Planning without action is wishful thinking


[vimeo id = "120190267"] There’s a story from the Civil War about a Union General who was a brilliant strategist and graduated near the top of his class from West Point. However, as the Civil War came to an end, the General was not recognized as a great success because of his inability to take action. One story in particular describes how he and his officers were at a stream for hours debating and trying to estimate how deep the water was and whether they would need special equipment to cross it. All of a sudden, one of the general’s aides rode out into the middle of the stream and said, “This is how deep it is, General.”

The point is that you can strategize, plan, and set goals for the rest of your life, but all of it needs to lead to action. Jesus repeatedly emphasized that it wasn’t just about hearing His words but doing them. In other words, we need to take action! Storyline blog recently shared some ideas about this concept. Here are some of the ideas they shared along with my own thoughts.

First, Perfect is the enemy of good. G. K. Chesterton once said: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” In other words, we will never be perfect at the start. We all know that Peyton Manning wasn’t throwing perfect passes when he first picked up a football, but if you have to be perfect, you’ll never start. Just as Teddy Roosevelt said, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” So go out and try something and don’t be afraid to fail.

Second, forward motion brings stability. It can be very tempting to mask anxiety and inaction with planning. You can become so scared of doing something badly that, in turn, it causes you to do nothing at all. When you do nothing, it builds the sense that you aren’t succeeding and that you’re failing. That sense is very destructive to achieving your Divine Design and makes you even more insecure and fearful of action. This becomes dangerous and can quickly paralyze you. That’s why it is so important to sometimes just do it. Action will pull you out of that spiraling cycle. By doing something, you are rejecting the lies and sense of failure. By taking action, you are partnering with God in accomplishing His will and Divine Design for your life.

Third, no one feels ready. Things can always be a little bit better. Your paper could be edited a bit more. Your presentation could be practiced a bit more. At some point, though, you have to submit your paper and give that presentation. One of the most beautiful things about community is that we see that everyone deals with same insecurities. We all wish we had another hour of undisturbed preparation. Most of us don’t take the platform thinking, “I’m perfectly ready.” Like I said before, sometimes you’ve got to just do it. Submit the paper and let it go. All of these actions will cause you to grow and do even better next time.

Thanks for checking out my blog. I encourage you to not only read these thoughts, but apply it in your life. I would love to hear your stories and thoughts so please share any comments or feedback below. Thanks again and have a great day!