Act, Don’t Think

“Act, don’t think.” Yes you heard me! That’s exactly what I am saying.

A friend asked me a question, “I want to restart my career after a break. But I do not know where to start. I have been thinking a lot but I am not sure how I should go about it.”

The answer to this crisis is stop thinking. Just take some action.

There is a time and place for thinking. This is not it. It is applicable to not just a career, but a hobby you want to resume or a change you have been wanting to bring in life or something as simple as trying out a new technique for a regular task. No matter what it is you are stuck with just start doing it rather than thinking about what should be done. Here are the reasons:

1. “Lazy body stays lazy, busy body stays busy”
This is the best advice my mother gave me when I was looking for a job. She told me that even if I do not have a job yet, I should act like I do. Instead of staying at home on computer all day, I should get into a schedule as if I am working full time. Go to a library, get out of the house, volunteer at a non-profit.

This advice was so valuable in switching my mindset from that of a thinker to a doer. I became more productive in the same tasks I was doing earlier. But most importantly it got rid of the inertia that one inevitably gets due to lack of action.

2. Clarity comes through action
No matter how much you think and analyze beforehand, you are going to discover new aspects when you start doing something. You will find out if you really like that act or just thought you did. If you really do like it you will know what else you can do to explore more. But all this will not happen unless you start somewhere. Thinking is good, but over analyzing is what cripples us.

3. Sooner you start, faster you will master it
Nothing happens overnight. No matter what you hope to get out of a pursuit, you are going to face some challenges and obstacles. You will have to learn your way to the goal. Then wouldn’t it be great to get an early start? Sooner you start doing it, faster you will progress.

4. No plan is perfect
We often make an excuse for overthinking – I want to plan everything to the most minor detail so that nothing goes wrong when I finally start doing it. Well, has it ever happened to you that everything went just as you planned it? Not to me! We can anticipate contingencies, prepare for it, but we can never avoid it. But if we just keep preparing and never execute the plan, what is the use of having a plan?

There comes a point when we have to say that I feel fine with the level of planning I have. Now let’s start the project and see how it goes. I will tackle the issues as they come.

Now, I am sure, when you were reading this you were reminded of that one pending activity. And probably you just realized why you have been putting it off – not intentionally but just by over thinking it. Your challenge is to take an action – however small – in order to get it going. Just see how much difference that small action makes in your motivation to keep going.

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