"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory." ~ Friedrich Engels
When people talk about goals and planning, two distinct camps tend to emerge, in my experience:? (1) the "aim then fire" types, and (2) the "fire then aim" types.? I've used those specific terms for a reason, and will return to them in a bit. But, let's look at the two types, and relate them to the way in which one might approach raw foods.
For the sake of this discussion, let's assume that each person has the same end goal:? "I'd like get myself to the place where I'm living on a raw food diet." Okay, so that's the awesome goal, right? (Oh, and by the way, this is all just my own editorial take; ?I don't mean it as an objective piece of journalism.)
Before delving into that, let's review those two distinct personality types:
The first person is an "aim then fire" type.? Prior to actually embarking on any kind of regimen, this type will research the topic in-depth on the internet, read a lot of books, purchase special notebooks and pencils to be used for planning purposes, maybe purchase (or even plan to purchase) some equipment, set a launch date, etc. This is akin to taking a course on the Italian language prior to a trip there; it's practical.
- The "fire then aim" person heads directly to the grocery store and buys a ton of produce. From there, he or she simply "wings it." This doesn't necessarily imply that this person will not continue learning about raw. It just means that he or she kind of dives right into it, and "learns while doing." It's like moving to Italy because you want to learn to speak Italian.
Which One Is Better?
Ultimately, the answer to that will depend on what type of person you are and, thus, what would naturally work for you. I'm sure it's all more complex in real life than what I've portrayed, and it's not like you have to be 100% either one or the other 100% of time time. But, sometimes it's interesting and productive to just look at polar ends of a spectrum and see what you can learn.
For the rest of this piece, I'm going to defend what I personally view as the "best" approach. So, I've boiled some of my opening points down to a stunningly awful chart. Please avert your eyes, as it's honestly among the ugliest charts I've ever seen:
To begin, let's review some advantages and disadvantages of each approach, as outlined in the painfully unsightly chart above:
Clarity of Goal: ?Upon some initial reflection, it would seem that the main advantage of the "plan first" approach would be the notion that this person will likely develop a deeper sense of direction -- a more specific, more fully fleshed-out goal. Hence, the higher score in this domain of the chart. The "go for it" person, on the other hand, seems to be running more on instinct. You may be surprised to see this person's goal rated as high as it is. This is because, in my opinion, a surprising percentage of a final picture often comes to people rather quickly. Upon experiencing an idea (at least, for me), my vision is usually around 80% roughed out in terms of what I want to do.
After all, the goal itself in this case (following a raw diet) is at least 80% of the reality. Deciding that you're going to live as a raw foodie or a high-raw foodie is really the toughest hurdle. The follow-through can always be learned along the way.
So, personally, I'm in favor of the second approach, as it's more aligned with intuitive thinking (even though I'll concede that the clarity of vision is not ultimately as "high-scoring" as the "plan first" type). In other words, sure, you may not know all of the details right now, but you know generally where you want to be. So, you may as well start down that road as soon as possible.Naturally, you'll hit some bumps along the way, and you may need to backtrack sometimes, but I believe that the initial momentum is important!
Passage of Time.? There's no question that it takes longer to plan than it does to simply jump into something. I'm not opposing the concept of planning in all cases, of course. But, for the specific goal of eating raw foods, the risk is very low that you could actually get hurt or go broke or experience anything else negative that can often happen in life when we don't plan. Raw food is basically just health food -- fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds. So, for 99.9% of people out there, eating more healthfully is not something that requires a lot of strategy.
"Risk of Failure" and "Probability of Success."? Well, first of all, there really is no "failure" in life. Truthfully, failure is a disempowering word. I shouldn't have even used it here. But, since the terribly unengaging chart above is already made, I'll leave it for the moment. These two categories are, naturally, directly related. In my chart, above, the "plan first" individual has about a 50/50 shot at success and failure, whereas the "fire first" person has an 80/20 shot (meaning 80% chance at success, 20% chance for failure).
My reasoning for this is simple:? the time factor. Time and time again, over every success book, marketing book, business seminar, and other informational literature, product, and/or gathering I've ever been in contact with, the take-home message is that you really need to act on your ideas. The people who set things into motion are generally the ones who meet with success.
A Quick Story...
At my last job, the marketing director quit. I was second in command so, the next day, I informed the president that I'd like to take over. He scoffed, saying, "You're not ready to be a marketing director ...Your problem is that you fire before you aim."
In the end, I wasn't hurt by his words (even though they were intended as criticism). Instead, I realized that what he was saying was absolutely true; this is the way that I think. What he failed to realize was that this was, and still is, a perfectly valid way to approach many things both in one's personal and professional life.
I like to think of this as intuitive living, as following one's heart. And, what's amazing is that raw foods connects you with that more than ever. In the end, either approach, as outlined above, is perfectly valid -- as would be some mixture of the two. Again, it just depends on what your preference is for approaching projects.
I'll curtail this piece pronto, as the weekend is now upon us, and the clock is ticking here toward that joyous two-day span louder and louder each second. But, I wanted to put one final thought out there...
Back on Monday, I noted that today's column would answer the question, "What s the difference between 'wanting' to do something and actually *deciding* to DO it " That's simple:? It's the act of deciding -- and yes, it is an act, even though it's tough to pin down wiht a description. It's the critical precursor to taking action.
Essentially, deciding just means that you have made up your mind about something. In the case of following a raw lifestyle, it means that you have made up your mind that you're going to do it. This could be a feeling, something you've written down, or (more powerfully), something you've spoken out loud.? So, if you're teetering about it, just take action in that simple way: Make your decision. Just say out loud, "I'm going to give this a serious go!" And then do it. It'll be easier, in fact, if you do.
Have a super weekend everyone!!! ? -Jim