Acting Too Quickly

“A man who sees action in inaction and inaction in action has understanding among men and discipline in all action he performs.” ~ Bhagavad Gita

On occasion, I have been known to take a contrarian viewpoint. I will challenge the status quo and frequently seek uniquely different ways of accomplishing and achieving. Credit my innate curiosity and exploratory nature. It’s simply part of how I process. πŸ™‚

Such is the case with me and action, the latter a meaningful part of existence. Action clearly serves a purpose and can gently inspire, as well as actively incite us. Generally, people are encouraged to take decisive action. And often, too quickly. It’s people less inclined to impulsive action who keep a comfortable grip on the action reins.

Acting too quickly can be the cause of many problems. Having been impatient for a good chunk of my life, I know this well. A lot of personal mistakes result from a combination of exuberance and an eagerness to please – to get the job done. Many of us have experienced moving too quickly without taking time for adequate, even thorough, consideration. And then wondered about the outcome.

I have been surprised to find how many times situations will resolve themselves if they are allowed to. I have also been discouraged at how complex some situations have become when I took action quickly to bring something to a resolution before truly understanding what the problem or goal was in the first place.

And then there are those people who will choose inaction simply because it allows them to stay in their comfort zone, to do only what they’re familiar with, even if it oddly yields desired results. But the comfort zone is equivalent to a safe, relatively unproductive state.

We know that a clear vision, flexible plan, and realistic schedule will take you a long way towards successful achievement. But without action, visions are unlikely to materialize. Thoughtful action is prudent. And while some people may argue ‘time is money,’ it is important to assess the need for expedited action.

“Measure twice, cut once” is an old craftsman’s saying. It’s a good idea for life in general. Restated for action, we could say “think twice, act once.” Because premature action can be much more damaging than a measured approach to most any situation.

Consider your actions as carefully as you do your valuables.

34 thoughts on “Acting Too Quickly

  1. The article sounds very Taoist. I think I posted once on the value of hesitation before action. Perhaps there is vital information hidden in the process of hesitation. Yes, I know your post is more about deliberation.
    Thoughtful post, Eric. It made me ponder things this morning.

    • I am inclined to agree with you, Monika, there is likely vital information within the process of hesitation… and deliberation. I’m glad that the post inspired some morning thought for you.

  2. I’ve always been impatient, and though the lessons tended to smack me in the face it took much practice to not jump to action. I think the biggest help for me was mastering my need for control. (not that I’ve actually mastered it, but I’ve got it under “control:, pun intended!)

    • Yet I read and thus hear you acknowledging that your practice has been paying off. Kudos, Suzi! And few of us truly master anything so the admission that you’ve got it under control is admirable!

  3. Ah…the compulsion to act. I was told by a wise sage that “pushing the river” never serves us. Because our society rewards action and judges inaction, we have lost focus on what is truly important. Only in quiet calm, can we tap into and hear the voice of our Creator (Spirit, Universe, God or whatever you use to refer to that unconditionally loving entity of which we are a part). Sometimes taking NO action is indeed the best path forward.

    • So I have this image of you on one of those playground planks, wondering whether you prefer being the weight or appreciating the heights… And then the image of balance presents and I suspect that word comfortably describes your relationship with taking action. Es verdad?

  4. Often, impatience is rooted in the frantic desire to attain something other than what we already have . . .

    But nothing lasts.

    So what’s the rush? :mrgreen:

  5. Great article. I’m not nearly as impulsive as I used to be. I’m still working on finding that balance but, hey, sometimes ya just gotta go for it! But with thought, of course! LOL! Yes, I am often conflicted….! πŸ™‚

    • I suspect many of us have those ‘clash’ moments, Linda. What’s good about them is it creates time and space in which to ponder – then proceed. I am one of those who ‘if it feels right’ (an intuitive sense), will trust that sense and just go for it! It usually serves me well, especially when coupled with some thought. πŸ™‚

  6. There is much to be said for inaction…and so many errors are made just because people take action for the sole sake of taking action. The more thoughtful and introspective a decision to act, the better the results. As in your craftsman analogy…thinking twice (and well) will create a better result from action. Enjoyed the rest I had in thinking about your post πŸ™‚

    • Appreciate your adding “introspective.” It’s apt yet didn’t cross my mind when crafting the message. Haven’t before had someone remark that they enjoyed the rest in thinking about a post. Perhaps I ought to create space for reprieve in my own words. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Randall.

  7. Hi Eric,
    I don’t get around the blogosphere too much cause I don’t like to include things within me that are resistant, but I really really liked this post!!
    I can tell you’re talking from real experience, assessing well the balance between action and in-action, very cool…

  8. “think twice, act once” – These 4 little words are concise and to the point.
    They should be posted to the social networks. Too many people go on there
    said what they want and regret it later. Is it anonymity or impatience? I wonder.
    Very thought provoking post. I enjoyed it.
    Isadora

  9. While I agree with your suggested action, Isadora, I sense those four little words would faze few. It’s not the mindset I’ve seen/experienced on other social media platforms. This measurably explains why I appreciate the WordPress community! Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s