A rabbi, a priest, and a Lutheran minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Is this some kind of joke?”

Knowing, talking, doing are like the rabbi, priest, and Lutheran minister.  Say them together enough times and they sound like a standard joke opener.  The joke goes something like – I know what I need to do, I have talked about it with everyone, but I never do it.  ba-DUM ching.

That these three behaviors frequently often go together makes sense.  We can all agree that they constitute a necessary and natural sequence.  It is reasonable that before you take action you want first to understand where you are going and also to get other people’s perspective, right?  Well, maybe not.

In actuality, all of that thinking and talking holds us back from doing.  There are plenty of explanations.   Sometimes, the big picture is murky, the final destination unknown.  So it is safer to stand still – think it over, kick the tires.  Other times, the vision is crystal clear, but the path is convoluted.   There is a giant crevice between the where you stand now and where you want to end.  Better to consult your maps and consider shortcuts.  You do not want to fall into the abyss.

The problem is that the more time spent trying to figure it all out in advance simply postpones the essential piece – the doing.   If you never create anything, the thinking and discussing have no value.  Success, change, and comeback are all possible without any consideration or discussion, but it is impossible to achieve anything without action.

Most likely, when a new product has hit the market you have thought “I can’t believe he did that, I had the same idea,” or “I was just talking about making something just like that.”  The biggest thing that separates you from the person who actually launched the product is that while you were busy thinking about it, he went for it.

The rub, the punch line is that it actually is the doing that must come first.  Movement leads to insight and debate.  Action generates new ideas, fresh topics.  It exposes us to information, brings us into interesting conversations.  Without that, you are just recycling the same old thoughts with people who are telling you what you already know.

You are welcome to consider the relationship between knowing, thinking and doing.  See how you feel about it.  Discuss it with some friends.  Figure out whether it rings true.  Identify how it can help you.  Or alternatively, you can mobilize.  Take a step. Any step will do.  You just have to be able to do it today.  Right now, in fact.  Pick someone on your list and call them.  Hire a new copywriter.  Draft your blog post.  You choose.

If you are ready for something new, stop thinking about it, stop talking it over.  Today is the day.  Walk into the bar.  Order a drink.  No one will laugh at you.  The joke’s on them.