One day, a man was walking in the woods, just ambling along not paying much attention. The next thing you know, he finds that he is hopelessly lost.
He can’t find the trail that got him there or any discernable direction to move forward. Luckily, he had taken a lot of self-actualization courses, so he didn’t panic.
Instead, he said to himself, “I’d better make a plan to get out of here. First I’ll think about the plan. Then I’ll make a list of the pros and cons. Then I’ll do a “mind-map” of the ideas I have.”
He was getting very excited about planning his plan and so he sat down under a tree.
“I’ve got it! I’ll do a creative visualization of my plan and imagine what it will be like to find my way out of the woods and get rescued! Well, I’d better get started, I have a lot of thinking to do!”
So he shut his eyes to meditate and before long he had fallen asleep.
Unfortunately, he was never heard from again.
Thinking and planning too much and doing too little is often called the “paralysis of analysis.”
It’s the person who is perpetually getting ready to get ready.
Often this is rooted in our fear of making a mistake or the wrong decision. But if you want to get anywhere in life, you have to start moving.
You must start out in a direction and then “course correct” along the way. You take a few steps, get new information, change your course slightly, a few more steps, new information. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Sometimes a goal can seem too huge and daunting to even start. So we keep trying to see and control the end result as a way of controlling the outcome. But no one can see the entire road ahead from today’s vantage point.
Famous pastor and theologian Dr. Robert Schuller used an analogy he called “Peak to Peek.”
He said that the small steps you take moving forward are like little peaks. You climb to the top (by achieving that first, doable goal) and from there you can “peek” at the next peak.
Your view from up there is completely different than it was at the bottom of the first peak. You’ve had that first “win” and, from this, have received new information and feedback from the world. After this you can’t help but be a slightly different person with a different outlook and perspective. And then this informs your NEXT task!
Now don’t think I’m saying that you should have no roadmap at all and just throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. If you dash off in just any direction, eyes closed, you’re liable to have a rude awakening when you smack right into a tree!
There is a plaque-worthy phrase that says “Get Quiet. Get Clear. Get Going!”
You’ll want to have clarity of purpose and a vision of where you’d like to go. Sure. But don’t stop there pondering, assessing, and re-evaluating. Every successful person knows that the real secret of philosophies like “The Secret” is to take action. It’s certain your journey will twist and turn, but you’ll end up having a wonderful adventure. Certainly better than being back where you started!