Our oldest granddaughters, Mary Grace who is 13, and Elsie who is 11, were having a conversation recently about one of their leaders. I decided to listen in, and I am so glad that I did, for there was a good lesson to be found in their conversation. They were comparing the behavior of one of their current leaders to that of the previous one in that same role. Regardless of our roles as adults, we can learn something from these wise young people.
Mary Grace and Elsie were comparing their leaders as thinkers and doers, and it was clear that while they liked both leaders, they preferred the style of the one who was the doer more than the one who was the thinker. They described the “thinker” as talking more about what they were going to do than actually leading them in the doing. They liked the doing more than the discussion of what they were going to do.
As adults, we can learn from this. How often are we too much “in our heads” and often not getting things done? I am reminded of something my husband Mike said to me years ago. I was reading many financial management books, wanting to improve my money management (or lack of it!) skills. One day Mike said, “When are you going to stop reading those books and do something about it?!” Mike was not trying to be unkind, although it certainly felt like it at the time. He was simply pointing out my blind spot. I was too much in my head about the financial management issue and not doing enough to put what I was reading and learning into action. Mike also coined the term, “Don’t Just Be a Think Tank, be a Do Tank” because his company, [TC]2 was often referred to as a “Think Tank.”
There are other examples of this same issue. Some people are too much into the theory of something and fail to translate the theory into action. I am reminded of me again. I have more than enough knowledge of weight management, and I have yet to conquer the demons of calories in and energy expended to maintain my desired weight. All the theory in the world will not make me lose the weight; only theory translated into action will do that.
What are you thinking as you read these examples? Are you too much into your head and not action oriented enough in an area of your life? If you think you might be, it is likely that you are! The even more important question is, what will it take for you to change what you want to change? It is possible that you have all the information that you need; more information is rarely what is needed. You may wonder, then what is needed?
Mary Grace and Elsie have the answer to that. Instead of thinking and talking about it, just do it. Action coupled with discipline will get us much closer to our goals than more knowledge.
It works for Mary Grace and Elsie, it works for Mike, and it even works for Nike! It can also work for the rest of us. If we, Just Do It!