Thursday, August 20, 2015

Any Action is Better Than No Action

I procrastinate, a lot.  I think there are many different reasons people procrastinate, and I don't believe laziness is at the top of that list.  I personally procrastinate out of fear and indecision.  Or most often, fear of making the wrong decision!

A recovering perfectionist, I have always been terrible at making decisions.  I'm constantly worried whatever I choose will be 'wrong'.  So in the past, I've often prolonged decisions for so long without taking action, that my inaction then made the choice for me, and it wasn't pretty.  You see, I often thought if I didn't do anything at all, it would be better than making the 'wrong' choice.  WRONG-O!

By not acting, you actually put the power of your choice in others hands.  Without being an active participant in your life, you allow the environment to choose for you, bending this way and that according to the needs of others. (*See my entire 9 year career in Finance for reference!)

I've come to learn that taking action, ANY action, is better than doing nothing at all.

Sure you may fail or make the wrong choice sometimes, but that's how you learn.  You may also make the RIGHT choice sometimes too. 

I see this in children all the time.  Kids are most often naturally fearless.  They are uninhibited and uncensored.  They take life as it comes without fear of failure, because they don't really know what that means yet!  It is often social conditioning from those around them that teaches them to be fearful.  And in certain amounts and situations, they do need to be taught to tread lightly.  ie. Don't blindly run across the street because you could be hit by a car.  But in others, say learning to ride a bike, they've just got to go for it. Sure, they may fall off a few times, but it won't be deadly, and each ride they'll go a little further, and a little further, without falling, until they're sailing off into the sunset.  I think it's our responsibility to make sure we keep the spirit of adventure and fearlessness alive in children, and not teach them to approach life with a fearful heart.  #endnannyrant

Another big thing that keeps me from taking action, besides fear, is that I can't see the end result or the big picture, so I often don't know where to start.  But that's the thing, you can't predict the future, and you can't see the end until you actually get there.  The key is TAKING THE FIRST STEP.  And somehow, that will lead to the next step, and so on and so on.  You most often find your way just by starting.

Case in point, my California trip in September.  I had been hemming and hawing for weeks about booking the tickets because I didn't have the entire thing planned out in my head.  Dates I'll be gone, stops to be made on the road, rooms to book on Airbnb.  There's so much to plan and planning is not my forte.  (Seriously, whenever I get married, I want someone to plan the entire thing for me.  Just let me pick out a dress and tell me where to show up.  DONE.) 
I didn't really know where to start.  So I stalled.  And procrastinated.  And meanwhile, ticket prices kept creeping up!  So I finally just bought the damn tickets!  And now, all the steps I need to take are becoming clearer.  I finally have concrete dates and now I can go from there.  Booking rooms, getting a car, etc etc.  One step just leads to the next.  

Health and fitness operate on this same schema.  Doing SOMETHING, anything, is better than DOING nothing at all.  That line that says even if you run slower than molasses in January, you're still lapping everyone on the couch is true.  Any movement is better than no movement at all.
Nike's had it right all these years - JUST DO IT.  Anything.  You may try and fail, but you'll never know what could have been if you just sit there and stare out the window.
And also, the longer you procrastinate on buying airline tickets, the more money you'll lose.  Just FYI!
Are you a procrastinator or do you take action?
Do you have a hard time making decisions?
Have you ever delayed taking action and then learned the lesson the hard way?


  1. I LOVE the planning part of the vacation process- and have even talked with the husband about making some company who does just that for people who just want to show up. Have you gone to San Francisco? I wrote a post detailing my husbands DIY self-guided streetcar tour, that might be a nice article to visit!

    Have fun!

    1. Oh Farin I would love for you to plan out all my vacations and just tell me where to go when I show up! That sounds positively perfect! I will be in SF during this trip but just for a short time. I am not sure how much 'touristy' things I will be able to do but I'm going to check out your post! Thank you!

  2. We are both on the same page, my friend!

    1. Yeah I just need to remind myself. And kick myself in the a$$ every now and then! HA

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