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June 24, 2011

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Hi Michele - nice post. Action vs activity is a great way to think about the bigger picture of personal development. I also agree that reflection is key to purposeful action Thanks for the mention.

Thanks, Dennis--I appreciate you talking about the differences between signing up and joining, as I feel like this is one of the big areas in social media where people aren't as purposeful. We can get really bogged down in signing up. :-)

Hi Michele

This is true for us business owners too. Lots of ways to be busy and we have to keep pulling back to see if we're moving in sync with the overall strategy.

Why are we doing what we're doing in any given moment? Is it just activity or action that's going to help us achieve our goals?

Hi Dennis and Michelle,
Thank you for this post and inquiry. I'm reminded of a good friends description of action versus activity. She mentioned the image of a pelican sitting on a pier flapping its wings wildly (which they apparently often do). The pelican is going through the motion of flight (activity) but doesn't accomplish much (action-flight) until it takes off. The imagery has stuck with me and seems to fit here too. We can sign up (flap our wings) but until we actually join (take flight) we've not gotten or given benefit.

The second thought that came to me was about "showing up" online. I have a friend who resisted facebook until she could consider what it would mean to her work and practice, and how she would present herself there. Seems to me this is getting at this notion of signing up versus joining. Most of us just jump in a sign up without thoughtfully considering why, what it means to our work or practice, or how it fits (or not) etc. Thanks for a great thought-provoking post to noodle on.

Hi Tom-VERY true about the distinction between action and activity for small business owners. This is something I have to look at on a pretty regular basis, as it's easy for me to get caught up in activity, only to find that it's not particularly strategic or helpful. It's one of the issues I sometimes find hardest to address.

And LaDonna, love the image of the pelican! Not only does it fit here, but I can see it applying to a lot of the ways we live and work. I know a lot of people who are exhausted from flapping their wings and who never end up taking off.

Reflective practice crucial - but maybe the pelican is flapping it's wings for a purpose we don't understand! Flight may not be the immediate objective, but the flapping is somehow part of the process towards flight ....

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