Aug 2, 2021 in Life Coaching

Don't Think

Don't think, just do.

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While growing up and navigating through uncharted seas of childhood, I was learning to think for myself, which according to my father was not allowed. He would tell me to clean out the garage or rake leaves, and If I didn't do it the way he felt it should be done he would tell me in his fatherly way, “I didn’t tell you to do it that way,” or “what did I tell you to do,” or some variation of that question which led me to believe he did not appreciate the way I was performing the task at hand.

I would then reply, "but I thought that if-" which is about all I could get out of my mouth when he would cut me off and tell me "Well don't think, just do!"

I always thought he was nuts when he said that. I thought that's exactly what we are supposed to do is think. We are supposed to think of better ways to do things, and ways to improve our culture. 

I didn't argue with the man, just said yes, and did whatever chore he said to do again, grumbling about how he didn't understand.

Years later did I realize just how intelligent the man was! In fact, Nike built a whole ad campaign based on my Dad's orders; Just Do It!

We think too much, oftentimes getting caught up in having to solve every detail of a project before even starting. I have clients who tell me how they've defeated themselves because they can't seem to figure out step 15 when they haven't even attempted step 1 to begin with!

My favorite activity is backpacking. I love to get out in the woods and be one with nature firsthand. While hiking 70 miles of the Appalachian trail, I ran into a group that was hiking the entire trail from Georgia to Maine, which is just short of 2,200 miles through, up, over, and around the Appalachian Mountains. 

Now, when you hike a distance like that, you are carrying your bedroom, kitchen, dining room, bathroom and pantry on your back, condensed in about 40 pounds for a continuous six months.   

I asked them how do you plan for a 2.200-mile trip, and their answer was, "you just go." That floored me, but after a while, it started making sense. When you start, it's no big deal, like going for a walk. After a thousand miles in, are you going to ask yourself what in the world are you doing and give up and turn around? 

When I think too much, it's usually about what will go wrong, and paint a picture of failure before I even start… I catch myself saying things like  "this will never work," "why would anybody talk to me?"  What value can I bring?"

Someone once told me, if you are going to make up stuff, at least make up positive stuff. 

Better yet, don't makeup stuff at all. 

Instead, take my dad's advice; 

Don't think, just do.

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