The National Security Agency have been in the news this week for spying on, well, everybody. Angela Merkel is not happy. It got me wondering about the NSA and what they actually do with more and more information from more and more people from more and more places. How does the NSA discern my idle phone chats with girlfriends on the merits of Ryan Gosling vs Ryan Reynolds (ahem, acting merits of course!) and phone conversations discussing potential threats to National Security? When you build a bigger and bigger haystack of information, doesn’t it make it harder and harder to find the needle?
This is relevant in making conscious life choices. At what point does the gathering of information become counter-productive, so paralyzing that you are uncertain whether to make this choice or that choice, weighing you down with data and indecision? Are you trapped in the haystack? Are you building the haystack bigger and bigger? Do you have any hope of finding the darn needle?
Gathering information can be a form of procrastination that is costly in time, energy, money and other resources. Just ask the budget controller at the NSA!
I had a coaching client who wanted to lose weight. After spending years and years educating themselves on the calorific value of foods, knowing the good carbs from the bad carbs, gaining an intimate understanding of fats- saturated, unsaturated, polyunsaturated, the optimal doses of vitamins and minerals needed to be healthy, researching the pros and cons of every diet, watching and comparing the value of exercise DVDs- P90X vs. Insanity , finding the most powerful juicer/blender on the market, finding where to buy the most wholesome food in the neighborhood and sooooo much more. They were incredibly knowledgeable. But still over weight. They had not begun to make a single change in their lifestyle. They were now carrying the additional weight of data on their back.
When asked to name three things they could begin to change starting right now, today, they instantly replied, “Drink more water, don’t skip breakfast and avoid fried foods.” They then fine-tuned those simple goals. They made them more specific, placed them in a time frame and listed three ways of gathering support for reaching the goals. It looked like this….
In the next two weeks I will drink 6 x 8oz glasses of water every day, I will eat a cup of unsweetened cereal with skimmed milk, a piece of fruit and one mug of unsweetened coffee for breakfast and I will eat no fried food at all, choosing a grilled option as a conscious *swapportunity.* I will have my wife, my son and my life coach offering encouragement, support and gentle but firm nudges to keep me on track with my goals.
Do you need more information? Or do you need a life coach to help you make conscious choices TODAY?
Stop procrastinating by building a bigger and bigger haystack, it makes it harder to find the darn needle. Start now, make it sew.