You think too much.
I can tell, because I do too, and I know the results. You see, most people are prone to over thinking, and that’s why we achieve so little. We’re too busy thinking about what we could be achieving, and more frequently, what can go wrong. We’re so busy thinking that we don’t ever take action.
And that’s the real killer, isn’t it?
Look, in all honesty, this article is more a message to myself than it is to any of you. I hope you learn from it, are inspired by it, and do something with it, but if you don’t, that’s ok by me. It will at least get me moving.
I’m guilty as anyone of thinking about a scenario and all of the possibilities so much that the idea never goes anywhere. But what has that ever gotten anyone? An idea unimplemented is totally useless, as in nobody gains anything from it. Then what good is the idea?
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
– John Steinbeck
At the same time, you’ve got to think about the idea a little bit. Remember the series on optimism and pessimism? We talked about how a little pessimism allows you to identify the obstacles so you can plan for them, and some optimism helps you see that you do have the ability to make things happen. It’s in the over-thinking that the problems begin. In over-thinking, your optimism becomes toxic and your pessimism fatal. Still, use a little pessimism to kill some ideas. Sometimes there are already too many for you to handle.
Yet another of my issues that leads to no sleep. Maybe we can go over that topic in another article, yes?
Over at IDEO, they’ve got some great ideas about thoughts. Tim Brown, their CEO, discusses a high school history project that taught him the value of making instead of thinking. Read it, then go do something.