Success Is Having A 'Do' Mentality, Not A 'Think' Mentality
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Success Is Having A 'Do' Mentality, Not A 'Think' Mentality

Contrary to popular belief, having a "think things through" mentality isn't going to make you successful.

Student kneeling in front of Denny Chimes
Austin Goodwin

We college students like to be thinkers. We come to college with our master plans (or we make them in college). We think that every single thing must go according to our plan and what we have thought out. All of this thinking has its place in the world, but contrary to popular belief, having a "think things through" mentality isn't going to make you successful.

Appearing to be a "thinker" gives people the perception that we are intelligent. Thinking things out, and talking about how you've thought things out, creates this illusion that we all know what we're doing. In reality, all of this thinking is a façade for the fact that the majority of us don't know what the hell we are doing, and the fact that we aren't actually DOing anything.

This "think" mentality college students put on stems from the fear of failure; surely, if we plan everything to the tee that it will go according to plan regardless of execution. If you can detect sarcasm, you know that things almost never go according to plan. However, people will still spend every second talking about what they THINK they are going to do, then at the last minute throw together a half-assed execution. This wastes an incredible amount of time and effort.

The majority of our decisions don't have to have some incredibly intricate plan with 57 backup plans. College students think that one choice is going to make or break their lives, which is flawed in two ways. One, it's never one decision that changes someone's life, but a series of decisions that lead people to an unfavorable ultimatum because they have lived by a think mentality. Two, many of our different possible choices can all result in a positive outcome if they are executed the correct way.

What makes a "do" mentality?

First of all, having a do mentality doesn't mean you say "fuck it" to rationality. People get under the impression that "just doing it" means going in with reckless abandon, not giving thought to good decision making. This could not be further from the truth. Having a "do" mentality means you don't sit around all day worrying and talking about what you're going to do. Because in the time that you wasted talking about what you're going to do and wasting effort on making a plan, you could have already done it.

Think about working out for example. If you're sitting on your ass at 3 p.m. saying "Oh, I think I'll work out in a few hours, but oh, wait, I have to do X, Y, and Z eventually, so is it better if I do X, Y, or Z first," you're much less likely to work out than if you say, "I'm going to work out now because I am not doing anything right now."

As a senior in college, if I could give one piece of advice to college students it would be this: don't talk so much about what you "think" you should do, because by the time you finish talking everything out to yourself, you could have completed the task three times over. Productivity is simply about doing, and having an attack-first mentality, instead of intricately planning things out.

The best things in life come to you unplanned, so don't stress thinking about something unless it's absolutely worth your time. Putting your nose to the grindstone for the less-thought-out decision and saving energy and time in the process always beats talking out all of your options and completing nothing on time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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