“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare.
There is one thing that keeps most people from achieving their dreams. Excessive thinking.
It sounds obvious, but the changes in the reality are induced only by concrete physical actions. Careful organization and planning are imperative but oftentimes these words are used to hide nothing but banal procrastination. Because the state of inaction is so natural to our power-saving brains, one is always tempted to spend more time devising a plan than it is required to proceed with it.
We all know how ineffective overthinking can be. Regardless of how advanced our deductive reasoning is, the reality rarely responds to our actions in concordance with our both optimistic and pessimistic projections. Oftentimes external events intervene in our plans preventing hypothetical scenarios from actualizing into the desired reality. Admitting the fact that in any taken situation it is impossible to take all the variables into account propels you forward. The best way to disperse the anxiety of the unknown is to just start doing something even if the first step is only implicitly related to your goals.
A public announcement of your intentions is another mind-trap that might be hindering your efforts. Derek Sivers in his TED talk “Keep your goals to yourself” explains the science behind effective goal-setting. The results of his findings correlate with the experience of many people who failed to deliver on the goals they’ve claimed.
Telling someone about your goals is an act of self-sabotage.
Somehow, your mind deceives itself, it thinks of vocalizing your plans as an actual physical step toward your goal which it certainly is not. It is critical to start putting your plan in an execution before letting anyone know. As someone wise once said:
“Work in silence and let your results speak for you.”
Please, do not be confused by the seeming contradiction between the advice to keep your goals to yourself and the advice to write public declarations that we have discussed earlier. They serve entirely different purposes. A public declaration is not so much focused on the goal itself as it emphasizes the punishment that will follow in case of not meeting a deadline. A public declaration is more of a tool for a self-discipline neophyte, someone who needs a source of external pressure to motivate himself to work, an element of public accountability in this case. On the other hand, keeping goals to oneself is guidance to those who possess sufficient discipline to take action yet for some reason still stagnate.
Whenever you find yourself setting a new goal, elaborating a plan to integrate a new habit or going through yet another challenge in your life keep one thing in mind: to be = to do.
“A man is not a sum of the things that he thinks or the things that he hopes for. He is not the sum of his beliefs. A man is a sum of his actions.”
~ Joseph Brodsky
Abandon thinking and immerse yourself in the working process. Bring your ideas to life. Let your doings be imperfect, let them be ugly, but let them be. The imperfection of the alpha version is not the argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.
Don’t hope to get better at what you do, neither do ask for faith. Know that your success is imminent. Your evolution is inevitable for one simple reason: it is your decision and it has been made. Every minute of working on yourself makes you better. Be the process. Let it flow through you. Observe how your ego vanishes. Witness how what makes you “you” disappear. Give yourself a right to fail. It is in failure that a person of a strong character distinguishes himself.
“A man is not finished when he is defeated.
He is finished when he quits.”
~ Richard M. Nixon
The day of your triumph is already existing in one of the variations of the future but it is up to you whether this particular variation is to be manifested. Your every choice is either bringing this day closer or pushing its arrival away. And that is the choice you make in the present moment, right here right now.
Whether you are closing the distance to the finish line pondering on how to push through the last lap, or you are hanging somewhere in the middle looking for the strength to jump over the chasm, or maybe you are at the beginning waiting for a sign to start moving toward your dream… Here is the sign:
Stop thinking. Do it.
Thank you for reading my book “Meditations of the Millennial”.
If you want to support me on my mission, please, share this book with someone you love. Maybe they will find what they seek on its pages.