There are thinkers and there are doers.
That’s a statement I’ve heard for a while now, and I’ve certainly believed it to be true to an extent. But recently I’ve started to think about this statement in a different way. Is it really either or? Is much of anything in life really this or that?
One of the biggest influences on me over the past few months has been the thought of balance. And when I say balance I don’t necessarily mean a perfect balance of equal parts. I just mean that when you are comparing two opposing thoughts there is probably some type of balance that should exist between the two thoughts, versus one side being fully right on its own.
So when it comes to success in life, and being a thinker or a doer, I believe there is a balance to achieve. And that balance is different for everyone.
If all you do is think, then you’ll never get anything accomplished in life. You’ll never get to test your thoughts.
If all you do is do, then you’ll never accomplish anything for yourself. You’ll be doing for other people.
I get it. Some people, and I think this is probably the majority of people, would rather not think and just do. If you’re reading this I assume you’re probably not this type. Doers don’t spend much time reading and improving their thoughts.
But if you ever want to create something that is original, whether that’s a piece of art or a new surgical procedure, then you have to spend time thinking.
In my life I have certainly spent a lot of time thinking. Sometimes I feel I haven’t accomplished much because of overthinking things. So right now I am spending a lot of time trying to put my thoughts into action. I’m trying to spend more time doing. And the connection I’ve started to make between thinking and doing is the concept of skills.
In order to do you must act. This action comes through the form of some type of skill. We have all heard the term skilled labor. When I use this term I start to think about blue collar versus white collar work. But again, does it really have to be either or? Can there be a balance? Who would you rather learn things from; someone who just thinks, someone who just does, or someone who thinks and does? I suppose the answer depends on the contexts, but in general I’d rather learn from the one who can see it from both perspectives. But in our world today it’s all about specialization. Another topic for another day.
There is another thought to add to this success spectrum. Along with the thinker and the doer there is the leader. A leader thinks and then uses his leadership skills to get others to do. This is where another form of success can be achieved. However, this can be abused, and has been for centuries. Just because leaders understand the world is overpopulated by doers doesn’t mean they should take advantage of this. I believe there is responsibility in all leaders to understand this.
So where do you fall on the spectrum? My guess is that we are all naturally inclined to one side or the other and that we would all benefit from trying to achieve a little balance.