Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.
I am writing to you this morning from a desk loaded with accumulated things I should get at. Yep, it is true; I am a world class procrastinator with a myriad of interests that result in my collecting articles, magazines and the like to help satisfy my quest to learn more than I already know. That would be good news if I did more than just build piles that age as time flies by.
In my former life I always had work partners that would require me to do a stack attack and eliminate the clutter allowing me to triage what I had into piles titled important, not so important and why in the world did I ever keep this. Their help allowed me to productively focus on what had value while not getting bogged down in junk overload.
These days just the size of the backlog is daunting enough to help me rationalize waiting to clear the decks until that elusive tomorrow that seems to seldom arrive. So in the meantime I am going to hire an imaginary dominant partner that will demand I do what needs to be done. Until I get that done I am revisiting some thoughts offered by Marc Chernoff to hopefully motivate me not to wait too long. Here is what he said:
The Art of Making Life Easier!
Let’s take a closer look at three of the most common ways people use expectations to make life harder than it has to be:
You procrastinate to avoid your expectation of problems.
Let’s say you’ve been putting off a big project at work because you’re dreading doing it. Maybe it’s difficult and you feel overwhelmed. It’s a lot of hard work, and you are expecting to have to do lots of things you’re perhaps not good at, expecting mistakes, failure and lots of headaches. But in reality you’re the one giving yourself a headache. Realize this and let go of your expectations. This means you don’t know how this project will go… you go into it with an open mind. You give it a try and see how it goes. And you learn from the experience no matter how it goes.
Honestly, you cannot find peace by avoiding life. Life spins and requires us to spin with it; so instead of avoiding what must be done, take every task and experience as a challenge for growth. Either it will give you what you want or it will teach you what the next step is.
You give up too soon when you realize things aren’t as easy as you expected.
The best things in life don’t always come easy. Some level of difficulty is necessary. Avoiding this truth just makes the hard things harder. Deep down you know this is true, and yet you’ve entered a new endeavor with the expectation that it will be amazing and you’ll do it with ease. And when it’s inevitably harder than you thought it would be, and you’re less successful at it than you expected, you’re disappointed and discouraged. So you lose motivation and give up.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Reality always rears its head in the end. And the truth about how ordinary people achieve immense happiness and incredible feats of success is that they step out of their comfort zones and do the hard things that their more educated, affluent and qualified counterparts don’t have the courage, drive or determination to do.
People hurt you because they don’t behave the way you expected.
It’s time to put aside this expectation that people will live up to your ideals… and just be open to them. They will behave imperfectly, just as you will. Of course, accepting people as they are doesn’t mean you do nothing… you can let go of the irritation, and see how they’re having difficulty, and use it as a teaching opportunity, or an opportunity to help them, or to take the next logical step… with no expectation that they’ll love your lesson or follow it, but just with the intention of helping someone and being proactive.
Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.
Whenever I travel by plane someone always says, “Have a safe trip.” Since when does a safe plane flight become my responsibility? I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to do! Go kick the tires, drug test the pilot, what? I feel I’m doing my part by not going up to the cockpit every five minutes and asking, “Are we there yet?”
Murphy’s Technology Law #3: Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.
A journalist assigned to the Jerusalem bureau takes an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. Every day when she looks out, she sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. So, the journalist goes down and introduces herself to the old man. She asks, “You come every day to the wall. How long have you done that, and what are you praying for?”
The old man replies, “I have come here to pray every day for 25 years. In the morning I pray for world peace and then for the brotherhood of man. I go home have a cup of tea and I come back and pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.”
The journalist is amazed. “How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25 years and pray for these things?” she asks.
The old man looks at her sadly. “Like I’m talking to a wall.”
A frustrated wife told me the other day her definition of retirement: “Twice as much husband on half as much pay.”
A man entered a stationery store and asked the clerk for a birthday/anniversary card.
The clerk replied, “We have birthday cards and we have anniversary cards. Why not take one of each?”
The man said, “You don’t understand. I need a card that covers BOTH events! You see, we’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of my wife’s thirty-fourth birthday…”
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
As the storm raged, the sea captain realized his ship was sinking fast. He called out, “Anyone here know how to pray?”
One man stepped forward. “Aye, Captain, I know how to pray.”
“Good,” said the captain, “you pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets – we’re one short.”
Confusion not only reigns, it pours.
A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children as they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s artwork. As she came around to one little girl,who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The little girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”
“The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.”
Norman Vincent Peale
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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