The term ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is a term we use when our delivery is less than it should be, but the underlying motive and sentiment is noble.
Picture this…you bake a cake…not just any cake, I’m talking about the holy grail of cakes…chocolate fudge with all the trimmings, and bring it to your new neighbor as a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift, only to find out that your neighbor has type 2 diabetes…and recently broken their insulin pump.
Well…as anybody can imagine, cake in hand you are more than a little embarrassed and your neighbor feeling bad for you, thanks you effusively for the potentially coma-inducing gift by assuring you, ‘It’s the thought that counts.”
Yes… it’s the thought that counts… Great term really… probably thought of it the last time your cat brought you a ‘gift’ from its last prowl in the woods.
There are times…probably many times where that term applies in the most worthwhile way..but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
I want to discuss at least 5 areas where the thought does not count and where motive and sentiment means absolutely nada, unless it’s accompanied by real and meaningful action.
A couple of days ago I drove 20 minutes to the gym to honor my commitment to get a solid workout 5 days each week.
I literally had to peel myself from my desk where I was mildly distracted from working by doing a little facebook-ing and web surfing… you know how it is.
So here I was at the Gym…Mr. No-excuses about the put the hurting on the bod. As I sat idling in the parking lot, I decided to take a quick glance at my emails.
I now know a fact not all glances are created equal because 50 minutes later I emerged. Still in the parking lot, car still running but having sent out a few emails which to be honest I should have sent earlier and those that were not so urgent, I could have sent the next day.
Long and short is it took me an hour and when I came to, I realized I was feeling a little hungry, and of course, I didn’t think it would be wise to workout feeling as hungry as I was because, as my genius of a mind convinced me, that would not be smart.
With that, I made the executive decision that I’d drive back home and live to workout another day. What’s weird is that I felt no unease at all about the fact that:
- a) I had not honored my workout commitment,
- b) I had driven 20 minutes in one direction to do what i could have done at home. and
- c) Driving to the gym parking lot is not the same as exercising.
As I introspected and analyzed my actions here is what I concluded.
As in my case when it comes to the goal to being healthy, and the entire rigmarole of diet and exercise…thinking about it will never amount to ‘doing it’.
So here are the 4 places I wanted to elaborate on where the thought does NOT count:
1. Your Actions
Don’t ever confuse your intention for action. It’s not enough that you had it in your heart to do something.
Actions speak louder than thoughts. So when it comes to taking steps in the direction of your plans. It’s not enough to have thought about it, however, noble and favorable that thought may have been.
Go Nike on your goals and Just friggin’ Do It!
2. Your family
‘It’s the thought that counts’ sentiment fails to meet the case when it comes to connecting with your loved ones. Mankind has probably never been as preoccupied as this present generation. We have 24 hours of news and entertainment.
We have to deal with social media and clickbait and people we don’t even know are constantly trying to get the slightest sliver of our attention.
In your email inbox right now, you have more emails from strangers than you do from friends and family. So holding people in your heart and in your thoughts are not enough as actually getting a hold of them.
Our dilemma right now is we can find out where our friends and family are and what they are doing by going to their social media pages, when back in the day we called or wrote them and made the attempt to directly connect.
Pick up the phone and call your mom, or better still go and visit. Take the time to spend time with your kids. It’s not enough that your thoughts are with them…they need your person too.
Just remember we as humans have a tendency to judge people based on their actions while judging ourselves based on our intentions. Your action is either that you present or you are not. Just remember happy thoughts will not buy your loved ones flowers or hold their hand…ask Bruno Mars… he’ll tell you.
So don’t palliate inaction with a reason as lame as ‘you were always on my mind’. Let people know you love them and then show it with your action.
Humanity has not yet mastered telekinesis…so remember nobody but yourself can read your mind.
Seeing as you are sometimes horrible at it…the rest of the species has no chance. Your relating directly or you are not, so in this particular, your thought does not count. Your actions do… ok? Get it?
3. Your career
Here’s a newsflash…it’s nobody else’s job to ensure that you have a job.
That responsibility lies squarely on you. So if you are not actively taking action in an engaged way planning and taking meaningful steps to make yourself upwardly mobile…thinking about it matters little to nothing.
Doing it is not everything…it’s the only thing.
4. Your vote
Who cares what you think.
The election officials don’t count thoughts. They count votes, so cast yours or stop complaining.
Which one of these areas do you struggle with most when it comes to over thinking and under acting? Drop a comment below and let’s continue the conversation.