Person standing with arms outstretched to the viewer, with bluish sand falling through their fingers. Text: From Intuition to Action: Listen to the voice that says "Now."

A client texted not long ago to share the news that his longtime mentor had died. He felt enormous grief at the loss but also enormous gratitude that we had finished his book in time for him to hand-deliver a copy to his dear friend. I shared his sense of relief. During the entire project I’d felt a rumbling warning: “Don’t dawdle.”

Another client, when I showed him the project plan for his book, seemed anxious. “I can’t explain it, but I have this urge. We need to get this book done as fast as possible.”

And at a recent book launch event, someone asked the author how long it took to write and publish her book. Her response: “Several years. Life gets in the way. We let other things take priority. But I knew I had to get this done. I had an obligation.”

When the universe keeps sending the same message, I figure I’d better pay attention…

Paying attention to gut feelings

Have you ever had that feeling? The compulsion to do something and the fear that if you don’t act now, you might miss the chance and regret it?

I hear this sentiment about book projects with some frequency: “I won’t sleep well until I get this published.” “I’m worried I won’t get this book done before I go…” “I don’t want to die with the music still inside me.”

Maybe you have a book in you—a message, a story, a teaching to give the world. If you don’t give it, the world might not become as whole, healed, and happy as it could be.

Or maybe you have some other dream awaiting you—to finish a renovation project, to run a marathon, to learn a new language so you can visit family in another country. Is your goal calling to you? Are you moving toward it?

I am gratified when I see someone complete an important, meaningful project. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen people unwilling or unable to move from recognizing an urge to taking action. And I’ve seen time run out.

The point? Pay attention to those gut feelings and act.

Tactical tips for taking action

For those who could use some “activation energy,” here are a few tactics that have helped me and that I frequently suggest for writing as well as other projects:

  • Decide once. Make the decision, and then make it non-negotiable. Apply any energy you might spend on future “re-deciding” to “doing” instead.
  • Dedicate time. If a project is important but you “never have time,” put it on your calendar.
  • Determine what to give up. To focus on your important project, you might need to relinquish something. What can you back-burner until later? What might you need to sacrifice?
  • Get help. Working alone can lead to “spinning” at times. When you bring in a collaborator, the energy changes. It’s easier to get going, get unstuck, and get ideas.

Once you jump the hurdle of starting, it becomes possible to gain momentum. But you must begin.

This is not a guilt trip

My advice is not intended to sow guilt or fear (especially not in an attempt to drum up business—blech). It’s just a tender reminder that time passes. And let’s be clear: I’m talking to myself as much as anyone.

If you have that inward sense that you must do something, take this as your invitation to begin.

If one of your pressing projects is a book and you think I might be the right fit to help, then yes, of course please do get in touch at As always, if I am not the right fit, I will do my best to head you the right direction.

Related Reading