Action Breeds Clarity

18 Apr 2024

Taking action has been a life-changing decision for me. It has brought a lot of clarity to my life and day-to-day activities. I get a lot of tasks done and improve myself consistently as well. It has put me on the path to slaying complacency, eliminating procrastination, and fulfilling my immense potential. These are four principles of how action breeds clarity, and how I implement them.

1. Learning by Doing

Learning by doing stops us from overthinking things. We are only human. We will never be sure of every decision we make. We have an innate tendency to overthink and analyze situations before taking action.

Overthinking leads to what is commonly known as "analysis paralysis." It blurs our perspective, creates confusion, and stagnates our progress. Overthinking creates multiple outcomes that lead to increased anxiety, dissatisfaction, and even paralysis. This concept was theorized by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.”

Schwartz argues that having choices is generally considered a positive aspect of modern life. The abundance of options in various domains—such as career paths and life decisions—can overwhelm individuals and hinder their ability to make effective decisions. We should use our time efficiently and learn in the process. Do not overthink things.

Just-In-Time Knowledge Over Just-In-Case Knowledge

“Just-in-time knowledge” refers to acquiring skills and information when they are immediately needed for a specific task, problem, or situation. “Just-in-case knowledge” refers to learning skills and information in preparation for future needs.

Both approaches have their advantages. Why is this knowledge important? A lot of people read, watch videos, and consume information that they are unlikely to put into practice. This knowledge is more of an entertainment source than it is a learned skill.

We are more likely to change a light bulb than apply survival tactics when faced with a lion. There’s nothing wrong with knowing how to survive a lion attack, but it’s very unlikely that you’ll use that knowledge. People who prioritize this type of knowledge are also prone to procrastination. They focus solely on what could happen. This keeps them in an endless cycle of worry and anxiety that prevents them from accomplishing the goals they’ve set for themselves.

We prioritize just-in-time knowledge and reference Tim Ferris, who said, “Prefer just-in-time knowledge over just-in-case knowledge.”

3. Do and Reflect

Getting things done while learning relevant aspects is good for our growth. Reflection gives us new perspectives of ourselves that allow us to analyze and improve on areas we are weak.

It is important to see your goals through. Doing so staves off doubt, depression, and anxiety. It builds your character in the process, putting you in a position to continually improve. Resist the temptation to quit or give up. Do not second-guess yourself by wondering if you should do something else instead. Guard your mind against self-doubt and stay focused on the task at hand.

Take action over your patterns, routines, and nuances. Don’t allow complacency to creep in as it can drain you of all your potential, leaving you depressed and unfulfilled. Adapt to changing circumstances and build on routines that make you better.

4. Building Confidence & Embracing the Unknown

The action involves stepping into the unknown. Embracing uncertainty allows us to confront fears and doubts that hinder progress. Navigating through uncharted territories is scary and unpleasant. However, doing so builds and grows confidence. This confidence stems from realizing we can overcome challenges and learn from them.

Overthinking can create worst-case scenarios that fill us with fear. Fear can hold you back from achieving your potential. Take the leap of faith into the unknown, and overcome the challenges that await you. As David Goggins says, “Embrace the suck!”

It might not be pleasurable in the beginning, but you will learn how to deal with it. You’ll master how to navigate uncharted waters and come out the other side stronger than before.


Action breeds clarity and encapsulates a fundamental truth that transcends various aspects of life. It allows us to break free from the constraints of overthinking. We gain insights, experiences, and wisdom that lead to a clearer understanding of ourselves and our environment.

The courage to take action propels us toward our goals while fostering adaptability and self-confidence. Action holds the key to the clarity we seek.

The world is your oyster. Stop overthinking and act starting today.

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