All Thinking and No Doing?

This quote, by American writer E.B. White, reveals a basic principle which is true for any salesperson.

Humor can be dissected, as a frog can; but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.”

So when sales are down and everyone starts dissecting, scrutinizing and studying the problem, you can guarantee that nothing will actually get done. All that occurs is no more inaction. An abundance of inertia is sure to follow.

People often prefer thinking about a problem because it’s known, familiar, comfortable, and mostly because it’s safe. Actually doing something involves unknown challenges, difficulties, and it’s sometimes painful and unsafe.

So people inevitably choose the easier route of forming a study group to think about it instead of doing anything proactive.

The truth is, the real problem is unknown.

Because if it were known, you wouldn’t be just thinking about it. You’d be in action doing something about it right now.

Think too much and you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there to begin with.

So knock off pretending that everything is fine. It isn’t. Something needs to change or things will continue getting worse. Too much thinking can create problems that weren’t there to begin with.  If you’re not actively doing something to handle the real problem, you’ve become part of the problem.

Any problem can be handled if you’re looking at the right problem, because no problem lasts forever, but only if you can face it head-on. Look at your problem as it really is, not as you wish it were. Give it a name. At least this will lessen your confusion and give you a starting point, as the following quote explains:

Wisdom begins by calling things by their right name“.- Ancient Chinese proverb

Often you’ll discover that your current problem is not the real problem, but a substitute problem that you decided to focus on instead.

Believe me on this point: If your “solution” is becoming more and more complex, it’s not the right solution. And likely, it’s not even the right problem.

When you’re facing the right problem, solutions tend to get simpler and easier no matter how much work is involved.

Your quest is to find a real solution to the correct problem – divide it into “doable-doses” and get into action doing something to handle it.

Ray Bradbury, American writer of considerable courage and vision, said it best:

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

There are always problems in life, living depends on whether you’re willing to face them.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2011-2030, all rights reserved


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