Thinking versus Acting

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Drawing by Adrian Serghie

Yes, we do both, but what is the percentage? How much of your thinking turns into acting and how helpful is that for you? Do you need to think more before you act or you need to act more based on your thinking? Both influence your world, but in two different ways.

It’s a tough world out there and only one of the two aspects has a solid influence over the course of your life and that thing is acting. However, the way you behave is based on the way you think, so actually thinking comes first. The only problem is that we often want to do things and that idea remains only an idea.

In the beginning, I mentioned the fact that these two aspects have an influence over your world in two different ways. The first one is that the way you think defines the world you’re living in. It might sound stupid, but it’s real, otherwise two people won’t be able to feel different in the same situation and our world proved that it’s possible. What you might find the best, someone else might think it’s the worst. The thing is that people act (or not) based on that belief.

Our thinking creates the situation and our acting gets shit done. If your thinking cannot create or acknowledge the potential of a situation, your acting will be on the same page with your thinking. Massive action is the game-changer of this world, but it cannot be done without the proper thinking because we tend to be in our own way so we are one of our biggest obstacles.

Of course, we can act and move forward even though our thinking is not on the same page, but this would require for us to admit our brain can be wrong and there is a different perspective available even though we might not be able to see it because of our core beliefs.

Is your acting always on the same page as your thinking?

15 thoughts on “Thinking versus Acting

  1. I don’t tend to act. I’m always in thought – considering, creating, changing ideas – and tend to lose perspective with where or how I should start. Pro planner and also pro procrastinator.

  2. This is a fascinating topic, one in which I contemplate quite a bit. I’m not a 100% sold on the idea yet, but I’m beginning to believe that no one can actually ever change. Their actions may change and therefore vary in others eyes but their thoughts never truly change. I’m talking about that first gut feeling or thought a person initially gets in a given situation. Is that first thought something we’re born with or is it learned? Either way, we can decide what to do after that initial thought, but the idea itself never changes. Are we forever bound to stay the same because of our first thought?

    1. OMG! If it is true that nobody is able to change, I will be lost…

      I`ve learnt that people are often trapped in thinking patterns based on (sometimes hidden) belief systems (as a result of education & socialization and of your temper) and fueled by their so called “inner critic”. I`ve also learnt that thoughts trigger our emotions and that many people are not always able to notice their thoughts before they are overwhelmed by their emotions. This root-cause combination results often in a blurred or selective perception of reality because we tend to look for confirmation of our existing world view & opinions. Consequently, people might develop behavioral patterns based on thinking patterns and selective perceptions.
      Therefore, I agree on the assumption that “our thinking creates the situation”. Are we able to change our way of thinking? In my view, yes we can…even if our old core beliefs are still present and our inner critic (as guardian) cannot be silenced. You have to get to know your beliefs, patterns and triggers. In the event that you are able to create another corrective voice in your head that questions the patterns and if you learn to better regulate emotions (triggered by the old belief system) before acting.Unfortunately, decision-making and taking action might become a lengthier process with less spontaneity because you will have inner discussions but in case of important decisions it is worth it.
      Acting without thinking is not my cup of tea. And I trust nobody. In particular not myself…because nobody knows my soft- and blind spots as well as I do. Me and my self, we are grand masters of self-sabotage.
      Thus, it is helpful to ask others for their opinion / feedback before taking action. Maybe your inner parliament is wrong or fools you…

    2. Yes, it is a fascinating topic! I believe that first thought can be change. It is learned so it can be unlearned. The thing is that if we don’t act upon the first thought, we only have a thought (or several similar thoughts) and the emotions triggered by them. If we counter those thoughts and we behave based on the new thoughts, we’ll have thoughts (new), emotions (new) and behavior, which is actually the most powerful here because it forces us to stay in that new thought pattern. Yes, it is harder at first, but in time, the automatic thoughts will change because they are not backed by behavior, the latter being the one that strengthens the neural paths. For example, we cannot learn to drive a car by thinking about it, but by practicing it.

  3. Guilty of this. Day Dreamer and Night Thinker. Fantasy Worlds and Living in Dreams. If you can transcend the bridge from fantasy to reality then you have made it. Turning thoughts into actions and seeing the results. Living the Dream. Not just existing but really alive. But if you’re one of those people who has a million different day dreams its hard to pick one! It was Henry David Thoreau who said “Our Truest Lives are when we are in Dreams Awake”.

  4. Courage is often the missing link between my thinking and my acting/doing… and I’m working on this! — along with celebrating triumphs, however small, and having compassion for myself when I don’t go as far as I would have liked.

    1. As long as you keep moving forward, there is progress! Sure, you might not always reach your goals, but 20% of a goal is more than 0% of that goal.

  5. Great topic thus far (for me at least)

    Dr. Deepak Chopra said in his “we are the universe” text: we generate more thoughts than we become aware of a thought and when we act on that thought, it’s as if we brand the thought for grouping purposes at a later time.
    I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think our actions always align with our thoughts. Because, we often generate multiple thoughts before we act. Even when we act irrationally, as we would say.

    Now I also think that for those thoughts that we are aware of, through learned responses within our environment, we strengthen our actions for those specifics thoughts (those that are branded).

    1. Yes! And sometimes our actions will keep going because they transform into a habit, but that habit doesn’t match our thoughts and/or desires.

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