I keep returning to the idea of action (doing) over inaction (thinking). I also have been likening doing vs. thinking as similar to producing vs. consuming. The problem with the consumption/production dichotomy is that the lines aren’t always clear as to which is which. Sometimes you have to consume to produce.
Things I consume:
- food/energy/time (necessary consumption)
- blogs/books/tweets/email (some necessary, some unnecessary)
- television (almost entirely unnecessary)
Things I produce:
- blog posts/emails/ideas (derivative of consumption)
- work/research/analysis (requires consumption)
What I mean by producing “well being” is that I create satisfaction through expending effort. It seems that production takes effort. I have to push my body through the mild discomforts of squatting 275 lbs. to have the satisfaction (as strange as it is) of a fatigued body. I have to work through the mental gymnastics of writing out my thoughts to create a blog post. I have to gather data and cajole understanding to create analysis. It takes work.
Production has costs.
But perhaps the greatest cost of production is breaking the inertia of not doing anything at all. Or worse still, imagining all the things you could (should) be doing but never doing any of them. Not only does all of this low-grade effort fail to produce anything at all, it also reinforces thinking over doing. It habitualizes inaction. It amplifies the inertia.
This is why failure to move is the state of paralysis. It’s a tautology, but it also boils down inaction to it’s most basic component: not doing.
I’ve been thinking about this lately because I have so many ideas bubbling around in my head, most of which could be “big.” And it’s that notion that these ideas have huge potential that makes me fear screwing them up. Meanwhile, by nature of being “big,” they also have explicit costs. I can very easily envision how much work they will take to make them succeed. And wouldn’t you know it? The more I think about them, the harder it becomes to act on them.
And like all productive efforts, all I have to do to break the state of paralysis is to move.
It is that simple.