Welcome to my first ever brain drain; this blog series will mainly consist of things I have been thinking about, problems I have encountered and matters people have discussed with me which have piqued my interest. These posts will be less well-structured, more stream-off-consciousness and they will probably reflect me most as a human being. I would really enjoy reading your take on the subjects discussed in these posts, so do not hesitate to leave a comment.
brain drain 001: stop sharing and start doing.
Millenials love to share their ideas and future plans. On social-media posts, in Youtube videos, on Insta stories, when inebriated at parties, in blog posts (which my blog is a case-and-point of). More often than not though, we do not follow through. God knows how many plans I have formulated and spread all over, to then throw all of these ambitions overboard when the next shiny object comes along. A key skill I have lacked, and some people around me seem to lack too, is the ability to stop announcing and start doing what you keep talking about.
Yesterday my colleague and I discussed how our university degree taught us to think critically and analytically when encountering an issue. I am incredible grateful that I have learned these traits, because it allows me approach a problem from many different angles, consider multiple points of views and distinguish between major and minor issues. But these traits also make me exceptionally good at analysing things until I lose the desired result out of sight. Analysing things to death, if you will.
This can be a double edged sword. When do I know I have analysed a situation enough? If we take this blog of instance, how do I know I am not going to regret posting this openly online? Have I considered the dangers and the future perspective enough? On a more simplistic level I could be re-reading and editing this post for 5+ hours if I don’t stop myself from overanalysing.
Taking action is something I have been learning slowly from reading books on people who have zero issues doing. Even better, they have written books for people like me, people who do not know when to stop analysing and start doing. Some examples are Fearless, The 4-Hour Workweek and Money Master the Game.
The fact that my university degree never allowed me to follow through on an analytical task might be problematic. Issues have always stayed merely theoretical: ”how can we diagnose depression properly across different cultures?”, ”what is the best way to make physicians aware of early signs of poliomyelitis?” etc. I proceeded to write an essay based on theoretical concepts (and often also based on pure imagination) and I was never critically assessed on the actual viability of implementation. Let alone learn what it takes to implement theoretical knowledge. If your ambitions don’t lie in research or another analytical field of work, applying the skills necessary to follow an ambition has proven to be quite challenging.
What I have been learning from above mentioned books, and more harshly so from Gary Vaynerchuck, is that nothing is more valuable than to stop sharing your plans, and to start implementing them now (and share those implementations!). I am fully aware of how simple this sounds, but after reading books that tackle this simple premise analytically, it is really what it boils down to.
So in the past 4 months I have tried to focus more on sharing my challenges along the way as I implement what I want to do (and I feel like a legally blind person without glasses half of the time). Unlearning to analyse everything before I even think about taking action can be a paralysing process. One way of battling analysis paralysis is this blog series, where I get to be the theoretical, analytical, academic version of myself.
My questions to you;
- Have you or are you suffering from analysis paralysis? What has worked for you in order to overcome certain aspects?
- Do you feel that your educational background, or lack thereof, has helped or hindered you in achieving your goals?