Think Less Do More 4

Two years ago, I challenged myself to live by this philosophy: think less, do more. After recognizing my strong tendency to become overly introspective when faced with even the smallest of decisions, I knew that my way of thinking needed to change. Even a minor decision such as whether or not to buy a cute top would become an hour-long deliberation of pros and cons. Aware of the fact that post-collegiate adulthood would present me with decisions far more significant than “Top or no top?”, I decided it was time to start developing healthier decision-making methods.

During a time when my mind was getting the better of me, I committed to this way of operating. There was an unhealthy disconnect between the mental gymnastics being performed in my head and the way I was actually living. My mind was paralyzing me instead of directing me. Upon realizing this, I decided to start living boldly and giving myself the freedom to value each moment. This has resulted in a process of identifying the balance between fear and wisdom, foolishness and boldness, thoughtfulness and spontaneity.

Fear vs. Wisdom

Fear can keep you from doing almost anything; wisdom will challenge you to face your fears while helping you avoid truly harmful situations. Wisdom tells you to fear driving under the influence or placing your hand on a burning stove, but it also encourages you to accept your dream job despite your fear of failure. When you give the world’s weight to every decision that you make, you leave too much room for fear to overwhelm you and for wisdom to escape you. Allowing your thoughts to become your only reality can easily cause you to live in fear rather than in wisdom.

Foolishness vs. Boldness

By thinking less and doing more, you may come to find that the difference between foolishness and boldness can appear to be slight. At times, a bold move ultimately ends up being foolish, but it is made with the intent of accomplishing something good. It would be foolish of you to spend your whole life savings on a designer handbag or to quit your job so that you could catch up on your favorite television shows. Boldness, however, might lead you to share your faith with a stranger or have an uncomfortable but important conversation with a friend. When boldness does not bring about the anticipated result, it can look like foolishness. By thinking less and doing more, you take the risk of being bold because striving for the good is better than the fearful foolishness of not trying at all.

Spontaneity vs. Thoughtfulness

While constant spontaneity can have negative effects when it is not tempered by thoughtfulness, impulsive moments can also be some of the most rewarding and memorable. This may be one of the most difficult balances to achieve in your young adult life, that of spontaneity and thoughtfulness. If you go out with friends every night and refuse to do work, you will not develop your skills to the fullest or receive exceptional grades. Even so, refusing to occasionally join in spur of the moment adventures with your close friends will leave you with a head full of book knowledge and no precious memories. We must be thoughtful in how we spend our time; we must remember to live our own stories, rather than simply reading about every one else’s.

I can’t say that I haven’t had some blunders since I started thinking less and doing more. Some of the scariest moments of my life have occurred in these past two years, ones that could have been avoided by an extra dose of caution or a spoonful of intuition. Even so, the risks that I have taken have made me into someone I never could have expected to be. Someone who speaks boldly when something is worth saying, someone who can appreciate details rather than fixate on them. Don’t let your mind separate you from a life well lived. Be discerning, live boldly, and learn deeply. I’ll try my best to do the same.

Image via Shannon Lee Miller


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7 comments

  1. thank you for putting into words ideas I’ve been seeking…so difficult to put those thoughts into action, sometimes.

  2. As a long time thinker, this was what I needed to read today in order to make a move and email a programme I would like to get into. There’s also some (fear based) reason for me not to take risks and “just do it”. I feel safer living like this, but ultimately I hate the feeling that I’m not really fulfilling my purpose and calling in life.

  3. Thank you so much for this fantastic post! As an introspective “over-thinker”, I can totally relate. Thinking less and doing more was my goal for 2013 but with just one more month of the year left, I find myself still stuck in my old ways. It is so much easier said than done! But, like you, I’m determined and will keep trying 🙂 Thanks again, t

  4. Well, i’m kinda in that mood right now, but finding the true self confidence to do stuff is pretty hard, mostly because when you face some fails and you cumulated them ! That’s sometimes pretty hard to find a true balance !

    Kisses
    Hannah
    Elegantesque Blog

  5. This article was so refreshing to read. I find myself over-calculating many decisions and sometimes it makes me feel rather timid when I know I can be strong or decisive. Balance is the key to everything and this beautifully states that notion. Thank you!

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