Photo cred goes to David Ragusa taken from Unsplash

Don’t Think Before You Act

The brain is an interesting tool. It’s a tool used to determine how we “be”. But while we “be” physically in the now, at all times, the brain “be”s (beez? I need to ask Nicki Minaj and Sean Paul for a lesson) anywhere but.

Okay, I’ll try to keep the grammar riddles to a minimum. Precedent is a great tool! Precedent teaches us that we can’t go back to the past and change things, but we can make the future better. Projection is also a great tool! Projection teaches us that things in the future are indefinite and, quite unlike the past, constantly changing. This defining principle is what makes precedent and projection, alone, ineffective. As beings that be in the now, we do not very much act it.


Queue roundabout method of illustrating my point.

We exist as 3 Dimensional beings. We see in only 2 dimensions. When I look in front of me, I see a wall, a television, a door in my peripheral, a pile of laundry I’ve been swearing I’ll hang up since my World Civ Latin America midterm, and a pair of shoes I kicked off as I came in last night. But I see all of this in 2 dimensions. It exists as a flat slice of the vast world in my field of vision. I then use visual cues like shadow and highlights to gauge the depth of objects.

This is the present! For us, it exists as these thin, flat slices of all that was and could be. Our brain constantly draws on previous experience to project what future possibilities may occur, but it does this so inefficiently that we are rendered inactive.

We celebrate visionaries and entrepreneurs that usher in the new era, but they are only masters of the present! It’s everyone else that’s looking at where things might go and where things have been. Entrepreneurs seem to be able to predict the future with extreme accuracy, because they are the only ones living in the present creating it!

Entrepreneurs seem to be able to predict the future with extreme accuracy, because they are the only ones living in the present creating it!

I wish I had some awe inspiring method for being right now rather than back then or soon, but the only advice I have is to practice. I think that’s the unique thing about being: We each have our own method for incorporating our precedent and projections into action. Some of the best experiences of my life were on a whim. Perhaps that’s why Nike’s mantra Just Do It resonates so well across cultures. Nature and evolution spent millennia shaping you into an impulsive machine; I think sometimes the last thing you need to do is think before you act.