make it happen, getting things done, bias for action

Over a decade ago, I spent 4.5 years studying at seminary. I was diligent with my studies, and sincerely wanted to be spiritual pure in every thought and action. I did not want to get one step ahead of God, and clung to that verse: be still and know that I am God. Emphasis on the “be still”, contemplative, mystical, pray about every little thing, waiting on God. Let go and let God. All God and none of me.

Then crisis hit, as if the bottom fell out. I held so much of myself back from thinking or planning or acting, that I short circuited my emotional well being, or something like that. I got some help with talk therapy and medication, to get my head cleared, to get in touch with my heart’s desires, to take better care of myself.

Not that the spiritual devotion was all bad, but blindingly incomplete. I’m realizing that nothing happens in the spiritual realm, if I’m not active in the physical realm. All prayer and no action could change a few things, but all prayer and strategic action could change a lot more things.

2 of my fears: having my actions and tasks overtake my spiritual priority; and having my actions and tasks run over people and relationships. I’ve mostly let these go. The frustration of inaction now gets to me.

So during the past year or two, I find myself gravitating towards business books and magazines and blogs, to supplement my background in technology and theology. I still love ideas, but find few people interested in plain conversations about ideas. A little knowledge is dangerous. Code words that clue me in on people who have this bias for action: “get it done”, “make it happen”, “let’s do it”, “consider it done.”

Today I browsed over to some productivity concepts called “Getting Things Done”, by a David Allen. He wrote a book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, and has a whole suite of products and services and software. I like the quicker read of summaries I’d found about it at 43folders, managementcraft, and

My ideal heaven is still to sit around Starbucks, sipping coffee or iced venti sweetened tea, and shoot the breeze, talk up a storm, but in the mean time, gimme a piece of the action.

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  1. chris says:

    hey dj,

    i’m also reading allen’s book…which is really good…for the past few years i felt my self becoming unfocused and my productivity was rather low in the name of being “holistic” or “emerging” or better yet anti corporate…but of course, all things seem to come back around and i realized it was important to be productive, to have systems and to be active.

  2. Bumble says:

    Don’t put too much hope in the business world either (I had an MBA before getting into seminary). But I still don’t “get” the getting things done, nor the purpose driven stuff yet. I manage my time, not to do more things, but to do the right things God wants me to do. May be that’s why the “be still” come from…

    However, check out this link on GTD: