A quick glance around the self-help section of any book store will show you that a huge amount has been written about the importance of goal setting, positive visualisation, habit management, and other such personal development techniques.
In life, we all have goals we want to achieve and ideals we want to move closer towards, and it’s important to spend some time reflecting on the best path to take.
At the same time, though, there are some good reasons why it can be very important to avoid overthinking, and to begin taking action, today, in the pursuit of your goals.
Here’s why getting started today can be more powerful than overthinking.
Because often you will learn and improve best “on the go”
It’s always going to be impossible to have things perfectly “worked out” from the outset, and there’s no amount of deep reflection or research that will allow you to ensure perfection in whatever it is you do.
When all is said and done, you’ll often learn best “on the go,” and will often benefit most from iterative improvements that you implement as a reaction to developing circumstances.
If you’ve decided to get a dog, figuring out the animal’s particular needs on the go and maybe eventually getting dog food for sensitive skin or some other specialist items is likely a more practical path forward than trying to perfect everything upfront.
Because there is a huge gulf between intellectual understanding and embodied understanding
There’s a widespread and conventional idea out there that “knowledge” is simply a matter of abstract rationalising, and that it’s possible to fully understand most things, as a rule, by following a purely rationalistic framework.
Increasingly, though, psychologists and brain researchers are developing the idea of “4E Cognition,” which emphasizes the fact that a lot of our understanding of the world comes through embodied forms of engagement.
In other words, there’s a big gap between understanding something purely intellectually, and understanding it in the deeper kind of way that comes with knowing it through experience.
If you get too caught up in overthinking things, you can completely miss out on these deeper levels of embodied experience.
Because we are often very good at talking ourselves out of getting started
If you’re thinking about pursuing some particular course of action, or going after a particular goal, it is – obviously – important to make sure that you wouldn’t be violating your own morals or putting yourself at an inordinate risk by doing so.
Beyond that, though, there are all sorts of other – less good – reasons that we often come up with for not taking action and getting started.
In fact, if you don’t get into the habit of stepping outside of your own thought bubbles at some point and getting started, there’s a good chance that you will end up remaining completely static, with an endless number of justifications for procrastinating.