"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done." -- Bruce Lee
In the pursuit of self-help and spirituality, there's a danger of becoming too theoretical, a perpetual student of personal growth. This can be a trick of the ego to keep you the same while giving you the illusion of change. It can also create a spiritual narcissism where we're more committed to feeling warm and fuzzy and waxing philosophic than taking the kind of action that brings those lessons to life.
If you look at the great spiritual leaders (or any leaders) who have delivered real value to the world, they were deep thinkers, yes -- but that was the foundation for bold, sometimes earth-shaking action. Einstein was a great thinker, but his thought experiments led to actual experiments! Jesus and Buddha were powerful philosophers (and much more, depending on your philosophy), but they did more walking than talking!
It's easy to travel through our mind and think we've gotten somewhere, setting bold intentions that lead to little or no action but give us the feeling of doing something -- climbing the mountaintop of inspired ideas before falling back into the valley of mediocrity. We can seem so decisive in our thoughts, but unless it's followed up by action, it's just self-indulgence and wishful thinking.
"A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken new action," Tony Robbins said. "If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."
So be a deep thinker, take the necessary time to set your intentions, define your vision, design your plan, and consider your options. But when that emerging impulse is calling you to action...
Boldly and decisively.
Then evaluate, reassess, dig deeper and get clearer if needed -- and act again. You don't need to have all the answers or complete visibility on what lies ahead. As Steve Maraboli says, "The road to success is always under construction."
If you face a mountain, no amount of thinking about it or imagining what's on the other side is going to give you complete assurance. There's only one way to have absolute clarity on what is beyond that mountain -- climb it.
So what is the mountain facing you now? Is it a project you want to start or finish, but find yourself in an endless loop of analysis or excuses for why you can't? Is it a conversation you know you need to have with someone in order to move the relationship forward?
You might feel totally stuck. But being stuck is an illusion, because there's always something you can do, some action you can take forward. It might be composing an email, writing an actual letter, making a phone call, drafting a plan.
You don't have to do something big, you just have to do what's next. Then what's after that. The old saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step is a cliche because it's true!
I invite you to start that journey. Today. Right now. Just take one step... and you're on your way.
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