Procrastination is defined as “The action of delaying or postponing something”
I believe every one of us at one time or the other in our lives have had cause to delay or defer taking an action……often times, we get excited at the thought of an idea or a potentially successful action we want to take that we deem will bring us some good outcome…but then comes a sudden lethargy and reluctance that we can/cannot explain that tends to stop us from implementing our ideas.
Often times, ideas get us excited when we think about them but , when you take a closer look at the nature of the euphoria you feel, it’s the same kind of feeling of excitement you get when you engage in fantasies and pleasurable imaginations. Such thinking produces by adrenalin.
Dear friends, I can tell you from experience that adrenalin cannot guarantee you the full supply of energy needed to initiate a good idea from start to finish because somewhere along the way, the excitement may vanish. Sometimes when you think of reality and the requirements and resources you need to implement that super idea it all turns cold and you just want to crawl into your bed and sleep.
The conception of an idea comes with a lot of emotional escort, a mix of euphoria, anxiety, hope, fantasies and others …the rush of excitement. The initial feeling, the daydreaming of what the full manifestation of the ideas will look like are all as natural as the sometimes inevitable decline in energy that follows as the idea gets old and the initial fireworks and spark that we experienced starts to dim and dwindle…..
In engineering there is a concept called damping
“Damping is the decrease in the amplitude of an oscillation or wave motion with time”
Applying this definition to the parable of the sower, time here is defined as cares of this world, distractions, emotional liabilities and everything the world throws at us. These and many others cause debility in our initial drive.
Damping can be visualized in this manner
You can see from the image above the oscillator began with a lot of energy but with time the energy begins to drop and IF nothing is done it eventually dies away.
This is what many of our dreams and visions, ideas and plans have experienced. This almost natural phenomenon has faded many potential billionaire ideas into oblivion.
The concept of energy and the conservation of energy applies to life in many ways…someone will ask “when i thought of this dream I had a lot of excitement where did all those energy and force go to?
Truth is “energy cannot be destroyed rather converted and it appears in another form”
I know folks who used up all their energy to engage in disputes, distraction, energy they put in to sports, outings, fun, religious arguments, pessimistic discussions and so many alternative activities which are not bad but those are the “heat sinks” that created an alternative path where the requisite energy required for the pursuit of their dreams was dissipated away……or I know some potential breakthrough authors who lost the energy they would have been used to write the “Harry Potters ,lord of the rings ,things fall apart” epic novels of this age to some emotional struggle and heartbreak that broke them and broke their beautiful mind.
Sometimes this energy goes off more silently and unannounced…we just find ourselves no longer having the flare we had when we first conceived the idea…..I remember in school, we were taught that carbon dioxide is used as an extinguisher “The CO2 Extinguisher Canisters contain carbon dioxide in liquid form, and when the extinguisher is let off the liquid is released into the air neutralizing the oxygen that the fire is feeding on, disabling the fires ability to spread”
So also the passion and energy for our dreams don’t just vanish they are either traded, submerged, subsumed by a greater force that we give out attention to, In simple term “distractions” both active and passive distractions. Either what we give attention too or what we take attention from.
This and many reasons are why so many ideas haven’t lived to see the light of day.
I remember Myles munroe saying “Die empty” i.e ensure you do everything that you can do…and give your all to humanity…though if it were so easy everyone will be doing it but it isn’t easy…remember the newton’s law of motion “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”
Once a dream is born, automatically the counter forces of that dream also start emerging. In this strange twist of events, these “counter forces sees themselves as antibodies trying to kill the dream which is perceived by them as a virus”….Jesus was born and immediately Herod launched an assault to eliminate him.
Aside personal, domestic, financial, social, spiritual motivation killers, I don’t mean to make excuses, but I can also say that environment has played a lot of factor in dealing deadly blows on our dreams and visions and sometimes killing motivation. When the environment is not aiding and it’s presenting too much opposition than we can handle, this is also a source of setback…
A great friend of mine told me once that “convincing people to use the RIGHT side of their brain is very tasking. We mostly use or apply our LEFT Brain and not able to integrate design thinking that demand creativity and empathy….all RIGHT brain activities to our work and family lives”
Yes the parable of the sower talks of the impact of life and cares of this world and other factors that we easily trade away energy for. I once heard a man say at 27 he had dreams, but today he’s 70 he realized he gave so much energy away attending to kinsmen issue and now his time is up all his dreams are but a figment of memory.
