Motion vs Action

Posted by Luke McMeeken-Ruscoe on

I read a framework in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, it talked about Motion Vs Action. Motion being all the things you do to feel like you are doing something, reading, researching, watching videos, etc vs Action, which is actually doing the thing. 

Motion feels like you are moving forward but without action you are actually just staying in the same place. The action will lead to the success or failure, and that is where the magic happens. 

It is also way scarier. Living in motion feels good, there is no risk, but also no reward. Living in action risks embarrassment, but also victory.  


There are moments that give us pause to reflect on our lives and the world we live in. ANZAC Day is an easy one to do this one. A time to take stock if you are living a life of motion or a life of action. 

War, and the horror of it was always at arms length for me. You hear about it at school and in documentaries but there are always layers between what you hear and what went on.

The horrors of war only became real to me during a class I took at university. 


Through a lot of hard work and huge amount of luck I was able to get a scholarship to the US for basketball. The single most moving/challenging/eye opening lecture was a single Vietnam history lecture. It was taken by a Vietnam Vet. 

The class was packed. I guess everyone knew today was the day to come to class. I thought it was just another normal class. I bet lots of people in class that day weren't actually taking the paper, they had just heard they needed to come and listen to this guy speak.

Speak is not the right word for it. Mesmerize was probably more accurate. For nearly an hour and a half he talked about his experience as a dumb 19 year old learning to fly a helicopter then what the war was actually life for him.

The story was amazing, it probably helped that he was a good speaker and has done this speech thousands of times by now. No one spoke, or shuffled in their seat, we were all just dumbstruck at what we were hearing. 

The guy was the same age as I was, but I could not have comprehended doing what he was doing. 


I do like the remembrance of Anzac Day, but I don't think it really does justice to all the brave men and women that died and sacrificed on shores far away from home. 

They fought against tyranny and the corruption of power, or more accurately exploitation. Remembering that is great and celebrating them is wonderful but I think the most respectful thing to do is live the ethos everyday.

We could have the motion of reading about other people, or seeing someone else's hardship in a movie but the action is to engage with people different from you as human beings and not others. 

it is troubling for me to hear a completely different narrative about the war in Ukraine than the wars fought in the Middle East. They are both horrific situations where people are acting to maintain power rather than better the lives of the people. 

It is easy to stereotype and to ignore things that don't immediately affect you. It is harder to see everyone as people that are more alike that different. I think that is what I took away from the Vietnam class. The humanity that gets lost in conflict and why the conflicts continue. 

Moment of Gratitude

Health is the ultimate wealth. After getting Covid and feeling tired and lethargic, I went to the gym yesterday and started to feel strong again. 

It is a very small thing, and somewhat psychological, but it felt good to move a weight that used to be easy then was hard and now is getting back to easy again. 

I mean, I was really tired afterwards and had a big nap, but I still moved the weight well, and progress is the aim.

Shave well, Be Awesome, Be a person of action.


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