This Is the Shortest Life Advice I Can Give You

Short advice can change your life. Advice doesn’t have to be verbose to make a difference in our lives. Sometimes, succinct and punchy is way better. 

Like the advice I once received when I felt overwhelmed about something and didn’t know how to deal with the challenge ahead of me. 

So, I decided to ask one of the toughest, most impressive people I know for input. How should I approach this situation? 

Text message with the German words; “Einfach machen.”
Text message with the German words; “Einfach machen.”

My mother texted me back, replying with just two words:

"Einfach machen."

If you don’t understand German, you’re likely wondering what secret wisdom she might have imparted on me. Was my mother referencing Kant? Hegel? Schopenhauer? Another outstanding German philosopher whose words ooze wisdom? 

No, not exactly.

What my mother shared with me is wisdom that you have heard before. Wisdom that has been marketed, trademarked, and commercialized.

But commercialized wisdom is still wisdom.

Here's my mother's short life advice, translated into English:

"Just do it."

Often, we are caught in analysis paralysis where the habit of over-analyzing something keeps us from taking action. 

Now, sometimes is great to stop and carefully analyze the situation for weeks and weeks before acting. If you are a hormonal teenager, you probably shouldn’t just do it” because whatever “it” probably isn’t a good idea. 

However, if you are an adult and tend to live in your head (like many of us do), analysis paralysis can hold you back. 

I see this everywhere, both in myself and in others. Here are a few examples of what that can look like: 

  • Someone who spends weeks trying to find the best business name, instead of just picking one (for instance, their own name) and actually getting started. 
  • Someone (definitely not me…) who spends hours trying to decide on the ideal weekly planner and ending up with the same one they found after a 10-minute search. 
  • Someone who waits for the perfect time to launch a new product/write a book/become more educated about investments and then (spoiler alert) never takes action. 

As the legendary Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky put it:

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

That’s the danger of analysis paralysis. If you instead put my mother’s advice into practice and get on with the program, it will change your life. 

‘nuff said, time for me to take action! 

Do it imperfectly, but do it.

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Louise is the founder of Leader for Good. She's a former lawyer and academic who moved from Germany to the United States where she started her own business. Today, Louise loves helping her coaching clients and students connect with their passion and purpose. You can find out more about her coaching business at
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