What do Bruce Lee and Yoda have in common where they speak truth into life? They are two of my favorite celebrities. Both martial artists. Both philosophers. Both hold the same understanding of the difference between well intentions and actualization. Many of have a number of well intentions, but well intentions alone do not create real changes or events until they are actualized.
Bruce Lee said, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Yoda said, “Do or do not; there is no try.” Knowing, willingness and trying are great starting points for action, but by themselves are not the same as actual happenings or events. They do not by themselves change circumstances or tangibly contribute to progress until they are applied and acted upon in a definitive way that creates real changes in the conditions of our selves, lives and society. It is like the difference between potential and realization. Our society’s extreme emphasis on the psychological optimism of potentials downplays the need for realization of those potentials. Potentials don’t create real changes. Realization of those potentials do. Potentials are simply the possibility of something happening. Realization requires the commitment, consistency, perseverance, focus and decisive determination to make something actually happen. Otherwise, potentials that are never exercised or applied never materialize into something tangible nor have any real effect.
Many of us, especially those of us who are artists in this town of Hollywood, have ideas, intentions and dreams. Where the rubber meets the road, where the child’s play is separated from the adult work, is where those who mature those intentions into actualization. This principle is true with our dream careers, habits we’re trying to break, relationships we’re trying to mend, health needs we want to meet, and the discipleship we intend to walk. There’s a vast difference between being just a dreamer and being a creator. Saying to yourself I really want to do that, I dream of that, or I’ll start that tomorrow doesn’t produce any real effects.
So what is your obstacle? Mentally, emotionally, circumstantially, physically? Maybe today is the day that you take the first tangible step to kick that habit, heal from that old wound, practically love that person like you’re meaning to, reconcile that relationship, start that diet, paint the first layer of that painting, write the first paragraph for that story, read the first page of that dusty book, develop the first bar of that song, address that question of life, or take that first step of discipleship in Jesus. Enough of the mere I know, I want to, and I’m trying to; and let’s apply the decisiveness, belief, commitment, determination, fortitude and perseverance to make it happen. When we do the good we know to do, we’re not only better for it. Our world is better for it because we’ve created some tangible measure of good that has a real effect.