It’s commonly said that some people do their best thinking while in the shower. I am in fact, one of those people. I don’t know why or how it happens, maybe it’s the massaging of shampoo into my scalp that activates the neurons and brings new thought to life. Whatever the case may be, I thought of something particularly interesting today. What is the difference between people who are purely thinkers and people who are doers? You might find this question a bit vague but trust me, I have more than one question. Let me try to explain.
I’ve recently hit a bit of a rough patch. I’m a person that thrives on stress and deadlines and work, but I’m also a person who falls victim to that stress and anxiety that comes from leading an active lifestyle. However this summer has been, well, relaxing. I’m in between colleges at the moment, I just graduated from a community college and I start at a University in the fall, so I’ve had this summer to myself to do whatever I please. You may think I’m beginning to travel away from my topic but trust me I’m getting back to that. Lately I’ve become more of a thinker and a practically nonexistent doer. So in the shower I began to contemplate, why? Where is the line that separates people who are thinkers and people who are doers.
Are you still confused? To be honest, I’m a little lost myself. How can I try to further elaborate such a vague topic. Perhaps some examples might help. When I think, okay it’s time to take a shower, I will then proceed by going into my bathroom and taking a shower. My process began with a thought and ended with an action. Easy enough. But when I think, man I’d love to write a novel, I don’t immediately sit down at my computer and start writing. Why is that? Where is the disconnect between that thought process of writing a novel and the thought to action process of taking a shower.
With that line of thinking established I then began to categorize people into thinkers, doers, and the people who can accomplish both. We all have our roles to play in society, or at least it seems that way most of the time. Some people are purely thinkers, discovering new cures for diseases, thinking of new fashions and creating new social media outlets, etc. While other people are there to put those thoughts into action by making the cure accessible to everyone and physical making the clothing. And then there is a rare bunch of people who can not only find a cure, but they themselves begin to produce the medicine, oversee the distribution, taking their original thought through to the finish line of the action. So what separates the thinkers from the doers? Why doesn’t everyone have a thought and follow through with it?
Of course there are the ethical/moral reasons that keep our thoughts from turning into actions. Just because I get mad at a person and think, “Oh I could kill that guy for cutting me off and almost crashing into me”, it doesn’t mean I’m actually going to kill someone. But perhaps serial killers and murders lack that cut off between deciphering which thoughts should and should not be transformed directly into actions. Does that cut off also prevent me from completing and publishing a novel? Is there some switch inside me that is turned off that prevents me from following through?
I always used to think of myself as a doer, but now I’m uncertain. It leads me to ask so many other questions. Why do some of my thoughts get the attention and the action, while other thoughts are simply that, just thoughts? Why do some people think and act simultaneously while others can only think and others can only act? Where is the line that connects a thought with an action, and how can we improve that connection?
I have no answers to my questions and I’m okay with that. I think it’s fun to ponder the unknown, even though it can sometimes be scary. Abstract thought helps me to understand more about myself and the world I live in. It helps me to accept what is around me, why people act certain ways and why I am different from them. So I’ll leave you with one last question. Are you a thinker or a doer?