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We all make mistakes. Many of us look back at them in order to learn from them. But end up making the bigger mistake, I.E. we end up worrying or brooding, instead of thinking of a solution.

This mistake has two parts to it. The first part is when there is lack of allocation of time for thinking and planning. We are stuck in fighting every day crisis or in chasing pleasures. Deep thinking is pushed and postponed to another day. A vicious cycle of crisis leading to lack of planning and thinking leading to crisis sets in. This is a trap. The 2nd part of the same mistake is that even when we allocate time for thinking and planning, but we end up brooding or worrying instead.

We try to avoid thinking at all costs

Without thinking, no planning is possible. Without Planning, no Success is possible. In such a scenario, what will one Scale up? Fantasies, Dreams and Aspirations become a reality only through a well crafted process of setting Goals, planning their achievement and executing those plans. Despite knowing all this, Thinking remains one of the most avoided activities. In fact Thomas Alva Edison is said to have used a quotation originally cited by Sir Joshua Reynolds and it is said that Edison used this quote on placards in most sections of his organisation. This quote was “There is no expedient to which man will not resort to evade the real labor of thinking.” — Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Prerequisites of Deep Thinking

Planning requires people to be with themselves, even more than any external tools. They need to go into deeper chambers of their brain. Superficial thought results in superficial plans. The nature of the mind is such that as humans make a greater effort to think deeply, the greater the mind resists it. Deep thinking requires a calm mind. It requires a mind that is balanced and at peace. And those humans who are anxious, fearful, and live with feelings of inadequacies have a disability to think deep. Such people are usually surrounded by crises and fire fighting.

There is an old proverb “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” goes on to indicate that knowing is never enough. Though we know that we can do more, can get more done, that we are stuck in a loop of fire fighting leaving us with little time and energy to think and plan, we remain helpless. This helplessness gives rise to anxiety, fears, and inadequacies. It is a loop.

Why do you worry?

Mind has a habit of living in the past and worry for the future. A mind afflicted by such worries starts to brood. Soon it enters a cycle where it starts to produce stress and then the mind shuts off, resulting into numbness. This is also a form of thinking, but an involuntary and compulsive form. Mind keeps recreating demons of the past and projects them into the future. Each time we think of a positive and bright future, the brooding mind questions the positive outcomes on the basis of the traumatic past.

The two stages of this mistake

  1. Not aware about the need for thinking and planning. A lot of entrepreneurs live their lives order to order. Their organisations also live order to order. It is their customers who define their growth. They somehow cope with the pace of growth of their customers. They apply various techniques to professionalise their operations to be better suppliers. They do not define the market or industry or add any value to innovation. They only make money.
  2. Aware about the need for thinking and Planning but stuck in everyday crisis. These are those entrepreneurs who know of the need to think but don’t know how to think. You see, thinking requires us to acquire the data from the past but still to remain unaffected by it. When we are deeply affected by the past, we are unable to think. It’s like a grieving person can not think. Crisis is more a state of the mind than on the ground. Brooding is a thought process where we constantly reprocess the past events. We come up with same conclusions in repackaged forms. Planning without deep thinking is steeped in multiple fears, over or underestimation and a need for survival.

Why some people Plan better than others?

Only a peaceful mind has the ability to think. In fact the word “Peace” indicates freedom from the past, from brooding. Planning tools and thinking tools are like a knife or a hammer, just a tool. A surgeon needs to have a stable hand and a stable calm mind with a right intent to use his tools to perform a surgery else the same tools become a weapon of destruction. The most common mistake people make is that they have over dependence on tools of thinking, planning and goal setting without a calm and stable mind with a clear intent. These are the prerequisites for Planning and Deep thinking.

Make time to Think and Plan

Scheduling time where all the stakeholders can sit, be calm and then think through their insights is a vital step towards Scaling Up. Do not think that knowing about the need for thinking and planning will be enough. Do not assume that having the best of the tools will automatically help us scale up. Your success will depend on how you will use those tools. And how you will use your tools will depend on how calm and peaceful you are within yourself.

This was the 2nd of 10 mistakes an entrepreneur should avoid while scaling up. Tune in every monday to follow this series.

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