Act Now – Don’t Delay
Do I know a lot about George Canning? No, but I agree to this quote of his. What I do know is that indecisions do have a cost associated with it and sometimes it can be super expensive just not to make decisions, let alone not making them at the right time.
So take action now, come to a decision – right or wrong but make a decision and move forward with your life.
Few days back I wrote about collecting ideas but focusing on one (or very few) ideas or projects at a time. I got few messages agreeing and some that did not. Couple even went to say that “Ideas are dime a dozen.” OK, may be or may be not. I don’t know as I have never bought ideas for a dime!
I have always maintained an ideas note – what I call it my “Ideas Bank”. Initially I used to jot only the ideas that were relevant to what I was doing or what I wanted to focus on and was very picky of what I added to my ideas bank. Initially the intention was to capture my ideas (my moments of brightness) so I could select them on the future and potentially use them and execute them when the time is right.
Then late last year I read few tweets about strengthening the ideas muscle (tweets that I should have saved but did not). This got me thinking of expanding the scope of my ideas bank. A bit more research and it made sense to strengthen the ideas muscle and give it a regular exercise. Very recently, I have started to jot ideas of all sorts. Things that may or may not be of any use to me at this given time. Over time (consider time frame in years) this should serve me atleast two purpose, 1) I should improve my problem solving/solution finding skills, 2) I will have this massive collection of ideas, some of which can be applied to a problem that I or others have at hand.
So you may want to focus on one task at a time but don’t let this stop you from building up your “Ideas Bank”. You never know what future problems you might be solving today in your notes! Go strengthen your ideas muscle.
Get things done and get them done soon. I seem to achieve the most when I create a list at the beginning of the day and seem to stick to that list.
Once you are hooked onto sticking to your list, next thing to focus is what goes on that list. Keep the things that matter the most on top of that list and you will be 50% set.
One thing that I have learnt over the years working on various projects is the need and the importance to ship on or before time. Want to dot all “i” and cross the “t’s” and there may be slippages or a “no-go” in project lingo. Shipping things just to get it out of the door [or to look good on project tracker] and it might be ineffective or virtually useless.
Trying to make yourself a perfect candidate before you apply for that role or ask that girl out? Well while you wait and work on that, the bar may keep rising and you or your product might never be completely perfect.
How about finding a problem or an opportunity, identifying what’s most important to get going, setting or identifying timelines, picking the most top priority thing to perfect and work on it till you get it and then ship it out.
Be Agile! Update, re-iterate and ship again.
Shipping often would not only boost your [your teams, your customers] confidence but also allow you to learn quickly from your mistakes and act accordingly. God did not make humans as we are in one day, He took millions if not billions of years to perfect us. He just kept on shipping better iterations.
Achieving my own goals is fun but the real happiness, satisfaction and sense of pride comes from the realisation that I can achieve whatever I put my mind too.
photo credit: Keith Ramsey
We all have dream/s. Dream to do something, do be someone, be somewhere and to get someplace. One think that helps is to have a plan to make that dream come true. To fulfil most dreams, it takes more than to just go to a website, get your credit card and book the airlines and the hotel. It takes vision and time.
When you are following your long term plans, it is important to reflect on your journey every now and then, adjust your strategy and plan to make it a reality. Above all it is important to dream and keep on sharpening that dream.
In Peter Thiel’s indirect words – Mapping out a life.
A good intermediate lesson in chess is that even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. Having no plan is chaotic. And yet people default to no plan. When I taught at the law school last year, I’d ask law students what they wanted to do with their life. Most had no idea. Few wanted to become law firm partners. Even fewer thought that they would actually become partner if they tried. Most were going to go work at law firms for a few years and “figure it out.”
That’s basically chaos. You should either like what you’re doing, believe it’s a direct plan to something else, or believe it’s an indirect plan to something else. Just adding a resume lines every two years thinking it will buy you options is bad. If you’re climbing a hill, you should take a step back and look at the hill every once in awhile. If you just keep marching and never evaluating, you may get old and finally realize that it was a really low hill.
One reason people may default to not thinking about the future is that they’re uncomfortable being different. It is unfashionable to plan things out and to believe that you have an edge you can use to make things happen.