“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” ~Wayne Gretzky
I freakin’ can’t stand lazy people. Laziness, complacency and apathy are contagious diseases and I don’t want to be anywhere near the carriers. Lazy people make me sick; and they’ll make you sick too.
In fighting any disease, the keys are prevention and early detection. If you’re talking about heart disease, you’re looking for signs of trouble like high blood pressure, stress and fatigue.
Procrastination is an early warning that complacency, apathy and sloth are on your horizon. Left unchecked, procrastination itself can become a deadly illness- it kills your ambition, your dreams and your future.
Fortunately, there is a cure…and it doesn’t cost a damned dime. The antidote to procrastination is discipline.
A friend once asked me how I was able to find the time teach martial arts, run my dojo, travel, speak and write books. Well first of all…I don’t have kids!
Now seriously, and I don’t mean to sound self-aggrandizing- I’m a very disciplined person. Through martial arts I learned the value of daily practice. You can apply that principle to anything you do. A little progress every day gets any job done- no matter how big or how difficult.
Easy for me to say- I’m a Black Belt! We’re known for our discipline! Well- I wasn’t always a Black Belt, I was once a two-time college dropout and drug abuser; not the resume of a highly disciplined person. You don’t need to be a Black Belt to think like one and from the heart; if I could learn to be disciplined…so can you!
The nice thing about discipline is that as you practice, you become. What I mean is that with each disciplined act you become a more disciplined person and- each action eradicates the potential threat of procrastination.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” ~Lord Chesterfield
The only thing you should put off till tomorrow is anything you never want to do…because when you put it off that’s usually when it gets done…NEVER!
Procrastination only delays the eventual realization that you haven’t accomplished what you’re capable of, you’re not getting any closer to where you want to be and you are not the person you should have been.
Why do we procrastinate? (Shamefully- I admit that even I am susceptible at times…)
FEAR: Fear of failure? Fear of the unknown? Fear of judgement?
I’ve learned to substitute the immediate fear of the consequences of inaction for the delayed fear of the possible consequences of action. When I act now, I may not know what’s going to happen. If I procrastinate; I know damn well what’s going to happen…nothing!
Think about that the next time you fear making a sales call or going on a job interview. Embrace the immediate fear of missing your mortgage or car payment over the fear of possible rejection.
Are you afraid of what you need to do next? Are you afraid of how the world will judge your actions?
“I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness.” ~Denzel Washington
DOUBT: Am I good enough? Are my ideas good enough? Is anyone going to care about what I say or what I write?
We all have doubts and doubt breeds procrastination. Procrastination and doubt grow in direct proportion. The longer you do nothing the bigger your doubts will grow.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” ~George S. Patton
The antidote to doubt is training and preparation. Practice increases confidence and reduces doubt. If you’re genuinely not prepared to take action, then your next action should be to prepare. You may not be ready to jump in the ring, but if you’re training you’re not procrastinating- you’re preparing yourself for action.
COMPLACENCY: Get the f*$k out of here! I mean it!
I already told you that lazy people make me sick. When I’m lazy, I even make myself sick! Physically!!!
Look, at some point you’ve got to make a decision. You can decide to sit around and wait to see what happens. You can play the cosmic lottery game by wishing and hoping and manifesting. You can wait for saviors or heroes…
Or…you can get off your ass and do something.
Here are some simple steps:
Do SOMETHING…ANYTHING! Most of the time, any action is better than no action. If you’re having a lazy day, pick some tasks that are not as demanding and go for it.
Improve Your SELF: Train…Read, study, listen to an audio book- do something that will move you forward.
Schedule: You’re much more likely to get something done when you’ve put aside the time to do it. If some task or project legitimately needs to be delayed, then schedule when you’ll pick it up again.
I find it ironic…no- annoying, that one of the biggest excuses I hear from procrastinators is that they just don’t have time to do one thing or the other. The only thing you really have is time; time is life. Procrastination steals your time…and your life.
Next time you feel like procrastinating…STOP IT! NOW!!!
As I said, at some point this all comes down to a very simple decision. You either choose to do something- or you choose to do nothing.
Action does not guarantee success, but procrastination always results in failure.
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” ~Victor Kiam
Did you like today’s quotations? Today’s come from one of my favorite sources: BrainyQuote.com. Check them out…NOW!
What the hell are you waiting for? Do you need a kick in the pants to help you get started? Do you need someone who will inspire you and hold you accountable to take action?
There’s no shame in needing help…but there is shame in putting it off!
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