By Bill Evashwick
Contributor for Tools For A Great Life
We’ve all heard the old saying: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” It’s been around a long time, and used by a wide variety of people, from Samuel Johnson and Karl Marx to Madonna and Billy Joel. The usual meaning attached to it is that people can do bad things even while intending to do good. Think about the many well-meaning government programs that end up creating new and worse conditions than the one they set out to “fix.”
But I was thinking about a different meaning the saying carries. That people might set out to do well, but end up sliding down a slippery slope of intentions with no follow through. They write down their goals, New Year’s resolutions, things they want to accomplish, but they never happen. The act of writing them down seems to have been enough.
I have a friend who is constantly making new goals, turning over a new leaf, finally going to make those changes…but never does. Her good intentions haunt her daily. The feeling of failure at not having achieved them is making her life a living hell. Most everyone falls prey to this to a greater or lesser degree. We set our life goals, annual goals, quarterly goals, goals for the month, week, day…but the things we want to accomplish will never be anything more than good intentions unless we take action.
The actions don’t have to be huge. Even a small action shows that you really are working to make something happen, that THIS TIME you are serious about meeting your goals. The moment you take action, things become real. And it’s funny how that works. Suddenly you encounter opportunities that never seemed to be there before. You meet like-minded people who want to work withyou or help you. The world opens up for you. Action begets action.
So next time you write down a goal, whether it’s exercising more or going back to school, take an immediate action. Go for a brisk walk. Check out web pages for local college or university extension classes. Anything that supports the goal you’ve just set. Taking action is the key, because there’s an alternate version of the old saying mentioned above that is more to the point: Hell is full of good intentions, but heaven is full of good works.
If you really want to see your good intentions realized, get to work. The results will be heavenly.
About Bill Evashwick
Bill Evashwick is an award-winning writer-director-producer whose work spans a wide variety of genres and media, from sketch comedies to documentaries, webisodes to feature films. His latest film, a quirky comedy titled Rancho D’Amour, won the 2011 Golden Reel Award at the Nevada Film Festival, was named Best Family Film at the ITN New York Film Festival, won awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Performance at Film Fest Twain Harte, and was an Official Selection at the Great Lakes Film Festival. He has produced, directed and written television programs for ABC, NBC, FOX, Discovery, History, A&E and others that have resulted in an Emmy Nomination, 13 Telly Awards, six CINE Golden Eagles, two Gold Medals from the New York Festivals and a Cable Ace Nomination for Best Comedy Special.
Bill graduated with a degree in Philosophy, and when he’s not hanging around the Philosophers Union Hall (Local 827), he likes to hike, surf, sample craft brews and read pulp fiction.