Doing Something or Feeling Something?

Steve Chandler

Many many years ago, long before most of us were making a living, one of the most successful people of all time was W. Clement Stone. He was a leader of salespeople and a profoundly effective motivator.

One thing that he would do with his team of people in the morning was to gather his team together and have them repeat (over and over) the phrase "Do it now!" 

They would chant in unison! Do it now.  Do it now.  Do it now.  Do it now. 

And his experience was that repeating that phrase again and again and again-"do it now, do it now, do it now" ... would actually put it inside their systems---the subconscious minds of his salespeople---a real urge, a little command in there, a little voice that would keep repeating that phrase throughout the day.

You know how you get a song in your head and it just keeps coming up?  You can't get it out of your mind. Stone wanted his team to get that phrase onto the jingle track inside their brains.


So if it occurred to a sales person that day to contact someone in a business, they would think, "Oh, I should contact him.  He would be really good.  He would turn me on to some referrals," and then the little voice would then say, 'Do it now'. 

And because the voice would say 'do it now' they would pick up the phone, they would contact that person right now.... and then something good would happen and a successful life would move right along.

Instead of how most people do life, which is a series of putting things off. Which becomes the act of putting life itself off till later. ("I'll live when the time is more appropriate to do so.")

The ultimate cure for procrastination and the ultimate driver of high productivity will be to DO THINGS NOW.

There is another example of this kind of ACTION thinking and it is brutal, politically incorrect, insensitive and, therefore, right up my alley. I get in trouble every time I bring it up.  So, why not bring it up, then?  

Here it comes. 

I was reading my favorite British philosopher, Collin Wilson, and he was talking about psychology and Abraham Maslow and how the mind works. He was talking about depression. 

And I know depression is kind of a sacred field now and people have specific drugs for it and family members who have encountered it and all that, so I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings; because what he said was brutal and insensitive, but he was making a point. 

He was trying to make a point ... and he said the ultimate cure for someone's depression (if you have someone in the world who is depressed) is to throw that person down a flight of stairs. 

When they get to the bottom of the stairs, they will no longer be depressed. 

Now they will be something.  And it probably won't even be positive, but it won't be depression. That you see and imagine. (I am not recommending this. This is a mental imaginary exercise.)

The depression will be gone. 

Here's the point that he was trying to make---not to belittle depression.  He's trying to return people to the power of taking radical action---some kind of absurdly bold physical action. To WAKE THEM UP TO LIFE.

So where does that bring us? Aside from being ticked off at the bottom of the stairs. Maybe to this question: Are you a doer or a feeler?  And this is an important question.  I'm not talking about your permanent personality that goes on and on or all the illusory pervasive, permanent patterns in your world because I don't believe in all that.  I'm talking about IN THIS MOMENT: are you a doer or a feeler?

Or WITH THIS ISSUE, are you a doer or a feeler? 

Let me give you an example.  So you wake up in the morning and you are thinking about going to the health club.  Maybe you even have a schedule where you have put in on your New Year's resolution to go to the health club three times a week. But now two days have gone by so this is your day to go to the club.  What do you do?  Do you check in with your feelings and find out if you feel like going?  Because if you do that, you are a feeler. That's your primary way of operation at least for this issue called the health club. 

But what's beautiful about this; and what's beautiful about the whole idea of reinventing yourself, is that it doesn't have to be that way. If you don't want to choose that as a way of operating, you have another choice.

In other words you could actually be a doer rather than a feeler and it would be up to you. 

So, for example, you could have it on your calendar (8 AM health club) and you would simply DO THAT and it wouldn't matter how you felt.  You might have felt a little tired, you might have been up all night last night working on something, you might feel a cold coming on, you don't care, it's on the calendar and you do it and you check in with your feelings after you have done what you have done---not before. 

So if that's how you do this --if that's how you operate---then in this issue called the health club, you are a doer.  You do it first and feel something (usually good) afterwards.

Steve Chandler, author of Reinventing Yourself
Copyright 2011, author retains ownership. All Rights Reserved.

Category: Work-Life, Balance
Print page