To realize what matters is only the first step in the journey to live out the narrative of your life. You then must adopt your values as principles to guide your actions. Though daunting as it may be, accept that you will never flawlessly live up to your own standards. No one is perfect in their actions. The heroic person is willing to try, without end, despite falling short of his ideals.
Your resolve may be hard as iron, but resolve is not enough to make a difference. You are still slave to the rules of the universe. Locked in an ongoing battle against disorder, your body and your mind are subject to fatigue. It can strike you any time if you are not cognizant of your nature. You may sacrifice long-term results for a short-term feeling of progress.
As a human being is both a thinking and feeling creature, he must use both aspects of his mind congruently. Thoughts show you how to arrange reality to accomplish your goals, but they cannot be the motivation for your actions. Your emotions carry that responsibility. When what you feel is out of sync with what you know, your emotions will mislead you. You will chase a fleeting sense of fulfillment with efforts that accomplish nothing.
Every strategy you make to get what you want is predicated on the expectation of satisfaction from succeeding, or else the opposite for failing. These emotions tell you where to go. Intellect only tells you how to get there. Without regular witnessing of the consequences of your actions, emotions will wane. You will feel disillusioned in your mission. Your mind will believe that nothing can be done, so it will accept that it is useless to continue. The thoughts which previously abetted you will not be enough to sustain you. Your mind will crave emotional sustenance to replace its fatigue. That is how it knows it has served its purpose well.
The analytical mind has a different problem. It can extrapolate magnitudes beyond what the senses can tell you. No matter where your concepts take you, emotions remain rooted in primal psychological patterns. Arrange information one way, wonder is created in the brain. Set a pretense, fulfill it, and experience relief from expectation. No matter how you structure it, you are always playing the game.
To remain on your path, you will need to find the moments that invigorate and restore you from the strain of action. Do not underestimate the importance of psychological rejuvenation. No matter how insignificant it seems, the right stimulus at the right time can have a profound effect on your psyche. Your body needs to eat and rest. Your mind has its own ways. Regular restoration is the only way to avoid disillusionment in the face of great adversity.
It is important to be passionate, but do not be so hotheaded that you do not savor the spoils of your efforts. Bring things down to the human experiential level from the realm of concepts. Without a connection to your emotional center, you will grow increasingly worn and frantic. You cannot serve your purpose when you are not all together in body and mind.
Whatever your values, interject yourself on the ground floor of activities related to them. If you want to help people, do not do so solely from afar. You will not feel as good about your actions as you should. Put yourself in a position to be face-to-face with the people you are impacting. Watch the transition they make from worse to better as a result of your intervention. Allow them to see who you are and what you are doing so the effort will be real for them.
Take healthy pride in what you have done, so that you will have the strength to do more of it.