Had Too Much To Think?

While we were enjoying a Montecristo #2 cigar and a rare scotch, my friend Terry came up with something that sparked my attention.

He asked, “Why is it that my best golf of the year comes at the first two rounds?

I offered, “Could it be something about muscle memory taking over, without conscience thought?”

Then he laughed, saying, “You’re right! I think I’ve just had too much to think.

Continuing, he said, “I think we’re better off to let instincts take over, and just concentrate on the experience we’re involved in.”

The light bulb went off for us simultaneously as we both realized that long thinking leaves you short on good experience!

Mystery solved:  The less clutter you have between the idea and the action, the more you get done.

Sometimes it’s more efficient and effective to short-circuit the thinking and go straight to the doing. Even Sam Walton subscribed to this business philosophy expressed in his well-known theory of business, “Ready, Fire, Aim.”

While you might disagree with Sam Walton’s mass merchandising approach to retailing, you’d have to admit that he was extraordinarily successful in building Wal-Mart into a retail colossus. He was a pragmatist, not a perfectionist. He understood that any idea, project, or product has time limitations.

His philosophy was to get the project to market or to completion as quickly and as reasonably well done as possible, given the time constraints of the marketplace. Once it was up and running, a project could be adjusted and improved and the kinks ironed out.

His idea was simple: Don’t let the thinking get in the way of doing.

But, if you still feel compelled to do more thinking, then at least make it something more along these lines:

a. What would happen if you just trusted your instincts first instead of second-guessing yourself into inaction?

b. What would it be like to disentangle yourself from the thickets of significance and just do what you are doing when you’re doing it?

c. What would happen if you spent less time planning and more time doing?

d. Why not just see what needs to be done, decide what to do, and get into action?

Finally, if there still seems like too much clutter between the idea and the action . . .  you may have had too much to think”

daniel w. jacobs
© 2002-2030, all rights reserved

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