Are You A Research Addict Or An Action Addict?

While I'm a strong believer in the importance of massive action, this action without research will lead to disastrous consequences. Learn more about these two addicts, consequences of their actions, and suggestions on breaking out of the mold.

"Analysis-paralysis will help you avoid failure.
However, you will also avoid success as well."
- LL Cool J

While I'm a strong believer in the importance of taking massive action, massive action without adequate research will lead to disastrous consequences. However, choosing to stay in never-ending research mode will get you nowhere

Yes, research and analysis are required for any successful plan, but no amount of research will make up for a lack of action: at some point, you have to execute your plan and simply learn as you go.

Repeat: even massive action won't make up for inadequate research and planning - a hard lesson I've learned well, as discussed in previous newsletters. You have to act with purpose and a clear idea of what you're doing and where you're going - acting for the sake of acting just won't cut it.

Research Addicts

1. Excitement Of Anticipation:

    First, let's discuss research addicts. Why do some people resist leaving research mode? For one, anticipation can be more exciting than taking action. In fact, anticipation can be more exciting than achieving goals, since achieving goals can be anti-climactic.

    Moreover, it's human nature to always want more and never be satisfied; therefore, no matter how many goals you achieve, there'll always be another you think you need to achieve. We can avoid all this by staying in research mode - the ultimate state of anticipation.

    The more research you do, the more excitement you'll feel in anticipation of (eventually) taking action with all your acquired knowledge. The problem is, you've been in research mode for five years and have yet to put any of that knowledge into action. Oh well, there's always next year.

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2. A Difficult Road Ahead:

    Second, the more research you do, the more you realize you've a difficult road ahead when you finally do take action. It starts becoming clear that road may be turbulent and filled with-unpleasant-surprises.

    Rather than waking up and facing the world, it's easier going back to sleep and continuing to dream. I call this active procrastination: it's procrastination disguised as something useful, which is the most dangerous form of all.

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    Each time you choose not to act, instead staying in research mode, it becomes that much harder to take action. Yet, you somehow think if you knew just a little bit more, you'd finally be ready to take action.

    Newsflash: Confidence Comes From Taking Action,
    Not From Sitting On The Sidelines Forever.

Confidence: Achieve It And Realize Your Potential. Confidence: Achieve It And Realize Your Potential.
The following interview is compulsory reading for those who would like to improve their confidence levels and those who are sufficiently confident but would like to gain that all important edge.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

3. Research Mode Is Safe:

    Third, research mode is safe: as long as you're in research mode you can avoid taking action ... and possibly failing. You'll avoid failure and the accompanying ridicule if you avoid taking action. I don't think anyone is afraid of failing per se; no, it's ridicule people fear so much.

    Just about everyone has bombed-out at something-or-other in front of people at some point and the resultant ridicule has been deeply buried in our subconscious minds, resurrecting itself whenever we go after a goal.

Are You A Research Addict?

I'm Not Sure.

Action Addicts

Now, lets talk about the action addicts. Action addicts are people who can't stand research-they thrive on constant motion. They don't even care if they get good results, since the stimulus of action is their juice. As long as they're in action, they're able to stay in distraction mode.

Action addicts are impulsive people who rarely think things through: they get an idea, act on it right away-and hope it works out. Action addicts are those strength trainees who always want to do more. When they don't get results from training six times a week, they'll start training twice a day.

They always assume that more action and work is the answer; the idea of doing less and getting more is ludicrous to them. Action addicts often drink several cups of coffee each day, since you need to get energy somewhere when you're only sleeping four hours per night.

What's The Appeal Of Being An Action Addict?

  1. One, you don't have time to worry about failure if you're too busy acting. You're too busy taking acting to consider failing-even if you've nothing to show for your action.

    Just because you're taking action doesn't mean your desired results will follow; however, you won't care about that if the action is enough juice for you-who cares about goals!

  2. Two, taking action gives one a rush: it's intoxicating and feels like you're in control and moving forward. This feeling is mostly illusory; however, when you're too busy taking action you'll never pause long enough to even notice.

Are You An Action Addict?

I'm Not Sure.

An Equal Lack Of Results

Ironically, action addicts and research addicts generally end up with an equal lack of results. Both are stuck in stimulus mode, neither pursuing the actual goal nor the most efficient path to the goal.

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Research addicts overload themselves with too much information and have no clue where to go, while action addicts overload themselves with action-for-the-sake-of-action, eventually to burn out. You can only take so much action, without measurable results to keep you motivated.

What Should You Do?

What should you do if you're one of the above? Try taking a vacation from yourself: if you're an action addict, take a week off and do some research. No action, no reading one paragraph and then going back to action-stimulus mode. If you're a research addict: it's time to put the book down and jump in the water. Start taking some action, since more research is contraindicated.

Essentially, the path to success is a balance between intense research and massive action. Start off with intense research, once you've acquired enough information to get going, then get going with some massive action.

Mike Mahler Mike Mahler
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Author, Mike Mahler.

Once you've used up all the knowledge, it's time to go back to research mode and load up again. Unfortunately, few people do this. Many simply acquire enough knowledge to get going-never to learn again. Others keep attending seminars, reading books, and doing every other form of research, never to put what they've learned into action - we tend to do what's comfortable rather than what's necessary.

Do what's necessary - and do it sooner than later.

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