I am confident that a number of you reading this have one or more things in your life that you know you should be doing, but you’ve been putting it off. In fact, some of you – some of us – have quite a few small things that have been relegated to the ‘someday I should get around to doing that’ file. The more little things you put off, the easier it is to put off the big things – the pattern being already established.
I was listening to a few people having a conversation recently, the topic centering on politics. There was a general agreement that politicians know what they should be doing but choose not to act, instead burying their heads and not making the tough decisions needed. That discussion had me wondering just how different; or how similar politicians are then to you and me. After all, don’t you put off making the tough decisions – the major ones, just saying what you need to say to others to satisfy them temporarily but taking no real action on some of the things you yourself know you should be doing?
Yes, I see this in myself and I see it in you, (you being the people I either speak to, observe or have online conversations with around the globe. People will either tell me they’ve putting off making real change in their lives for years when they know action was probably the one thing they needed to do but didn’t, or they tell me after they are well on their way that they knew they should have started sooner.
So why do we procrastinate? Isn’t it time you and I got going? For some it’s losing weight, finding a job, asking someone to marry us, starting that business, buying that first home etc. You can replace any of the above with whatever you’ve been putting off; making peace with your family, forgiving someone or applying for that promotion.
Here’s reality: your time is finite. No matter how many minutes, months, weeks or years you have left to live, whatever your life expectancy is, it’s becoming less with each passing day. So with each passing day, the time you have left to enjoy the benefits of whatever you’ve been putting off gets shorter, and the length of time you live wishing, wanting and regretting gets longer. Why live regretting when you could live celebrating?
So are you worth it? ‘It’ being the work it’s going to take of course. After all, if you’ve been putting off actually doing whatever it’s going to take to obtain your desired goal, it’s a safe assumption that the effort required is what’s been holding you back. Up to now you must have believed, (and maybe still do) that the goal while nice hasn’t been worth the effort and that your current circumstances are preferable to the effort it would take to change your life for the better.
So let’s look at a career or a job as an example. If you have a job or career that you believe would be satisfying and improve your current circumstances, sit and imagine yourself in that role. Do it now for a moment. See yourself in that job, and see yourself successful. See yourself accomplishing things; making others lives better, bringing in profits, improving your own life, whatever you wish. As you imagine this job or life, do you find yourself picturing yourself with a smile and being happy? Now are you generally smiling and happy in your present life as you are?
We do have the power to change our circumstances. It is knowing we have this power to choose and act on our choices that causes us to regret action not taken, while others are thankful they did.
The argument for getting moving is pretty simple. If you didn’t really want something, you wouldn’t be thinking of it constantly and it wouldn’t be causing you any worry or longing. You also wouldn’t be experiencing that mental conflict; wanting it but doing little or nothing every day to make ‘it’ happen, whatever ‘it’ is. If you acted and took steps to achieve this goal, the mental conflict and turmoil would diminish and some pride in doing something about your longing would replace it. Feeling good is better than feeling bad, and you’d feel good moving towards your goal and waking up each day knowing you were closer to it than yesterday.
What you want takes work and you’re going to have to motivate yourself to get going and keep going if what you really want is going to come about. No one is just going to show up at your home without some effort on your part and hand you your Degree, make 40 pounds disappear, hand you shiny house keys or give you an employment contract to sign without work on your part.
It boils down to this: you can choose the status quo and live your life as it is being content (which you aren’t) regretting not having done something. Or you can make a decision to shake off inactivity and DO THE THINGS that move you in the direction of what you want. You make a choice each day and while you get the chance each morning you rise to choose between the two, no one knows how many mornings you have left!
Isn’t it time to get going?