Having ambitions is great. We should all always want more for ourselves. This is how we grow as people.
But desire is not enough. Desire is not what grants us our ambitions. Only through actions can dreams become reality.
A Bias Towards Analysis – The Current State of Myself
Today, I am someone who always starts with analysis when faced with a problem.
Some might ask, “What is wrong with that?” and the truth is, nothing necessarily is. We all have our own ways of overcoming obstacles. Today, this is the way that I go about it.
However, oftentimes I am left wondering if this way of acting is optimal. Because the truth is, is that sometimes the solution to the problems I face can be realized almost immediately barely requiring any analysis.
The Case Where A Bias Towards Action Begets A Bias Towards Analysis
I’ve met many people who are doers. People who when faced with a problem spend little time analyzing and instead move straight into acting.
In interacting with these people, something I have realized is that it is not that they skip analysis. It is just that to them analysis occurs simultaneously with the act of doing.
When building products, it is recommended that an individual starts by putting out an imperfect MVP (minimum viable product) and the truth of the matter is, is that having a bias towards action can help us get to that quicker. By getting to the MVP quicker, we can more quickly gain a true understanding of what happens in the real world, then begin to adjust accordingly to how the real world reacts to the solution we’ve built.
This means that having a bias towards action can allow for a more rich and quality analysis because there is more data to base that analysis.
Acting, ensures that we begin to actually step towards our ideal solution. Analysis, is a place where we can get stuck and actually slow us down in our effort of creating a solution.
Take for instance this example:
Steve feels as though a little ice cream shop would thrive in his hometown. Based on his previous experiences talking to people in his hometown, he realizes that the demand for this business exists. Steve is someone who is heavily biased towards action, so a couple weeks after coming to this realization that his hometown needs an ice cream shop he begins the process of opening one. One month later, the shop exists. Although not initially busy, Steve now has access to customers coming to the ice cream shop. So, he talks to these customers, he gets to know them and learns what they want out of their new local ice cream shop. Then, in accordance with his customers recommendations he adapts his store. Steve’s ice cream shop continues to get busier and busier and better and better. A year after opening his ice cream shop Steve feels confident that if he continues to do what he has been doing, that in 15 years his ice cream shop will become institutionalized in the town.
Now compare it to this example:
Steve feels as though a little ice cream shop would thrive in his hometown. Others in the town, tell Steve that they believe the same thing, but Steve isn’t sure. Although he feels that an ice cream shop might thrive, he also feels that there must be a reason there is not already a thriving ice cream shop in his hometown. So, Steve begins by doing some market analysis and what he finds is that based on the data he can find about ice cream shops and the demographics of his town an ice cream shop might not work here. Because he feels dissuaded by the data he finds he chooses to not open his ice cream shop. He continues his life as a freezer repairman and every once and a while contemplates whether or not he did the right thing in deciding not to open the ice cream shop.
In both stories, Steve is faced with the same situation. In one, he has a bias towards action and builds a thriving ice cream shop and in the other, he has a bias towards analysis and never builds the ice cream shop he dreamed of. The bias towards action that Steve had enabled him to achieve success, while the bias towards analysis held him back from achieving his dream.
People with a bias towards action are people who get things done. They are the people who achieve their dreams.
Having a bias towards action does not mean having a bias towards thoughtless pursuits, but rather a relentless pursuit of one’s desires. Those who keep trying are the most likely to one day get lucky and achieve their dreams.
Understanding How I Might Change My Own Behaviour
In examining the case above, it becomes increasingly apparent to me that my own behaviour needs to change. It is okay to be wrong as long as you are willing to admit it and willing to put in the effort to right your wrongs.
So, how might I become a person with the bias towards action that I have described?
I believe the answer is simple, it is by remembering this case that I have outlined and by practicing being biased towards action.
A Qualifier: Bias Towards Action, Does Not Mean Bias Against Analysis
Analysis is incredibly important. It is important that we do not do too much. We must be biased towards action in the case that we see the potential that that action might help us as individuals achieve self-actualization.
Only when in pursuit of our own life vision, should we have such a strong bias towards action in the case of do or do-not decisions.
Additionally, it is important that we take time to make choices between alternatives that are not do or do-not decisions. We must not only have bias towards action, but also a strong ability to prioritize our future actions.