Monday Mantra: Think Less, Act More

Rikugien Park // Tokyo, Japan

Rikugien Park // Tokyo, Japan

I was rifling through a little notebook of quotes I have—simultaneously contemplating my day, my attitude, my relationships, my job, my purpose in life, and my position in the world (just a casual Tuesday)—when I saw this quote.

Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should think less, act more, and stop watching ourselves live.
— Nicolas Chamfort

As a super introspective and reflective person, this hit home for me. Most of what I write on this blog, especially since it’s usually about mindfulness, comes from a place of contemplation. Most writing does, I suppose. But sometimes pondering too much about who you are, weighing your options for too long, and generally dwelling in the heaviness of life’s biggest conundrums doesn’t do anything except bring you down. I have learned this the hard way. 

I’m a perpetual ponderer. Every time I take a bath or drive somewhere or listen to a melancholy song, I’m thinking about the meaning of everything around me. This is a good practice in theory, one that has the potential to motivate me to drive change and create beauty in the world—and it often does. But if the thinking interferes with me actually doing the things I want to do—and it often does—then it becomes a problem. 

Too much thinking is paralyzing. Anyone who has ever tried to pick out an outfit for an interview or decode a cryptic text from a fling knows this to be true. When we focus so much on mentally dissecting a situation after it happens, or analyzing all the potential outcomes of a decision before we even do anything, we’re wasting precious time—time we could be using to make things happen. Or even just to make things

So in the interest of not thinking too much more about this topic, I’ll leave you with this: Clear your mind of the clutter. Get out of your own head. Take action. Do something