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I can’t even cut my hair!

Negative future scenarios have left a letter writer struggling with procrastination.

Our elder has strategy: vision plus passion plus action.

 

Dear EWC

I have had difficulty working and getting things done since my school days. And I don’t know how to solve that. I don’t take care of myself or cut my hair or take a bath often and I never studied that much back in school or now in college ,which caused me to fail a lot of my courses and I have projects that I have been procrastinating on for years. There is no clear pattern that I follow but most of the time there is either some reason to procrastinate because I’m paranoid and always invent a future bad scenario in my head or I end up not feeling like doing a thing because I feel sick or stressed or tired. I would like to get your opinion on how I can change my current situation? And is there something wrong you think that I might be doing without noticing?

 

Elder Response

As I see it, the most significant problem is your method of dealing with upcoming events that might never happen. The future bad scenario in your head is a fantasy. Let’s look at it this way. We all have a past containing our experiences and our interpretations and memories of those happenings. Then we have the present, in which everything is occurring at the moment. This is where life takes place. Fear does not exist in the present moment, as each instant is complete in itself. Whenever you notice fear, it is about some future event. 

Since the future hasn’t happened yet, all our thoughts about it are positive or negative fantasies. You are always free to invent either one. What you have chosen to do is to create future negative scenarios and then pretend that it is true.

Following your adoption of the negative fantasy, you use the scenario to put off or procrastinate any motivation to get things done or complete tasks. If we don’t envision a positive outcome, we say, why bother? We have demotivated ourselves from any attempt to succeed. Does this look familiar?

Let’s look at motivation. Motivation is a minute-by-minute decision, just like walking. You regularly choose to take one foot, move it in front of the other, the next step and the next, etc. The minute you decide not to take that next step, you are at a standstill. You will stay in that position forever until you choose to move forward. When you were a small child learning how to walk, you fell many times, but those failures didn’t stop you. You were a brave child! You are now a valuable, worthy person, capable of putting aside your fears and moving forward.

I believe that motivation is another word meaning choice. Be clear that you are choosing to stop working the moment that you stop. It is your responsibility to take charge and keep deciding to move ahead. So far, in my view, you are choosing the path of failure. Maybe it is to prove that you are right in thinking that it is hopeless for you to create a long-term series of successful actions. 

Only you know the answers. We are just looking at the possibilities. If, for example, your favorite person’s life depended on completing a group of tasks, would you do them quickly and to the best of your ability? Or if $5 million tax-free was given to you to complete tasks, would you put the immediate effort to get the money? I’ll bet you would get right on the job. Or if $5 million wasn’t enough, how about $10 million? I believe everybody has a price. It is all down to a question of motivation. 

This brings us to a strategy for making a success of your life going forward. To be successful in any area of life, one must have three things working together in unison. It is like creating a stool that has three legs for balance. The first of these is vision. You must have an idea, specific as you can make it, that would satisfy your picture of success in your field. 

The second thing that you need to work in concert with the vision is passion. To me, that means getting rid of anything that stands in your way of achieving the result. This includes any mental or emotional blocks you might have erected to impede you from reaching the intended result. See the information on motivation that I’ve written.

The third and final thing you need to bring balance to the project is action Nothing happens without action. You might intend to drive a car from point A to point B, but nothing will happen unless you take the car and drive it. Vision, passion and action  are required to work together to succeed in anything in life. 

It seems pretty clear that you can visualize what it requires to be a successful student. What has been missing in your case is the passion necessary to prepare for the action needed.

I feel this advice can set you on the path that you desire. Please let me know if I can help you further.

Article #: 478704

Category: Self-Improvement

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