If you’re thinking, you’re not doing
After most of my life valuing thinking about things and planning before doing, I’ve found acting first works better in many situations. And that thinking and theorizing inhibit getting things done.
I’m not saying to act thoughtlessly. Everyone knows the problem with that. I don’t think everyone knows the problems with the converse: thinking without acting.
The words of my teacher for my movement class when I took acting a few years ago motivated us well with:
If you’re thinking you’re not doing!
If you’re thinking you’re not moving!
Movement is critical to acting. Who wants to see actors thinking about what they would do? Sure, you want them to think sometimes, but mainly you want to see them moving. The more ways a performer knows to move, the more he or she can perform and communicate.
Leading—or just communicating—depends on you moving.
Sometimes in class, often without realizing it, you would find yourself thinking about what to do next. That’s when you’d hear the teacher: “If you’re thinking you’re not doing!” Then you found even the smallest toe-tapping changed how your mind worked.
Since then I’ve found that even the slightest motion helps me act and think. And my teacher’s words help motivate me.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees