Overthinking – an antidote?

I’ve often said that the biggest stumbling block most people face is ‘too much thinking’.

Not just the ‘wrong sort’ of thinking – a definite imbalance between thought and activity.

Now, it’s fairly obvious when a person has not put enough thought into something.

The difficulty usually lies when we over-think a course of action and we justify that by labelling the wasted time as ‘planning’.

I’ve written a lot about the virtues of planning correctly, so let’s look at the liabilities with certain types of plan.

1. Your plan must not be set in stone

An inflexible plan is blind to feedback. That’s a bit like driving at the speed limit on the motorway, despite the upcoming traffic jam. Disaster.

2. Your plan must be more about your outcome than the means of achieving it

Again, this is a statement of flexibility. If you’re thoroughly sold on a particular route, it can blind you to other – easier – ways of getting there.

3. Your plan must embrace the possibility of failure and redesign.

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we planned them. If your plan is outcome-based and principle-based, it’s easy to redesign into a working plan as you go along. Then you don’t need to stop for downtime and analysis – and this avoids the discouragement that often comes with stopping.

In short, the key is flexibility, flexbility, flexibility.

The principle to keep in mind is this – your plan must be adaptable to guarantee you will succeed.

So there’s really no need for so much thinking.

Set your outcome, gather relevant principles and start to evolve courses of action. Then start doing something and let the principles guide you as you keep your eyes on the outcome.

Act, adapt, achieve, succeed.

Overthinking - an antidote? by

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