“Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”Seneca – On the Shortness of Life
“I’ll start on Monday”
“I’ll start on in the Summer”
“Just wait till I put everything and place, that’s when I’ll start”
“I need to finish (x) before I start (y)”
How many times have you heard phrases similar to the above? How many people do you know are living for tomorrow? This is an all too common occurrence and before you know it, you’re stuck in a worse position than you were before, because now you have less time to take action. Time is the one resource we can never get back, so when we spin our wheels and delay to the nth degree, we are wasting our most valuable resource, the one resource that everybody gets an equal amount of.
An imperfect plan that is executed is infinitely better than a perfect plan that is never executed. It is easy to get caught in the mental loop of constant planning and improvement of the plan. The dichotomy that must be balanced, is there needs to be a plan, but there also needs to be an action. Don’t start a business without a plan, but at some point, you need to actually start the business. You can look up all the dieting/workout plans in the world, but none of them will work if you don’t pick one and actually do it.
When you stress about what might happen tomorrow, you expend energy in the uncontrollable, because you can’t control that happens tomorrow. By living in the future, you steal joy and control from today. This is not an efficient or effective way to live, since it gives control to outside forces, when we could easily be shaping our futures with the actions of today
Procrastination affects all of us, it’s when the pain of today’s inaction outweighs the pain of tomorrow. We shoot our future self in the foot, by loading the gun today. A lot of it stems from fear. How many times have you taken action and come to find that it wasn’t that scary? A lot of the times, we put back what we want to do because of fear. Fear of failure
Fear of success
Fear of the unknown
Fear of what other people will think
So many times, these fears are unfounded and only come into play because of our negative self talk that happens on a continual basis and grows exponentially, you think of problems, which leads to more problems and problems upon the problems. The only cure for this is to take action before you can think too much. You don’t want to allow your brain to think you out of taking action.
Obviously this doesn’t mean act without thinking, what it means is that you should have an inclination towards action. If you want to lose weight, why wait till Monday? Start now, by doing one thing that can help you achieve your goal.
Think of taking the smallest possible step towards acheiving your goal. If its weight loss, go for a one minute walk, or take one less bite. Intellectually, we all have at least one idea that we can execute on immediately that will bring us at least one step towards the journey of a thousand miles. Any heavy object requires huge amounts of energy to get started, but once the motion is in place, the ship becomes harder and harder to stop.