A lot of people have a problem with getting stuck in the first phase too long. Do you often feel guilty of thinking but not doing? Do you think you delay too much?
Why do we do it?
There is a barrier to cross before we become self sustaining units on our way to action and goal fulfillment. A change in inertia is needed. When we are not acting, we are in an inertia of rest. To get into motion from this state, requires more effort than continuing in motion. That is why most good endeavors are the most difficult when you have to start. Once in motion, continuing with it takes less effort.
What can cause this change in inertia?
A change in inertia takes place when you have a strong desire to make something happen. The speed with which the change will happen will be directly proportional to the intensity of your desire. If you have been postponing something for very long, the only reason is that your desire is feeble. When the desire is strong, you will see no reason to delay. You will immediately seek out the quickest path to goal realization.
To make the shift, you have to intensify your desire first.
How do you intensify your desire?
I see two aspects to intensifying desire. One is the quick way to get some short term results. Another is the one that takes greater commitment, it is a life long effort. It provides more stable results in comparison.
While some people like to point out why one is better than the other, I see no reason why these two can’t work in conjunction. They are explained below, starting with the quick one :
1. Imagining your goal clearly. Think about your goal more often. This may sound contrary to what we set out to do, move from thinking to action. There is a difference here – instead of thinking about it on and off, you take to thinking deliberately, you make it a habit. You don’t just think when you see the object of your desire(being reactive), you consciously think about it everyday(being proactive). The difference here is between wishful thinking and passionately desiring something.
Set aside time during the day when you will find some solitude and imagine being in your goal state. You have to vividly imagine enjoying the end result of your goal. This is a technique explained in detail in Napoleon Hill’s famous book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’.
How many times should you do it in a day? How long should you do it? I will leave the answer to you. Try and find out. I don’t think there is a magic number here.
2. Find the right desire that is congruent with every aspect of your being. We also need to dig deeper and look for which desires are worth seeking. Often we go through life having incongruent desires that pull us in different directions. The result is we don’t move as much as we can. For example, if you want to loose weight, you probably would have thought about cutting down on fatty foods. But if you also believe in enjoying every moment of your life, you might want to eat what you like, whenever you feel like, and here you have a ‘desire clash’.
If you just use ‘imagining your goal’ to get into good shape, you might be able to follow a good diet and achieve your goal, but holding on for ever is going to be difficult, since you have another belief pulling you in the opposite direction.
You need to realize what is it that you most want right now. Thinking and analyzing may help with this decision but, it often happens that you get stuck in ‘paralysis of analysis’. You mind keeps flitting from one option to the other and you are never sure what to do. There is something else inside you that you can use to decide here, it’s your intuition.
Intuition is that inner voice telling you what is best for you. Some call it God, some call it the cumulative of your experiences seated inside your sub-conscious. Whatever it is, if you follow it for a while, you realize it always takes you in the right direction. You don’t have to just believe my word here. Go ahead and try.
This may require more effort than you think. Intuition is very strong in kids. It is also a method of choice for a lot of courageous, honest people. If you read on famous personalities, you will find many of them basing their decisions on intuition. But the majority of us get so used to rationalizing and deciding based on our fears that our intuition becomes feeble. To revive it, we will have to gather some courage, we will have to quiten the noise in our minds and we will have to start having faith in ourselves again.
I used my intuition a lot as a kid. While I never gave it up totally, I started using reasoning more often as I grew up. Recently, I have started re-learning to use my intuition. Sometimes, some fears make it’s voice hard to detect. I think it takes practice, time and faith to build it. When ever I am able to connect to it, a flow comes to me. I seem to make decisions and do things without much effort. Most importantly, I feel a sense of peace and calm following it’s direction. I feel happy.