I think I could be a serious contender at the Procrastination Olympics. Oh – the snooze Olympics too. Or maybe snoozing would be an event like long jump is in the decathlon?
As with most things, there is a ton of information around ‘how to beat procrastination’; but if we really honest with ourselves we usually procrastinate when we have to do something we don’t enjoy doing.
Have you ever procrastinated before doing something you adore? I doubt it.
I’m not interested in the daily things we all know we need to do – wash up, make the bed, take out the trash, exercise… I’m interested in the things we all proclaim we want.
Loads of money
(Not necessarily in that order)
This question is particularly interesting to me now because I have the time to do what I want; what has made me happy for years – and make money from it.
“Not enough time” is usually all our excuses around not having what we want.
What’s interesting about procrastination and my new found freedom is that it will really test whether I truly want this. I think when it comes to big decisions procrastination shows us if we’re prepared to do the hard yards.
It’s easy to think about being a successful writer – but are you prepared to write at every opportunity?
It’s easy to think about being a successful business owner – but are you prepared to have a few sleepless nights wondering where your next client is going to come from?
Two *family men I deeply respect have said things to me that resonate.
‘To be successful you need to be happy doing what others don’t want to do’. This isn’t the only thing he’s told me and by far not the only thing he lives by to be successful.
However, what stands out for me about this statement is doing what others won’t do. I think about people on Idols or The voice saying ‘I’ve wanted to be a singer my whole life’ but have never had the struggle of singing to 3 people in a dingy bar or even just doing what’s necessary to sing as often as possible.
It’s easy to want the fame and money – but have they really done everything necessary to succeed? Case in point – where are any of those winners now? Where was the drive to push past the 15 minutes of fame?
Another *family man when asked ‘when did he decide he wanted to be successful’ responded that for as long as he can remember he always wanted to be the best at what he did – whatever that was. That drove him to put in the hours to learn any new skill and master it. If you master something – people take notice. Look at Stephen King. Michael Phelps.
This might be a massive oversimplification and yes there are many interlinking facets to being successful – but at its essence if we want it:
- What does success look like to us?
- We need to decide that’s what we want.
- Work out what to do.
- Practice it as often as we can.
- Take massive action (I’ve heard this from so many top performers worldwide recently)
The question is – are you able to take the action that’s required at each step? That last step feels like the heartbeat throughout.
In matric I worried too much about which cricketer I could replace in the 1st team. I should’ve practiced every day to be as best prepared for that. Instead, that fear kept me from even picking up the bat once and not making it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
That lesson has stood me in good stead.
Worrying about whether I will be ‘good enough’ or not can be demolished by action.
If your training includes cycling 300 kilometres a week for three months solid – would you worry whether you’d be able to finish a race of 110km?
And that leads me to my last point: quality.
We can go through the motions and do the steps necessary but if it’s the bare minimum it will never be enough and we will probably say something like ‘luck wasn’t on my side’.
Cycling 20 kilometres every week seems like action – but we just fooling ourselves.
The quality of our destiny is the result of the quality of our outcomes.
The quality of our outcomes is the result of the quality of our actions.
The quality of our actions is the result of the quality of our mental state.
The quality of our mental state is influenced by the quality of our mental preparation.
How we put this all together determines where we’ll end up.
I hope you’re as invigorated as I am at that thought.
*I make this distinction because I think being involved and present in your family’s life is AS important as being successful in business. We need more men to think of their family and success in those terms. I believe the world will be better for it.