How To Go from Being a Thinker to a Doer

It’s been said that life begins at the end of our comfort zones so with this in mind, today we explore a method developed by the Japanese psychiatrist, Dr. Shoma Morita, which promises to take us from being inactive ‘thinkers’, to accomplished ‘doers’.

  • According to Morita, in each of us, there are two warring desires: the desire to remain comfortable, and the desire to self-actualize. In order to self-actualize, we know we must do things that will make us uncomfortable. In order to address this dilemma, in western culture we often attempt to put ourselves in the right state of mind before taking action. For example, we may try to give ourselves a pep talk before cold calling a big client. According to Morita, this is the opposite of what we should do. According to Morita’s method, the more prudent course of action is to simply ignore how we feel, and make the call anyway, regardless of our emotions toward it. Thus, thoughts and feeling about an action we must take can be seen as totally irrelevant to it.  Morita suggests that often merely taking action will itself put us in the state of mind we initially desired. This is not to say we should not prepare or plan for a decisive action but rather that when the time comes, by ignoring our feelings, and simply taking action we may avoid the perils of ‘paralysis by analysis’.
  • Anyone who gets ahead in life can tell you that one of the most important steps toward getting there is taking responsibility for your life. According to Morita, in order to get to this point, the question we should constantly be asking ourselves is, ‘What needs doing now?’ We may not be able to control our feelings but we can certainly control our behaviors. In the case of cold calling, we always have that choice whether or not to make a call. It is in this decision to act in spite of our desire to remain comfortable that allows us to take responsibility for our own life.