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What we really mean when we say "I'll think about it."

Over the past couple weeks a theme has come and returned over and over again with the people I work with. Before I get into it, let me ask you to challenge yourself. Go to a recent event or memory where someone has asked something of you and you might have responded to them, perhaps your spouse, boss, associate, etc, saying 'I will think about it.' What did you do after you said that? Did you really think about it...or did you do something different.

Coincidentally, while writing this post, my wife asked me "do you want to go with me to work out?" I looked at her, grinned like the grinch (and yes my mouth is that big), and said..."I'll think about it." I then laughed inside, thinking, how weird was that. I still need to give her an answer (I knew I shouldn't have eaten that huge bowl of cereal).

Now, here is what is actually happening with me, and I believe almost everyone else. Usually, when we tell someone 'I will think about it' what we are actually doing is "feeling" about it. Inherently, this should not be a problem, however our feelings are usually not a great indicator of whether we should do something or not. What I find occurring in most people I talk to is this; instead of thinking things through, rationalizing and detailing consequences, they feel it out (using emotions and not a higher power).

They may think for a moment, but even then, they might think about how they feel, and subsequently answer the question/request/challenge based on the anticipated feeling they might receive depending on the outcome of the decision. For example, when my wife asked me to go work out, I really didn't think about working out per say, because rationally and intelligently it would be a great and healthy endeavor. Rather, I 'thought' about how I was feeling (bloated due to too much cereal) and thought about how working out would make me feel (sick). My inclination then became to not go. Indeed I was thinking, but more so I was thinking in order to feel, which then became emotional.

You may be asking, does this even matter? To me it does and here is why. It's a cycle we create; thinking, feeling, and acting. However, if done out of order many of us can become stuck, entrenched, endlessly procrastinating, habit followers, and so on.

In my experience, feeling comes after we have acted or done what we have "thought" about. In other words, we think about an intended outcome, do it the best we can, and while doing it or at completion of the task, we receive the 'feeling.' Happy people follow this pattern more than people struggling with depression. In a spiritual way, we find a hope, we act (faith), and we receive a confirmation (spiritual confirmation). We cannot wait to"feel" good (emotionally) until we decide to do something...because most of us will simply fall to our feeling of discomfort and never become what we could become. 

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