A thought is a mere and fleeting flea-like insect of an abstraction, with no fealty, no feeling, no fielding. One can't control one's own thoughts, one can't prevent oneself from experiencing genuinely troubling thoughts, and a thoughts (or idea) is an idealized version of itself which rarely attains the same form once turned into action. A thought can do very little beyond cluttering the head of a thinker. Even when vocalized a thought has little effect. Explication or direction is more mere thought and any action taken as a result of any influence cannot truly be credited to the thinker or espouser. The credit always belongs with the enactor. I suppose it's necessary to denote the idea of thought as conscious thinking and not any brain activity in a human or animal that dictates the senses, for example, or autonomous functions such as breathing.
In fact, as I continue with this introduction, it occurs to me that there's a subsect of thought, or at least a belief, that conscious thught can manifest itself in the material world. It's sensible and fair to qualify this as action and not thought because if it indeed exists, it exerts an external effect which would qualify it as action. I suppose to further tailor this observation, I must define thought as a falsely dignified and deified process, a process which perpetuates intellectual thoughts. I believe that's enough for formalities.
Is the purpose of this discussion merely to dismantle the mythology of reason as the supreme product of heightened existence? Well, yes. Merely, yes; solely, no. Thought needs to be disposed in favor of, or at very least reserved until after, action has taken its course. I defend my stance of course directly against Descartes, of course and anyone who has so much intoned his well known epigrammic error. Equally guilty stand his followers, of course, as well as his detractors, who in their refutation still employ volumes of weighty discourse. This of course, includes me. Why? Because any sensible action doesn't take into account whether it is consciously prompted or derived. One can and indeed does act on a daily basis without thought, or with thoughts elsewhere. As such, no one needs to be told how to act. Action can be conducted on a basis of recognizance and immediacy, and necessity.
One's often advised to think before one leaps. Is this proper advice? At very least, it's misleading. Observation will easly dictate that conscious thought is unnecessary and often detrimental to the performance of physical tasks. This would be a benefit of watching any sporting event, or more easily, any animal. Thinking no more aids our steps and recovers our missteps than a lack of thinking defeats them. Time thinking is merely time lost. The proposed laws of physics suggest that momentum is lost from the conversaion of a thought into the execution of that thought. Of course the counter is that of conservation, however any human action contains a degree of wasted energy, wasted energy being that which has no bearing upon the goal of the action.
So why do some of us spend so much time thinking?
Is it a comfort to not have ideas tested in the real world, where they invariably lose the l attached at the end when created in the mind? It's easy to compare a dissatisfying world to the ideal one inside anyone's mind. And to keep a thought in one's own head, to keep its tail attached where it isn't prey to the eternal forces of timing, friction or momentum, it can be and become whatever the thinker wishes and provide solace for those with little hope and even less initiative.
For some, thought certainly provides a distraction, a meaningless roadblock preventing the mind from ever even assessing the outside world and therefore eliminating any chance for dissatisfaction. One can get constantly lost in postulations and postludes and lude ruminations without ever being interrupted or discouraged.
One can even invent and re-invent in one's intellect. One can right all one's own faults and prior missteps, qualifying and justifying and even altering facts or chronologies to console a listless, conned soul. One can even offer oneself, or others for that matter, convoluted perspectives on the primary existence of certain elements that outside the mind, outside the realm of reason's reign, under the weight of an active world.
So there is some merit to conceptualizing, pontificating and imagining in that it may allow escapist respite from the base bulk of life. It is certainly only a recreational tool, though, and not the base for inspiring attempts at civilizations or social progress.
But even Thinking is itself even an action, isn't it? An inert, ineffectual subset of action, wherein one still makes conscious efforts and moves muscles to force a part of the body toward a desired end. It's all manipulation. It's healthier to be constantly disappointed by offering ideals into the world, like zygotic pretentions only to grow and lose their tails in the mire of opposing forces. I say this as someone long infected with the malady of reason, so long now that it's inescapable and will doubtless prove my death. Just don't forget that while there's an entirely overstocked category of idols called Action Heroes, there's no equal or consistent intellectual counterpart.