Perspiration > Inspiration



There are two primary ways in which we exert energy every day: physically and mentally. The physical energy that we expend usually is in the form of exercise or activity while mental energy is focused towards studies, stress and the many concerns that occupy our minds.

There is a tendency for humans is to seek ways to conserve energy and to expend it in the most efficient ways possible. The general belief is that someone’s efficiency level is tied to their mindset or mood. If you are in the mood to do something you’re going to find it less stressful to perform that task and therefore it will seem easier and you will likely perform better.

The real question, however, is not about how to manage a task when you are in the mood to do it, but rather when you are not. How do you approach something that you do not want to do? How do you get yourself to the gym when you are feeling exhausted? How do you write a column when you are experiencing the infamous Writer’s Block?

The logical answer is that you should wait until you are ready or until you become inspired to do something. The problem with this approach is the mental burden that accompanies the wait. That burden translates into stress that in turn translates into a great amount of mental energy being lost.

Nike has trademarked the beautifully simple solution to the widespread problem: Just Do It. It does not tell people to just think about it, or just hold off on it. It uses three words to emphasize the value of action over extreme thought and stress
Consider Mark Foster, a jingle writer who wrote songs in his spare time. One particular Saturday morning he really wanted to go to the beach since he had nothing to write about. He could have left his house, hoping ideas would suddenly come to him at the beach, but instead he decided to stay home and play around with different instruments and melodies. By the end of the day he had recorded the song, “Pumped Up Kicks,” which led to the creation of his band, Foster the People, and the instant launching of his music career.

I’m not saying we can all randomly pick up a guitar and record a hit song. Our hit record might come in the form of a great workout or a spontaneous day trip or a great final paper. Foster’s conclusion after recording that song was not that he made the right decision that day, but that there is only one decision to make: to act. He concluded that perspiration triumphs over inspiration, so why should we wait?