Inspired Action and Ends-In-View

I have to admit, I am not feeling very inspired to write this morning. This is due in part to the fact that my daughter has not been sleeping well, which, of course, means I have not been getting the required number of z’s either. But more significantly, there is another force that keeps pulling my attention away from my writing today: I am planning a road trip through Quebec!

Right about now you are likely feeling something akin to shock, awe or utter astonishment at the synchronicity of this situation. If you have been following my progress through Pam Grout’s book, you know that the fourth energy experiment required me to ask the Universe for something I desire; and I requested a trip.

Seriously!? What are the chances that I would intend to take a trip, and then actually start planning a trip? Well, um…maybe pretty good since I currently have access to a computer and this magical apparatus known as “the internet”?

It seems clear that the reason that my intentions are being fulfilled in this instance is that I am actively pursuing their realization. But I think that this leads to a key insight into this Law of Attraction stuff. You can simply ask the universe to deliver something to your doorstep, and then twiddle your thumbs until it magically appears. OR, you can place your order, and then take inspired action if it suits you. It is up to you.

Now I want to point out that my trip planning process has been helped along by some strangely synchronistic occurrences. For one, my husband sat down to dinner last night and asked, “Are we going to take a trip this summer?”

“Why yes we are, husband! Don’t you worry. The Universe and I are already in cahoots about it!”

With that, just after we’d decided to visit Montreal, I received an email from a travel website advertising Quebec as their featured destination.

I definitely think it is important to acknowledge these sorts of synchronistic signposts when they appear. Yet, for me, this is always coupled with intentional action, or what one self-help author calls, “the hustle”. For instance, I clearly love to travel, but it is not only the destination itself that gets me excited. One of my greatest pleasures in life is actually planning my future travels. I relish the process of researching a place, exploring various possibilities and weighing options. I love pouring over photos of scenic vistas, bustling cities and serene villages. I diligently investigate a place’s culinary scene until I know exactly what I should try and where I can find it. And more than anything, I love delighting my travel companions with hidden gems that only my rigorous and finely detailed research could produce. It is possible that I sound a little nutso here, but I am telling you: planning travel is one of my greatest sources of joy.

So, for me, the trip itself is what John Dewey refers to as an “end-in-view”. It is not a concrete, static aim, unsusceptible to revision. Instead, it is a malleable goal that drives inspired action forward. But, if I were to discover, through the interest driven process of planning, that I wanted to change the destination, this would be entirely acceptable. To leave your goals immune to revision is to create a static, extrinsic aim for yourself. For Dewey, nothing squelched interest-based action like a concrete aim imposed from without.

All of this is to say that when we do make a wish, say a prayer, or place an order with the universe, we must be willing to recognize the opportunity for inspired action, and accept that the end goal might change. To do otherwise is to stifle the joy of your present in service to a yet unreached future.


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