Sometimes it is best not to think. Thinking is great, necessary and a basic function. God knows some people need to try it more often. However, there is a time not to think, but rather to act. Thinking can…

* anticipate obstacles
* prioritize actions
* solve some problems in advance
* help us navigate life well
* and about a billion other things.

However, thinking can also get in the way and actually be an obstacle in and of itself. If thinking causes us to analyze so much that we fail to act, then our thinking has nixed our opportunity for success at something.

The best way that this has been driven home to me is this…. going to the gym.

Last week, I walked in at 4:50pm and asked, “Do you have a class starting at 5:00?” They said yes and I immediately went to change clothes and go to the large room. Thinking could have hindered me from actually going to the class, bombarding me with these thoughts (all of which were true)….

* I’ve never done this class before
* I won’t know anyone in there
* Everyone there has probably done the class before and knows how it works
* It’s my first time so I’ll stick out
* Do I have all the right clothes with me?
* I’ll probably walk in a few minutes late.
* And so forth.

Instead of giving in to these anxiety-ridden and challenging truthful thoughts, I did something better. I hurried and changed clothes, went quickly into the room and asked someone what I needed to know. The fellow participant was more than happy to give me a quick rundown. It was an hourlong class using a barbell that worked all the major muscles groups. One hour and several groans and grunts later, I was finished… and I felt great. I’m so glad I did it and I’m thrilled I did not give in to choosing thinking over action!

My most dreadful example at the gym is… the lap pool. The spa pool is always warm, nice and inviting. It’s like your aunt who always hugs you and bakes amazing food. Then there’s the lap pool. It’s like your long lost uncle who isn’t thrilled to see you, creates awkward family moments and says inappropriate things. In other words, the lap pool is freezing. What’s the best way to get in? It’s not toe to heel, heel to knee, etc. It’s this: Just jump in! Get in there, get the shock over with and go for it. If you sit on the end of the pool thinking about how cold it is and how uncomfortable it will initially be, chances are you will not get in, and thus you will miss the goal. Here, quick action is better than thinking. Thinking and actions are not enemies obviously, and certainly play together well. However,when thinking (overanalyzing, stalling, “paralysis by analysis”) is going to prevent you from your goal, that is when simply taking action is necessary.

One company’s slogan sums it up best by stating… just do it. Even reading books about a topic, like finance, can be a distraction. There comes a point where you need to put down the book and spend time on your finances. Get involved with your money instead of reading about how to handle your money.

Right now it’s time for you to quit thinking and planning to do something, and simply go take action.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Johnson has led an eclectic life, including having been a high school Spanish teacher, CFO, I.T. Director, and more. He is passionate about helping people move from clutter to clarity and actualize true goal achievement. He is a huge advocate of living with a bias toward action.