— Gary Ryan Blair
IT’S IN YOUR BEST INTEREST to learn how to overcome the devastating consequences of procrastination. I wrote this post to show you how.
Few people choose to study and understand the unique role of procrastination except to lament the consequences…and to formulate what they believe to be corrective solutions.
The strong tendency of people is to concentrate on the dark, negative side of procrastination and ignore its positive contributions.
Yes, I said positive contributions.
I do not mean to suggest the absence of a dark side. There certainly is one and it will be acknowledged in this message. At the same time, the bright side of procrastination must be acknowledged for what it is… and why it exists.
Only then can procrastination and proposed remedies be properly understood, appreciated and implemented.
THE HIGH PRICE OF PROCRASTINATION
The short and long-term costs of procrastination are difficult for us to ignore.
Procrastination’s high price is commonly imposed through the harshness of compromised self-esteem, loss of credibility, embarrassment, ridicule, damaged reputation, lost opportunity, physical and mental stress…and other forms of real and lasting pain.
By helping you to develop an informed and tolerant opinion of procrastination…I hope to counter the pressure that causes people to respond to procrastination in ways that inhibit their progress and which promote greater procrastination and even failure.
Indeed the central theme of this post is that procrastination is the compass of progress.
I fully recognize the desire to avoid procrastination and emotional responses tied to it…and in this lesson, we will explore the reasons for procrastination as well as answer frequently asked questions such as:
• What is the purpose of procrastination?
• Why is procrastination essential to success?
• How do you overcome the power of procrastination?
My goal in life is simply to help you achieve yours. So together, let’s unravel the essential insight necessary for progress and success — that procrastination is essential…and understanding the linkage between the two is crucial.
PROCRASTINATION HAS A PERCEPTION PROBLEM
Is procrastination a blessing or a curse?
Yes…however it depends upon your perception of procrastination.
Just as we have two eyes, two ears, two hands and two feet…we live in a world of duality.
Light and dark, hot and cold, odd and even, give and receive, vice and virtue, strength and weakness and rich and poor to name just a few…but perhaps the greatest duality in life has to do with the relationship between progress and procrastination.
Procrastination just might be the least understood word in your vocabulary.
• It serves an indispensable function in the production of every success you experience.
• It provides information and motivation for you to learn from and apply.
• It’s a sign that points toward progress…however, depending upon your perception, it moves you closer to or further from your goals.
Procrastination, which spends much of its life in the gulag of public perception, is, by all measures, essential to success.
Unless procrastination is understood and respected as an integral part of success, it will remain widely perceived as unnecessary, objectionable… something to be avoided at all costs.
A proactive response to procrastination is impossible as long as you see procrastination only in negative terms. (repeat)
It would be nice to unwrap the package known as progress, and keep the sweetness of success while rejecting the bitterness of procrastination…however, that simply is not possible.
While there is nothing inherently sexy or enviable about procrastination, eventually people will find you more attractive and interesting due to the knowledge, wisdom, and maturity you gained because of your ability to overcome the temptation and damaging effects of procrastination.
The truth is…you learn to become strong, because you have experienced weakness, you learn to become bold and courageous because you have you have experienced fear, you become wise because in the past you were foolish, and you become successful because of the lessons you learned by experiencing and overcoming the resistance of procrastination.
You must understand that procrastination does indeed have an ulterior motive…it’s just not the one you’re most likely thinking about.
The motive behind the madness is not to get you to quit, but to test your resolve…to separate you from the herd…to see how hungry you are…to determine if you have the chops, courage and character to see it through to the end.
Remember these three words…behavior never lies.
You’ll either pass the tests, resist the temptations to be taken off course and rise to overcome the psychological mind games of this man-child known as procrastination…or you will succumb to them.
ALPHA URSAE MINORIS
Polaris, designated Alpha Ursae Minoris, commonly known as the North Star, is the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor.
The North Star has long been an important star to sailors and the caravans of old winding their way over the desert by night, serving as a pointer toward north and as a measurement of how far north one is.
Just as Columbus used the North Star to navigate his ships, you too must use your own personal North Star to navigate yourself in the direction of your dreams as well as your daily priorities.
