Over thinking and under thinking are two parallels of the same extreme. I’ve been guilty of both. At times, I’ve practiced one when needing to sharpen the other.
Some people are waiters, others are jumpers, and a few are balancers. Balancers are those people who determine when to plan, and when to leap. The question is, when to wait, and when to jump? I believe there are some tools we can use to understand which is needed in a particular event. I would like to share three of them with you.
The first is to evaluate your situation. Where are you in your challenge? Do you have time to weigh all of the obstacles? If we practice both awareness and quick observation, we can normally get a reliable assessment of the problem.
We may not know everything, but we will know enough. Enough is all that will really benefit you anyway. If you have too much information, you need to narrow it down to what is relevant for the task ahead.
Once you have done this, tip two is to plan what you can. No matter what your predicament, there will always be factors you can’t assess. Equally true is the fact that they’ll be about the same number that you can.
Most people don’t know that the actor Jimmy Stewart was the World War II fighter pilot and later General, James Maitland Stewart. Jimmy’s father counseled him before ever leading bombing missions in World War II. He advised to plan for everything you can, and then place in His hands what you couldn’t plan for.
He addressed what he could, and then placed his faith in three things. First, in His Creator. I strongly believe in Faith being the deciding factor in any challenge I face.
Second, he placed faith in his training. They didn’t just hand him a plane because he had been famous, in fact, that worked against him. They placed him in command, because they had trained him to successfully carry out the mission.
Third, he had faith in his equipment. He knew that he had the best plane America could make, and no one could make them better. He made himself as ready as he could make himself.
The third tool is quick adaptability. Whether a fighter pilot or a businessman, you can’t make room for every contingency. What you can do is to quickly learn to adapt them to for your benefit.
To do this, ask yourself three questions. How does this new information alter my situation? How can I use it to make the impact positive instead of negative? What does this not change about the problem?
If the change is superficial, then it doesn’t really affect you. Don’t allow the suddenness of it’s appearance to throw you. If it does alter the situation, how can you make the change beneficial instead? If you can, you’ve gained, if you can’t, it’s just one more factor you’re facing.
If it doesn’t completely change the outcome, the. It will only add to your success or defeat. This may seem elementary, but once you know it’s not a game changer, then merely continue to play the game. If an advantage isn’t at hand, either be or make your own game changer.
Often the difference between winning and losing is only a few seconds. It isn’t that something simply guessed the right answer, they just assessed quicker than anyone else in the room. A bonus tip is to continue to practice these three tips. The more you do, the more efficient you’ll become. Then you’ll be ready whether it’s time to pause, to pounce, or to practice balancing some hybrid of the two.