Overcoming Paralyzing Thoughts

Stop thinking and get it done already!

Brian Relay
Jul 16, 2019 · 5 min read

Surveying the scene, the old familiar thoughts creep back in:

What’s the point?

How long will this take?

I don’t feel like it.

This bed is so comfortable.

I need more sleep…

The activation energy required to set in motion a day worth living is just on the other side of these thoughts. Hands to head, eyes squinting shut, the overwhelming feelings rush in to envelop the defeatist mentality.

Thoughts will not get the ball rolling.

Shove aside the fear and doubt and PUSH yourself upward to propel the worthy soul from the comfort of these entangled sheets.

Good. You’ve done the first step. Now onto the next task of the day.

Turn and scan the wreckage of that warm and inviting trap you just escaped from. It needs to be set straight. Toss aside the blanket and arrange those pillows to your liking. Flutter the sheet over the expanse of the average procrastinator, and top it off by blanketing the surface with smooth, tight fabric. Bounce a quarter off it, bask in the glory of a job well done, and turn to your next objective.

Throughout the day, this will be your ever-present challenge. Each thing that seems insurmountable will attempt to appear like a mountain.

It is a mole hill.

These everyday necessities will accumulate and fill you with a sense of worth and joy. How wonderful it is to know that you are the master of your domain. Are you really going to let the dishes overpower you? Is that trash actually too heavy to lift outside? Oddly enough, it is that way as long as you don’t get it done.

There’s nothing more depressing than letting your daily routine be a nonstop delivery of responsibilities that continuously pile up at your doorstep. When you finally can’t stand it anymore, and you have an urge to get something done, you look at this huge pile of things you’ve neglected and collapse on the couch, exasperated.

This will only get worse. This is not a life worth living. Video games will not bring you happiness. Neither will sex or beer or weed or Netflix or Facebook or ANYTHING temporary.

Only productivity will bring you joy. Only moving toward a worthy goal can have the effect that you seek. You want to be happy and feel like life is good. A sense of well being is beckoning you.

Answer the call.

This call is the tiny voice inside your head that will never give up on you. It invites you to join the great legends of history. The names that are mentioned across the entire globe and written in books. Documentaries are made about ordinary people who answered the call.

The call to greatness.

Einstein was once asked what his secret was to success. His answer? “Never put off till tomorrow, what can be done today.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s so ingenious in its simplicity that it’s easy to overlook.

Ask yourself regularly, “Can I do this today?” If the answer is yes, which it almost always is, then do it today. Do it NOW if at all possible. These words come from experience. In fact, me writing this article took the activation energy required to shut my mind up and sit down to do what I know will help me along this path.

Procrastination is a funny thing. It’s the result of our evolutionary adaptation to preserving precious resources. Our body is designed to conserve energy and not waste any if it can help it. We weren’t always so blessed to have food in such abundance. We had to hunt and gather and survive in a hostile and unforgiving world where we may not eat for two or three days. Maybe along our travels, we wouldn’t come across clean water for as long as that.

We have a natural tendency to not want to move because we are meant to move only when absolutely necessary. This comes down to a simple trick of the mind: What is most important to you? We’ll get up off our ass to get a six-pack from the corner store or buy another pack of cigarettes. If we are going to meet a new person from Tinder, we’ll get up and shower and make ourselves smell nice, the whole nine yards before driving an hour to meet this shiny new opportunity.

What matters most to you? What drives you? What are you here on this planet to accomplish? How do you want to be remembered?

These are critical questions to ask when trying to summon this elusive activation energy.

The brain’s job is to keep you alive, not to make you successful. Success in the past was dying at an older age than 50 with an offspring that made it to procreation age. Now that’s pretty much a given, so we have the opportunity to do so much more with our lives. Do you want to start a family? How about spending more time with the one you already have? Do you want to be rich? Wealthy in finances as well as relationship and experience?

What do you want?!

Why are you here?!

You have greatness lying dormant within your soul. Wake it up and listen to that voice in your mind that beckons you to join the battle. Join the adventure. Get your boots on and traverse the lands that lead to your destiny. Get out of that bed and face the day with boldness. This is not how you want to be remembered. You want to be admired for your ferocity. Looked up to because of your accomplishments.

You want to be proud of yourself.

Leap onto your feet, make that damn bed, attack those dishes and go for a run. I guarantee you, if you do these simple things, it will set in motion a chain reaction that will make your higher goals bow to you and put themselves within easy reach. Those lofty aspirations you have only seem too high to reach because you’re laying down.

Stand up, LEAP up, take action and seize the day.

Welcome to the battle, soldier. It’s good to have you in our ranks.

Brian Relay is a digital artist with ten years of random work experience that loosely relates to his field of study. He lives in New Hampshire with his transient musings and collection of half-resolved issues. Together with his un-imaginary friend, they’ve successfully completed their very first comic book. Also, he recently picked up his novel-in-progress (NIP) that was collecting digi-dust for an embarrassing amount of time. He’ll let you know when it’s done.

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Brian Relay

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Aspiring novelist/director/podcaster/spiritual guru/normal person

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +725K followers.

Brian Relay

Written by

Aspiring novelist/director/podcaster/spiritual guru/normal person

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +725K followers.

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