Kyle Eschenroeder’s ‘The Overthinker’s Guide for Taking Action’ is packed with thought-starters (and chastisements) on the subject of ‘action’ and why we make excuses for not acting and how to get over ourselves- let’s take a look as some favourite truths that we’ve seen from our clients.


Action is cheaper than planning

Eschenroeder refers to that all too familiar feeling of holding back from starting something until we know exactly what we want to do, for fear of failure. He uses the Wright brothers as an example of where action conquered planning, pointing out that they won the race through incessant innovation, tweaks, tests and constant action.

Learn by doing, not by planning.


Inaction is scarier

Here Kyle argues that you may find motivation in looking at the alternative. If you don’t act now, what will happen?

Action is harder, it involves effort, which is off-putting. But is the long-term result worth the laziness?


Need to prevent laziness and be more productive? Take a look at our guide on time management and prioritising work


Action manifests motivation and courage

Action sparks motivation, not necessarily the other way around. Not promoting just motivation, but action, Eschenroeder says, is the root of all courage. Once we make it out the other side, we know we can survive similar challenges in the future.


Explanations follow action

Some people must attach their action to a narrative – we need a reason to do something. Science has demonstrated that we make up memories all the time. Whatever reason we might have for doing something, we likely came up with after deciding to do it. Our actions are experiments. So, experiment!


Action creates antifragility

More commonly referred to as “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, antifragility refers to the concept that we can grow stronger from experiencing volatility and stressful things. Ultimately, taking action, especially if uncomfortable, best equips us to handle difficult situations in the future.


Takeaway activity:

  • We all love Post-It notes. That reminder on your PC, the inspirational note on the bathroom mirror, or that really important thing you’re still getting around to after 2 weeks. Take you best (or worst!) truth and make it front of mind… you could also do this digitally with one of these great apps or share it someone to help externalise your intent
  • Define 2-3 actions or personal tips you’ll do to combat or overcome this ‘truth’
  • Catch yourself thinking- this is after all a series on actions, so execute those mitigating actions whenever you find yourself sinking back into inaction


Further reading: