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stories & adventures

Planners and doers

. 2 min read .

The other day I went for my usual weekly bouldering session. Geared up, stretched and stepped on the mat. Music on, world off.

Before I start on every root, I take a step back to study the route. But then you have these guys that glance at the route and hops on right away. Fails half way through but keeps trying. On the 4th time, he clumsily but successfully reaches the top. These are the DOERS:

“The rare person who is all propellant. No useful substance, no long-term strategy, simply short-term success based on an abundance of forward motion. If you work with someone like that, try to help them find their way… they’re not going to stop moving, but perhaps you can help them move in the right direction” — Seth Godin

DOERS just get started with no much plan of action, no end goal in mind. They have a view of the bottom of the route and hop on right away. Some have the skills to back them up and other's just keep trying and through the path they force themselves to skill up.

Then there are the people -usually the noobs- who have to have every move figured out before starting. These are the PLANNERS: They think that planning is necessary before starting but often times that acts like procrastination since they never start. These are the photography enthusiasts who want to research what the best gear is before even taking a picture on their smartphones.

Made me wonder what the right strategy is... Not only in bouldering but life in general.

How much planning is too much planning. How much doing is too much doing.

As with most things what has worked best for me when bouldering is a bias towards being a DOER. This means no more than 10 seconds of studying the route. I just spot the last bounder and trace my path back to the first one that is in front of me. Then I hop right on. I fail at at it repeatedly until I get it instead of preplanning what the perfect move will be and what could go wrong. I figured that since failing is safe, I can fail as many times as I want. The only thing I am losing is energy and time. But with the trial and error approach I found that I was learning much faster that then step back and study one. The error will give you 100 times more learning than the planning.

I found that this approach of jumping in without overthinking it holds true for any endeavor. Any hobby, any skill I like to learn, business decisions, everything.

Being biased towards action without too much thinking is one of these 'secrets' that is so obvious that it sounds trivial. But I found that it is the single thing that stops me every time from getting shit done. Overthinking it. Because every time, the answers comes while working on the pursuit, not before in the planning phase.