Your Mind Can Only Suggest Action, Not Take It - Grasshopper
Here's my claim: The longer you think about it, the less likely you are to do it. It's tough to talk yourself into your walk.
Your mind is a suggestion machine and your body is the vehicle to carry out those suggestions. The conundrum is this: There is a communications gap between the two. The mind doesn't know how to act and the body doesn't know how to think. Can you say "Sticky wicket"?
When you take thinking out of the mix, guidance to your actions can come from your body's senses that have much more suggestive power than your thinking. Baseball pitchers come to mind.
Pitchers pitch from 60 feet 6 inches away from home plate. Home plate is only 17 inches wide. Pitchers who are proficient usually don't throw the ball down the middle because it's much easier to hit. They generally pitch to the outside edges of the plate. That means that their precision has to be within about 2 to 3 inches in order to throw effective strikes.
They cannot think the ball to that location; their body has to throw it there. Just telling themselves where they want it to go is not enough. The best pitchers visualize where they want the ball to go and then trust their practiced mechanics to get it to that spot. The same is the case for professional golfers, basketball players, archers, skiers and just about any sport where placement is important.
Watch any basketball game and observe the 3-point shooter. If they catch the ball from their teammate and then just launch the long shot in rhythm, without hesitating, the percentage for going in the basket is greater than the player who receives the pass and hesitates before making the shot. The hesitation that you observe is caused by their thinking.
Great actors don't think themselves into the role; they feel the role. Think of someone you deem as a good or bad actor and my guess is you'll notice that the ones you judge poorly are not feeling their way into the character; they're attempting to think their way there.
Most of us are not professional athletes or actors but our Achilles Heel is the same – our thinking gets in the way of productive action.
How often have you heard someone say, "I want to feel things over"? They would be better served to do so, involving their senses rather than their thinking. "Something doesn't smell right" is something you want to pay attention to. If you attempt to talk yourself past the smell, you often wind up in a mini version of hell.
Pep talks are pointless. They have the lasting power of cardboard in a downpour and they are not the best or quickest strategy for taking effective action.
Involve your senses in your action plan. They all reside in your body. Your mind may suggest the proper way to go but if you don't involve your senses, your actions have a high probability of being scattered and watered down.
Go the direct route: Use your body and its senses and you won't waste time trying to talk sense into your actions.
All the best,
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