Planning vs. Doing

personal development Sep 21, 2020
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The distinction is so obvious, why bother pointing it out?

Because planning feels like doing.


Blame dopamine.

Dopamine is the goal seeking brain chemical that fuels our affection for to-do lists, New Year's resolutions, and 5-year plans. The problem is the act of writing down or sharing our plans releases dopamine which unconsciously satisfies our desire for goal achievement.

Of course, planning and its close cousin, dreaming, are important. Planning is tied to wonder and possibility which fuels curiosity, consideration, and creativity. 

Doing, however, is what makes change happen. Doing is tied to rigor and purpose which fuels courage, commitment, and collaboration.

How do we avoid the dopamine trap so that we move from planning to doing? Good news, we can again turn to brain chemistry!

Oxytocin is the brain chemical of love fueling romance and friendship based on generosity and trust. Whereas the effects of dopamine are instantaneous, the impact of oxytocin require time to build up.

If you're ready to make a difference, make your plans with intention and integrity. Then start with who. Seek and surround yourself with others to help you nurture commitment and cultivate resilience and do the work that makes things better.

Ready to make a difference? How can you plan more carefully and execute more quickly today?

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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