b. Avoid procrastination
I once asked someone what the difference was between a lie and the promise I had been made despite another knowing that the struggle to keep that promise would be so great that they were unlikely to be able to keep it. This came after many months and even years of waiting for some of the promises I had been made to be kept hence my struggle for me to see much of a difference between them.
Procrastination is often a series of broken promises. I will do this tomorrow and tomorrow never comes. It is as if someone is lying to themselves that one day they will do it. Those around them struggle to believe that they will ever actually do it. Sometimes they comfort themselves by holding onto the idea that the desire is there even if the ability is not. They have to be satisfied with knowing that the person who is supposed to be something is willing to be willing to do something. In the long run this does not achieve very much as nothing actually gets done. There are many promises that things will be done but nothing happens because they cannot overcome whatever it is that is stopping them. If it was, then they would make more of an effort to keep their promise. This leaves a trail of upset and angry people behind them including family, friends and employers.
That is an extreme example but even in less extreme examples, procrastination can be very costly. If nothing is done, our life slips away day by day. Depending on what we say we are going to do and don’t we could also lose relationships. There will eventually come a time when we can no longer do what we said that we wanted to do. Maybe someone else has got there before us because we did not take advantage of the opportunity. Maybe other people have given up waiting for us. Maybe the children we were going to spend more time with have flown the nest. Maybe the relatives we were going to visit have died. The doors to opportunities do not stay open for ever.
One of the answers to procrastination is discipline. This is not a word that many of use like to hear. It implies doing things that we otherwise would not like to do. We have a habit of doing what we want to do and giving that a priority in our lives. We may only do what will bring us the greatest satisfaction. This can mean that some things we do not like doing do not get done. It takes discipline to make sure that those things get done as well as what we want to do.
Another answer to procrastination is decision. According to Napoleon Hill those he interviewed who had amassed fortunes made decisions promptly and changed them slowly if and when they were changed. This could make them seem obstinate. On the other hand, he says that those who failed to accumulate money made decisions slowly if they actually managed to make a decision at all. They also changed their decisions quickly and often. Making decisions can take courage because doing the right thing can have consequences that we fear.
There is a saying that there are three types of people
1. Those who make things happen – These are those who are doing something to make things happen. People like this start with ideas and then bring them to reality. If they are not sure how to do something then they learn how to do it. Their skills are used to run the TV station.
2. Those who watch things happen – These are people who talk about things and then watch what is happening around them. These are the people who watch the TV station that is run by the wealthier person.
3. Those who say “what happened?” – These are people who rarely achieve things they would rather gossip and speculate about those who have achieved something. They are easily impressed because they themselves are unsure what they want from their own lives. They are the ones who buy the TV gossip magazines.
If our vision is not strong enough to encourage us to be disciplined enough to counter procrastination then we will not succeed. If our plan demands so much from us that we find ourselves procrastinating then we will not succeed. It is a question of balance.