Note: I wasn't sure if this should be posted as a "questions/answers forum" topic. Perhaps it could be considered more of an "article" for the topic of 12-Step meeting materials? I also thought about listing it in the "books" forum, but I really just wanted to highlight/discuss only these few pages of the book in this particular thread (and not try to review the entire book at this time). (Please feel free to move this thread if I have posted it in the wrong place).
I have found that the following helps me a lot.
Adapted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, First Edition, published 1939.
Chapter 6: Into Action
Note that I am adapting from the text in the First Edition.
Full original text of the Fourth Edition may be found at http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline
(Disclaimer/Acknowledgement: To my understanding, the copyright has expired on First Edition of the Big Book and it is therefore in the public domain. Chapter 6 is in the First Edition. At any rate, it is usually okay to quote short excerpts from a book -- if your purpose is educational -- and if you give full credit.)
I made only two changes to the original text:
- I have substituted the words “Higher Power” for “God”.
- In the last paragraph, I changed “We alcoholics are undisciplined” to “We procrastinators are undisciplined”.
(The following are adapted from excerpts from the last few pages of Chapter 6: Into Action)
On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day.
Before we begin, we ask Higher Power to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions, we can employ our mental faculties with assurance; for, after all, Higher Power gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day, we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask Higher Power for inspiration, an intuitive thought, or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.
Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with Higher Power, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.
We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn't work. You can easily see why.
… <snip> …
As we go through the day, we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done." We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.
We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.
It works – it really does.
We procrastinators are undisciplined. So we let Higher Power discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.