There must be something in the fact that in the last five days, I keep getting redirected to David Allen, author of Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I haven’t yet had the chance to read the book but it has surely piqued my curiosity.
The idea of productivity being stress-free is a concept unfamiliar to me. I don’t think that anything in life, even if you have mastered it, can truly be stress-free. But I suppose I understand the reason for such an attention-grabbing title.
“The knowledge that we consider knowledge proves itself in action. What we now mean by knowledge is information in action, information focused on results.” – Peter F. Drucker
The point is this : we all want to get things done… or don’t we? Maybe, sometimes, we just want to talk about getting things done. Maybe, sometimes :
- discussing how we can get things done;
- arguing about the pros/cons of getting things done;
- going through our checklist of things to get done;
- debating that some of these things are easier to get done than others;
may seem almost equal to …actually getting things done.
Execution is a big word and I like it. It conveys a whole lot of positive emotion with it. Just say it out loud and you feel invigorated.
We’ve got book after book about all kinds of theory on so many things, on so many subjects in any given bookstore. We’ve got ebooks and all manner of digital downloads, we’ve got literally thousands of blog posts on the topic.
We’ve always got a viewpoint on getting something done, whether its talent management, perfecting your recipe, growing your team, managing your budget. So much talk, but where’s the action? We all know what it’s all about – enough talk, let’s get things done.
Most of us fall in the category of people who know quite easily what needs to get done. Whether its overhauling our finances, reducing our credit card debt, getting more education on investment, managing our career or simply, achieving a more stress-free life, we know what needs to get done.
Is the problem that we lack the education, the motivation or action? I believe it’s action.
We hold back. We think, ponder and sit on the fence.
So long as we hold off on making a decision, anything is literally possible and that is exactly the realm we prefer to be in. Because the other side of things, where you actually do something – you fail to consider one major issue, you bomb out because you’ve lost some seed money, you are bankrupted because you made a huge mistake too early in the game- is just too real.
But the learning doesn’t come from someone else’s insights. Yes, there are books to read and lots of intel you can gain from other people’s journeys. There are many who are happy to help, to share, to give ideas and tips. But these are still other people’s ideas. And these are based on their experiences, not yours.
The best way to learn and really, the best way to live is to go out there and make your own mistakes. Nothing else takes the cake. Nothing else sinks in quite so close. Nothing else matters quite as much.
You’re not looking to reinvent the wheel but you are seeking to make the experience yours. You’re seeking authenticity and a life truly lived.
You could sit on the sidelines and lament the choices before you.
You could argue that you don’t have the ability to do what you want to do. But that is what your mind is telling you. And you are more than the limits you place on yourself.
It’s a short life, when it comes down to it. And as I mentioned in ‘The objective should be to overcome the obstacles, not add to them‘, you have many real obstacles in the way. Don’t let the limits you place on yourself be one of them.
You can change your perspective.
As Kristin Kaufman, author of Is this seat taken? Random encounters that change your life, says, in this 9 minute Power of Intention podcast :
Everybody’s got something.
So, sit on the fence, ponder some more or go do something? I say go do something.
PS I love quotes but I frequently leave these out because I understand and agree that good writing is more than just the repetition of the thoughts of others. It is so easy to just repeat what others have said. What we need to do is to make thoughts our own, to form our own ideas, distinct from the ideas of others and to do that, we need to live. To really live.
But one quote can get pretty lonely – so, here’s another one to end :
“Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs.” – Vaclav Havel.