Think Onto Paper

Don’t ever think about stuff.

Wait, let me make that a little less deliberately provocative: you should rarely just think about stuff.

“Thinking” is realistically one of two things: planning, or daydreaming. There’s nothing wrong with a little daydreaming if that’s what you need right now, but way too many people imagine that they’re planning when really, they’re daydreaming.

What’s the difference? Whether the thinking produces any forward motion. You can think about stuff all day without ever reaching any new conclusions, putting any plans into action, or even making any plans to begin with. When people say “let me think about that,” they typically aren’t about to approach “that” in a systematic way that will produce any results.

How do you avoid this trap? Think onto paper. Don’t just think; write.

Writing produces something tangible. It shows your thoughts to you. It allows you to show your thoughts to others. It exposes their flaws and sharpens their good edges. And writing is the beginning of actually planning. If you think onto paper and then decide to take action, you’re already halfway there. And if you decide not to take action, you’ll know why.

I write every day because I think every day. You think every day, too! I just commit to not keeping my thoughts in my own head where they aren’t doing any good. You don’t have to do that every day – but you should do it more.

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