Following your North Star…making your dreams come true requires a fearless, daring, and courageous spirit, along with nerves of steel, an abundance of self-confidence…and the determination that no resistance force will prevent you from victory.
That’s where procrastination, the mother of all resistance forces enters the picture.
THE REAL PURPOSE OF PROCRASTINATION
Procrastination will unfailingly point to your North Star — meaning that goal, calling or action it most wants to STOP you from doing.
If you can wrap your mind around this idea…this is where the breakthrough takes place.
You must change your perception of procrastination and see it as a tool…a compass. You can navigate by procrastination, letting it guide you to that goal, calling or action that you must follow before all others.
It’s also worth noting that the more important the goal, calling or action is to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance and procrastination you will feel toward pursuing it.
In addition, when the finish line is near….when victory is in sight that’s when procrastination kicks like an angry mule on a three day bender.
• It hits the panic button.
• It throws a tantrum.
• It crash talks and undermines your self-worth.
• It knows you have it on the ropes.
• It digs in its heels.
• It lobs a few grenades.
• It marshals a psychological assault.
• It sticks a new shiny object in your path.
• It does everything it can to rob your focus, to distract you and separate you from your commitment.
Expect these ruthless, but childlike games to take place…be alert for this type of counterattack.
You must be wary at the end.
That’s why you must strengthen your resolve.
You must ENFORCE YOUR WILL over this massive resistance force, take control of mind…and grab that brass ring with both hands.
POWERING THROUGH PROCRASTINATION
You’re wrong if you think you’re the only one struggling with procrastination issues. Everyone deals with it. It is…and it always be in your life.
Since procrastination will be in the picture until death do you part…it’s nothing short of savvy move to have a perception and attitude adjustment regarding the role it plays in your life.
(repeat this last paragraph until you GET IT)
Procrastination is a chronic and necessary part of the human condition, and learning how to power through it is perhaps one of the greatest lessons you can learn.
I assure you, if procrastination couldn’t be beaten, there would be no Eiffel Tower…no Man on the Moon…no Mona Lisa…no Romeo and Juliet…and certainly no Fifth Symphony.
So how do you do it…how do you not become another notch in the belt, another victim or casualty of procrastination?
The answer is as simple as it is complex…YOU MUST BECOME YOUR OWN HERO.
Triumph, the thrill of victory…the desire to improve ones condition, and the capacity to dare mighty things is the passion that drives heroic behavior.
That’s why your primary responsibility is to become the hero of your own story…the noble hero that takes on and overcomes every challenge and resistance force, the courageous hero who confronts and defeats the evil villain known as procrastination, the empowered hero who refuses to be victimized in any way, shape or form.
“Procrastination is an engine of destruction. It understands nothing but brute force. It’s a world-class ball buster…one that does not negotiate. It refuses to give an inch. It never turns the other cheek…it’s a rat bastard that refuses to listen to reason.”
To overcome and power your way through the unsportsmanlike conduct of procrastination…there’s only one way.
• You must confront it.
• You must stare it down.
• You must fight and claw your way through it.
• You must use it as a compass to navigate yourself to success.
In short, you must become your own hero.
It takes courage and a strong will to overcome procrastination. It takes character to do the right thing. It takes tenacity to make your dreams come true…and if you’re not the hero of your own story, than you’re missing the whole point of your humanity.
Never forget: This very moment, you can change your life.
There never was a moment, and never will be a moment when you are without the power to alter your destiny.
This second, you can turn the tables on procrastination…this very moment, you can perform a heroic act by simply sitting down and begin doing the work that needs to be done.
One important point as we wrap up…procrastination and resistance will forever be a problem for you. That is, until you choose to become your own hero, and engage in heroic behavior.
If someone else saves you…or gives you a break in any way, you’ll quickly fall victim to the temptations and devastating effects of procrastination. You will revert back to using victim language and engaging in cowardly behavior.
What are your goals and aspirations? Were you put on earth to be a teacher, a scientist, an apostle of peace?
In the end these questions can only be answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it. Power your way through procrastination or surrender to it. Become your own hero…or another wimp, a thumb sucking, excuse making coward who abandoned their goals with barely a fight.
It’s only when you become your own hero, when you can stand on your own two feet, when you confront and overcome procrastination…and save yourself that are you complete, prepared and ready to unleash your greatness.
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