will things shift? I feel okay about the trajectory brought on by my life’s more recent actions, but in my more introspective moments, questions like that haunt me. I’m sure they haunt most of us, but maybe it’s just me. I hope it’s just me. I’d wish that type of sudden hesitation on no one.

I’m not advocating second-guessing every other step you take in life, nobody can live like that. He who hesitates plays a dangerous game. But I do think it’s best, in the midst of heightened movement in life, to occasionally take a step back and try to ask yourself hard questions about your actions. To see where you’re going to make sure you’re moving in a good direction.

But when you know you’re doing what you need to do in your life, and you’re taking productive actions that bring you forward, and that state of action brings you joy, there’s only one real option from that point onward.

Push harder every damn day.

375 thoughts on “Movement vs. Action

  1. Thank you for reading my blog, and I enjoyed your blog. I relate to the deep introspective thoughts that you shared. I sometimes just sit in a chair and quietly allow the deeper questions that I may have subdued in the hidden areas of my brain to surface. Sometimes you feel like you should be doing something, but I resist and think it’s ok not to fill every moment with some type of movement or action.

    Liked by 3 people

    • A very valid perspective, it’s certainly necessary to take moments where you don’t force yourself into anything and you allow yourself to simply be. I think there is a time and place for everything, times for really deep introspection and other times to trust that the flow you’re within is a productive one which does not warrant resisting. And other moments like you’ve said, you should simply allow yourself time where you don’t force anything on the moment, thank you so much for your kind and insightful comment!!

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  2. As a writer, it is easy to second guess your actions. Should I keep writing even though I’m not making money? Am I good enough to be doing this? I’ve taken this step back over and over, but I’m still here pounding away at the keys. We gotta do what we gotta do.

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  3. Some interesting thoughts 🙂 In the Christian life, God says that faith without works is dead so action in a life of faith is important but we need to make sure that our actions have good purpose and are not just useless and/or selfish movement. Blessings 🙂

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    • Indeed we must we really are far too busy nowadays, and it can distract from a fulfilling life and proper questioning of our approach thank you so much for the comment and I’m happy this post connected with you!!

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  4. Wow. I had this very realization recently. If we want things to be better or want to better ourselves, we’ve got to do the doing. Life won’t just happen on its own. Truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem at all thank you so much for your comment!! And it’s the truth we need to effect the change we want to see in our lives, it won’t come out of a vacuum we’ve got to go get what we want all the best to you!!! 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for reading!! I really like the concept behind your blog too of encouraging interactivity with other bloggers, I really believe that to be a fantastic platform apologies for the late reply I’ve had a lot of my time taken up by work over the last year during a time frame where I really wish I could be interacting with other bloggers more and expanding a readership so I blog less than I would like, but I really appreciate your having stopped by and I wish you nothing but the best in your blogging journey!! Stop back whenever you so desire cheers!! 🙂

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