I have some bad news for you. If you are waiting for the perfect time, the perfect mood, the perfect inspiration or the perfect environment so you can get started, you need to know this. It isn’t going to happen. You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet.
You may have the “occasional” burst of technicolor brilliance pass through your mind but if your stars are not all perfectly aligned the odds are that your spontaneous wisdom will ever come to fruition are virtually nil.
All too often this mindset, the procrastinators mindset, governs our behavior and so much opportunity and production is lost.
That’s right, this all about procrastination, otherwise defined as the art of keeping up with yesterday. There are many consequences to procrastinating and none of them are good. When you put things off, they grow larger and more challenging. Responsibilities don’t diminish, they get bigger. Costs don’t reduce, they increase. Resentment doesn’t go away, it grows. Opportunities don’t wait, they are taken by those who hustled. As Abraham Lincoln put it, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
I understand that overcoming the habit of procrastination can be challenging but the benefits are life changing. Procrastination creates stress and distraction and leads to, at best, mediocrity and at worst, failure. Being proactive creates confidence, energy and the mental clarity to capitalize on opportunity when it arises while still moving forward day after day. So, answer your emails the day you receive them, pay your bills before they are due, return your voice mail messages when you hear them and be engaged in the pursuit of your goals and dreams every day.
Let me give you one example. A friend of mine is a writer, a very good writer in fact. I asked him one time where he finds the inspiration for the excellent work he produces, and his answer says so much. He told me “he writes for the garbage can.” Yeah, I didn’t understand either, so I asked him to explain. It turns out that his secret is to just write. He sits at his desk everyday and grinds out content, most of which he claims goes straight to the garbage can, but because he is creating, he’s engaged in the process, he is there to capture the genius when it occurs. Opportunity isn’t lost and, he claims, he has far more good ideas when he is working than when he is waiting for spontaneous inspiration to come along someday. After all, someday can’t be found on any calendar.
My point is this. If you have any goals, dreams, desires then you need to get up and show up. You need to do what should be done, as it should be done, when it should be done, period, even if sometimes you are just going through the motions. You need to be active, in the game, engaging your conscious mind and listening to your subconscious. That’s how you make your own success.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
― Pablo Picasso