If there is one thing humans are great at, it’s procrastination. We consistently put off until tomorrow what we should be doing today. I don’t believe it’s because we are lazy. I believe our minds work in a way that we justify not doing things until they really, really need to be done. Obviously, some people are much more prone to procrastination than others, and I feel like I can write about it because I am among the best procrastinators.
Aside from the day to day things we put off, like going to the gym or cleaning our rooms, let’s look at the bigger things. What about the ideas you have had, the aspirations, and the goals. Why have you not completed, or in some cases even started, the move toward making those ideas, aspirations, and goals a reality?
Most of us are so afraid of what others think, or would think, if we take risks. We somehow accept where we are and who we are because it’s comfortable. We blend in with everyone else, create no fuss, and go about every day just like the one before it. Why? Because we made it through yesterday, there was little, if any, pain, so if we make today like yesterday, we are likely to skate by unscathed. Well, days turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years, which ends up as a life unfulfilled.
Skating by each day unscathed is a sign that you need to step up. It has been said that if you are not failing, you are not progressing. If you are not failing, you are not learning. The worst thing to do is to not even try.
Pick up books like Bold by Peter Diamandis and Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris, and read about the big thinkers working on world-changing projects. The first thing you’ll realize, as I did, was that you are not thinking big enough. Our thinking is too small. We are not doing enough. We are not tapping into our true potential. And time is ticking.
Are you worried about what others think? Why? You will always have naysayers, no matter what. Everyone buys into the idea that this is how it’s always been done, so you better not do it differently. If we keep doing it the way it’s always been done, then we will continue to keep getting what we’ve always gotten. And sure, it’s safe. But is it life changing? Is it fulfilling?
What makes it worse is that we complain so much. Does it make sense for us to complain about things, yet do nothing to change them? I started thinking about this a lot more after reading a great quote from Lily Tomlin, “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized that I was somebody.” So what are you waiting for?
Yes, you might experience rejection, criticism, and pain, but no great thinker, creator, inventor, or leader got that way avoiding these. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming…”
Your best moments in life were preceded by fear. Your biggest breakthroughs came after uncertainty. Your deepest relationships involved you being vulnerable. And your best stories involve the greatest risk. Do you talk about your unblemished skin or your scars? Are your most memorable times when you followed all the rules, or broke them? I want to hear about how you got that scar, when you got into trouble, and when you broke the rules.
What is your potential? I can’t answer that for sure, but I don’t have to have even met you to know that it is certainly greater than what you are currently expressing. Is there a project that you’ve put off? A career change that’s been nagging at you? A book that you should write? An invention that you’ve come up with that needs developed? A story to tell? A conversation that needs to be had?
We need more. We need better. We need unique. You have more to offer. There is more within you. Take bigger risks. Break the rules. Do things differently. It’s been nagging at you long enough. What are you waiting for?