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Action Beats Deliberation

(Good Advice through all Life Stages)

It’s the time of year when so many teenagers are heading off to university, and for the first time this year that’s also happening in our house, with the eldest child leaving later this week to start the next chapter of her life. She asked me the other day “what’s the one piece of advice you’d give me Mum?”  

Reflecting back on my own time at uni, it was very tempting to launch into advice about what not to do, or something around staying safe etc – but you don’t often get these moments – when the teenager actively seeks out life advice and seems to really want it – so I told her I’d think about it and get back to her.   

And as karma would have it, today in my inbox an article turned up with the heading “what’s the one piece of career advice you’d give your 20-year old self?”, and a claim that the same piece of wisdom kept coming up.  

That wisdom: Action beats deliberation.

Could it be that simple? Is that the advice I should give the teenager? And the kicker is…it’s something we do in our coaching sessions with clients – we always encourage them to avoid being caught by inertia…we talk about: Do something.  Anything.  Doing one thing is better than doing nothing.  

As I read the article more deeply (& it’s worth a quick read, have a look here), and thought about the whole message (be brave, take action, try different things, enjoy the journey and don’t worry about the destination – which is likely to change anyway), I’ve decided that I will share this article with my teenager.  This is all stuff I wish I’d known and believed at her age & stage.  

But is this going to be the ‘one piece of advice’ I give her though?  I doubt it – there’ll be a lot more than one!