I have been here before having many dreams…even as much motivation I have recieved, this gravitational pull in my mind was a major contender, struggling to keep my head above the waters, and if not for additional source of energy, there is no way the ideas I had will fly nor the vision seen the light of day. Like I said, there is a contending negative force that wants to stop you, and that almost equals or counter balances to your positive drive …
Like the principle of negative feedback, if the counter energy is more than the useful energy then you experience zero or “a halt”
This is why
10 + (-10) = 0
Friends this is how procrastination is invented, and it latches on our dreams and visions and IF not overcome early, can stop us from seeing our ideas from conception to implementation.
4 ways to overcome procrastination
1. There is time for everything
There is time for everything. We need to understand the implications of this….there is time for everything means there is “time allocated for everything” and hence you don’t have the luxury of choosing to do things at your own convenience….in fact the best of world changing decisions was done at people’s inconvenience….I read about the epic bout between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas….Douglas lost his mum not too long from when the fight was scheduled…it was a highly anticipated encounter and Douglas had every reason to delay the fight…but he decided that there is no need postponing the inevitable…he went on to carry out one of the greatest upset in boxing history…..
Someone said “there is nothing a powerful as an idea whose time has come”…and I go to also say there is nothing as hopeless as “an idea whose time has passed”….
Do you know 5 year from now you may regret not doing something that you had opportunity of doing today?
My advice, forget how you feel “START NOW”
2. Understand that there is never a convenient time to start, the best time to begin chasing your dreams is NOW….. Now is “(NO)t (W)henever” it means NOW….
The earth has naturally rough surfaces.. The terrain is not smooth… It took men thinking and technology to find a way thru rocks and develop materials that allows us construct roads that we can navigate thru easily…this should make us understand that the operating system of the world is “nothing good comes easy”
I remember writing once that “excuses are the most easy of all natural resources for failure” they are available for free and can be mined in billions just thru the mechanism of thoughts+pessimism…you can produce excuses at “the speed of thought”…excuses are the “problems to solutions”
There will never be a convenient time to begin but NOW!
3. Trick your self
What I mean by this is simple….
Trick yourself into believing you can achieve big things by achieving a very small thing first…easy things
Before writing my books, and I experienced a lot of “lag” and mental drag….I played this trick and started breaking down my writing into bits and pieces….gradually I began to see a big picture from the possibilities of the small ones…sometimes we hurt our mouth trying to ingest too many things at once and so we hurt our minds conceiving ideas that we abuse the principle of small beginnings
I read about Nnamdi Ezeigbo the founder of SLOT Nigeria he had many excuses not to succeed, an Electrical engineer that couldn’t secure a Job…. He “tried to no avail” and then decided to work in a computer repair shop and from there he found his miracle….
When we start anyhow and anywhere it makes us believe achieving smaller things can help us achieve big things.
One of my coach once said “everyone can eat an elephant if he cuts it into little pieces”
Remember “he that observe the cloud shall not sow”
Overcome the first obstacle, like a car on a speed breaker, once the first set of a tyre climbs the other two follows.
You don’t have to start making that big investment…start with the small ones.. Celebrate your little success it will give u a lot of optimism to face the big ones
4. Master your emotions
Don’t ever expect a time to come where you will always feel like doing things….
Emotions are fickle and ephemeral…changing drastically with things changing around you routinely….hinging your dreams on your current emotional condition will not guarantee you the needed drive you will constantly need….
Whenever you have a project don’t consult your emotions primarily….rather work on your checklist. It’s what needs to be done that needs to be done and not what we feel like being done.
Whatever I want to do…. I always expect not to feel like…am used to not feeling like…so whatever am doing I do nonetheless how am feeling. At the end of the day I realize irrespective of how I felt I still achieve and get the job done eventually, gradually the weak feeling and the procrastination drops off and i start to get things done successfully.