Which one are you?
We are one or the other. Some of us are better at thinking up ideas than we are at putting those ideas into action. I know people with lots of ideas and others that do lots of things. The lucky ones are the ones that do both. And regardless of which one is more dominant in us, we need the other to make things happen. We can’t do it alone. The world needs both.
First, there are the thinkers…
The thinkers are the ones that talk A LOT! The minds of these kinds of people do not have a “shut off” switch as they are constantly processing new information with the old and creating something even better. They see things that people overlook all the time. The connections they make are somewhat spooky at times. People ask them how they put things together like that, and I don’t even think that they know. It just happens. One idea is spurned by a word that was just said that triggers an emotion the takes them to a totally different way of thinking. For every idea that comes to mind, they know that they cannot try every one. But how do you know? What generates the greatness in creativity and the unknown? We may never be able to pinpoint its origin, but it always fun to watch the wheels go around, isn’t it? People like this have many ideas of what they see and what how they can make those ideas be something that becomes real. Imagination is never what prevents them from seeing what is possible. They take what they have now and it gets created into something better.
According to one website, the top 10 thinkers of all time include names like Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie. They all were very skilled in a variety of different areas, but most notably in the sciences and mathematics. Their natural curiosities continued to never leave a question unanswered where their many failures greatly outnumbered their successes. The constant belief in “finding a way” for solving the most difficult of problems laid the ground work for many of the things still in use today.
Then, there’s the doers…
Watch out for them. They just might bowl you over. Not on purpose. They can’t help it. They have always got to be busy…doing something. Unlike thinkers, they are more concerned at completing tasks and getting things done. It doesn’t matter (always) how you get there — just do something. Action is the doer’s middle name and they are interested in “how the plane flies, but in flying the plane.” Doers will learn on the way…as they are doing…and are quick to adapt to new and possibly unpleasant circumstances. We get to where our excitement cannot be contained by mere walls…because we just bounce off of them! Sometimes, the doers are in such a rush that important things get overlooked and it creates more work in the long run. Doers like to jump in with both feet and find out what their limits are later. They don’t always think rationally about things first, and they sometimes just forge ahead anyway. In the meantime, the doers think time is wasting away while the thinkers think.
Some of the best doers are the ones that built something from nothing, including Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Henry Ford. Their imagination allowed them the ability to use their dreams and turn them into living things that could be shared, could be touched, and changed the world forever. They were pioneers in their own right and never took criticism to heart enough to where they the opinions of others was going to prevent them from moving forward. Learning on the go and adapting is what makes the doers moving forward.
In all honesty, we need both.
We are all thinkers and doers, but one is usually more dominant than the other. My husband is more of a thinker — waiting for the perfect plan or delays just enough until action MUST be taken. The plan must be perfect…well laid out, with every bit of knowledge available before anything is done. UGH. This can be the longest waiting game ever when put together with a doer (that’s me), who is somewhat addicted to adrenaline and movement. When I come up with some cray idea (so crazy…it just might work kind of crazy), then it is good for him to bring me back to Earth and remind me of things I might not have thought of yet.
Sometimes, just having a new set of eyes look at something you have memorized might point out something you never saw before. Many thinkers are great at coming up with the ideas, but don’t know how to take them from an idea into something more than that. The doers compliment the thinkers so that things get done. We can drive each other insane because one wants to hurry up and get things done and the other wants to think about it more. I know people who “talk” about doing something different because it is something they say they want, but that is about as far as it goes. They talk and think, but nothing changes. And I know people who “do” lots of things, but are so rash in their decisions that the aftermath can be quite messy to clean up.
Were you able to identify whether you are a thinker or a doer? So what do we do next? We all have to work together to make things happen…to change what needs changed. If you are a thinker, don’t just surround yourself with other thinkers — be inspired by the doers you find. For they will allow your imagination to grow in ways never possible. And for those of us doers, find a thinker or two to keep you grounded and mindful of the entire picture. Let’s keep thinking and keep doing…side by side.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©