Here’s one way to think about that pivotal difference. A dancer dances. Substituting thinking for dancing doesn’t work. If all you do is think, you end up just thinking about dancing. There is nothing to show for that thought.
Thinking is often a part of creating, but without action, nothing is created. This is true for even very intellectual, cerebral fields. For a task to be considered creating, you must publish, teach, or whatever. Daydreaming by itself is not creating.
How does Creaction play out in practice? How does it help us deal with uncertainty? The process has three parts, which repeat until you have reached your goal or decide you no longer want to. (See figure 1-1.)
1. Desire. Find or think of something you want. As we will discuss in chapter 2, you don’t need a lot of passion; you only need sufficient desire to get started. (“I really want to start a restaurant, but I haven’t a clue if I will ever be able to open one.”)
2. Take a smart step as quickly as you can. As you will see, a smart step has its own three-part logic as well.
• Act quickly with the means at hand — i.e. what you know, who you know, and anything else that’s available. (“I know a great chef, and if I beg all my family and friends to back me, I might have enough money to open a place.”)
• Stay within your acceptable loss. Make sure the cost of that smart step (in terms of time, money, reputation, and so on) is never more than you are willing to lose should things not work out.
• Bring others along to acquire more resources; spread the risk, and confirm the quality of your idea.
3. Build on what you have learned from taking that step. Every time you act, reality changes. If you pay attention, you learn something from taking a smart step. More often than not, it gets you close to what you want. (“I should be able to afford something just outside of downtown.”) Sometimes what you want changes. (“It looks like there are an awful lot of Italian restaurants nearby. We are going to have to rethink our menu.”) After you act, ask did those actions get me closer to my goal? (“Yes. It looks like I will be able to open a restaurant.”) Do you need additional resources to draw even closer? (“Yes. I’ll need to find another chef. The one I know can only do Italian.”) Do you still want to obtain your objective? (“Yes.”) Then act again and again until, building on what you learned, you have what you want (or you have decided you don’t want it or you want something else instead).
In other words, when facing the unknown, act your way into the future that you desire; don’t think your way into it. Thinking does not change reality, nor does it necessarily lead to any learning. You can think all day about starting that restaurant, but thinking alone is not going to get you any closer to having one
Excerpted from Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future. Copyright 2012 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Read more: http://uk.askmen.com/money/professional_200/203_taking-action.html#ixzz1zC1JWyxy