Persistence vs. Procrastination
Do you ever wonder why certain people never get past the “I’m gonna” stage in whatever new and fascinating idea they happen to conjure up in their minds on any given week or year for that matter? Now I’m not talking about the reoccurring New Year’s resolution to lose ten pounds that never, ever comes to pass or the inevitable battle with the never-ending laundry pile or forever growing number of emails in your inbox. We all have an ever-present TO DO list that starts to get done but doesn’t because life gets in the way. Those are the ongoing everyday life challenges that we humans must endure on a regular basis that just keep us, well human for crying out loud!
Today, I’m actually talking about a yearning from within or what can be described as deep-rooted desires or much-needed life changes. These yearnings seem to sometimes grow on us like the weeds in our yard… slowly but surely and one day we just notice they really are there and we should do something about them! Sometimes they hit us upside the head like a coconut falling from a palm tree or overcome us unexpectedly like a wave of hot wind on a mid summers day. But once you open your eyes and really notice them there’s no going back because you can’t shut out awareness. You can’t just magically close your eyes again or pretend you don’t hear your heart calling you to something greater than what you have in front of you. In that moment you know you “should” take action and follow that path into the unknown and see what’s on the other side… if for nothing else other than for shit’s and giggles.
Yes, I’m talking about an “aha” moment that inspires you to walk in the direction of greatness with only hope at your side and faith to guide you. I’m talking about that yearning deep within you to change your career, learn a new trade, move to a different state, learn a new language, end a relationship, meet someone new, move on with your life, start your own business, publish your book or just adopt a new lifestyle change. The key word here being “change”… nothing more feared or more needed by the human race!
Sometimes these “aha” moments of inspiration come to us unexpectedly from the strangest of places or sometimes they reach us from exactly when and where they need to reach us and at the precise moment in which we needed to hear it. That life defining moment could be from a book or blog we just read, a comment on Facebook, a tweet on twitter, a heart wrenching moment on Oprah, a song on the radio, a memory from long ago or an honest friend gently holding up a mirror in front of us saying “Hey, when are you going to realize you have egg on your face!” This, my friends, is the fork in the road that defines our future because we make the choice to grab inspiration by the hand and embrace change bravely or we close the door of our hearts in denial and fear and let the voice of spirit disappear in the evening wind.
Now let me ask you this… Have you ever met someone and ten years later you run into them again and they are in the exact same miserable spot they were in back when you both hung out to complain about life over a cold beer or a cheap glass of wine… just wishing you could magically change the people, places or things in your life that you just didn’t like but you didn’t know where to begin? And here they are all these years later only now with ten more pounds and even more wrinkles still saying they’re “gonna” do this or “wanna” do that. Everyone knows at least one and sadly some have to admit being that person, stuck in their own reality, a victim of their own doing or actually their own NOT doing.
If you really think about it we all have 24 hours in a day, we all pretty much go to bed and get up the next day in just about the same way, slight variances I’m sure but with the same basic concept. We all put our pants on one foot first and then the other… we all intake food and output waste, we all breathe in air and drink water and if you’re reading this you too have a computer, just like me. If you really stop to think about it a little longer you just might realize that if you take it all into consideration: blood type, religion, race, color, creed, nationality and belief systems most of us are more alike than we are different. Like my friend Barb’s dad used to say, “If you put five men into a room and strip them off all their belongings, name, social status, bank accounts, etc… What do you have?” Well, you have just five men in their birthday suits, nothing more and nothing less.
So what makes one person different from the other? What makes one man get up one day and realize his dreams while the other finds himself ten years later still wishing they had another man’s life or wife for that matter? Why is it easier for some of us to embrace and accept change while other’s hold on to the familiar for dear life, however unsatisfying and distasteful that reality may be?
I’m sure everyone has their very personal and intimate reasons for not following their dreams but my first instinct is to respond with this: FEAR. I say this because fear seems to be the strongest, most powerful emotion out there next to Love, of course. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not being good enough, fear of ridicule, fear of falling down, fear of pain and then there’s just plain, old, boring fear. The irony is that there is nothing REAL about fear, it’s all in our heads and 99.9% of what we fear never really comes to pass. As Dr. Wayne Dyers says; “Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real” and I believe that the only purpose of fear in our lives is for us to learn to overcome it and become better people for having done so.
But fear is very real for some and very paralyzing in the lives of many and it is for the most part this unseen fear that keeps people stuck in the “I’m gonna” and never allows them to reach the goals they have set before them. I myself happen to be one of those people who you’ll never hear say “I’m gonna” do this or “I’m gonna” do that, other than laundry, of course! I’m one of those people who once I make up my mind I jump in head first, shoes on and don’t think twice about it. You’ll probably look up one day and find that I already did it because once I set my mind to something Nothing and I mean No THING stops me from accomplishing it.
Now this isn’t to say that I recommend this technique to everyone… some of my biggest life disasters have been due to my impulsive nature to jump in without thinking, asking questions or looking both ways before crossing. But no one can take away the learning that came from these choices or the woman I have become because of the experience that came with it so in the end I look back with no regrets and am at peace with my past or most of it anyway. I also believe that some of the greatest challenges I have accomplished in my life are due in part because I didn’t stop to ponder what it would take or how long it would take me to get it done. I just had this crazy blind faith that I could do it and so I did.
And this is by no means a proclamation to perfection because I am still very human and I do battle with my very “real” fears on a regular basis, I just don’t let them dominate my life. Some of my fears I have made more progress with than others but I can easily say I see progress every time I say NO to fear and YES to faith. Now, having said that, I have to admit I have more than ten pounds I currently need to shed and I have yet to publish my book that’s still in the “making”. But these things haven’t come to pass because they haven’t been my focus and not because fear has stopped me from realizing them.
I look over the last ten years and I see myself climbing those stairs in life, setting one goal after another and walking in the direction of my dreams. I listened to the voice of spirit and I embraced faith, I’ve pushed away fear and asked God to guide me into a better tomorrow. Every time I have fallen wasn’t a failure but rather a lesson in life on how to get back up again, reinvent myself and just keep on going. I chose persistence over procrastination and even to this day, as I set new goals before me, I continue to choose change over the familiar every time I get that sour taste in my mouth or that wave of inspiration showing me what could come to pass if I only wanted it bad enough.
Today I’d like to challenge you to take just one of your dreams and start turning it into reality. Don’t think about all the many reasons why you can’t do it and just decide that no matter what, you’re going to find a way to get it done. How? Simple! Take a piece of paper, YES right now, and write down your goal. Now take ten minutes and write a plan, it doesn’t matter if you have to revise it tomorrow, put it down in black and white. Now take positive action today and walk in the direction of your goal. All you have to do is stick to it for 28 days until it becomes a habit and don’t give up. And finally, a week from now, a month from now or a year from now, it doesn’t matter when – celebrate your accomplishment!
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Monica Garcia Saenz
MGS Designz & More…