It was instantly recognizable. She was bald. She was deathly pale. Her whole frame was obviously a shadow of what it once was. She had shakiness in her movement; she was so frail.
Then she took off her sunglasses and I saw a brightness in her eyes that was stunning. And she spoke and her voice was strong and powerful and yet soothing and gentle at the same time.
It’s cancer, she said. I’m quite riddled, she added with a smile. But I’m very optimistic, all is well.
It was shocking. It was stunning. She was so powerful and strong, she was so beautiful; it left a big impression on me. I don’t know the end of her story, whether she’s still alive. But her spirit certainly is.
It was the first time I had noticed, or perhaps realized, that the state of your mind is not always determined by the condition of your body. That was huge.
Until that moment, I had always assumed that if you are sick, there is no way you can be optimistic or empowered. It seems such a paradox.
I wondered, how can you be hopeful and have plans if you have been given a bad prognosis? How can you expect to be happy and enjoy life if you don’t know if you have much more time you have to live?
I realized in that moment, from speaking with that woman, that I’d gotten it all wrong.
I realized that none of us know how long we are going to live and everything else is an illusion. Actually, it’s a story.
Most of us live with the story that we are going to live for a long, long time. More importantly, we live with the illusion that we have lots of time and things can wait, if we don’t feel like taking care of them now.
Now, I’m not going to give you the usual story of how life is short and we don’t know how long we have, although that’s true. Anyone who’s lost someone they love realizes that.
But I am going to talk about procrastination. You see, I don’t think there’s a soul on this planet that doesn’t know what it feels like to put off stuff. To put aside that thing we like to do least and simply never get around to it.
What’s really interesting is that there are so many stories that we tell ourselves in order to justify this behavior. We make up such creative excuses for NOT doing the very thing that we ought to get done. And then we start believing those stories. I suppose that’s how we live with ourselves.
So, I want to suggest that if you, like most people, live with a certain tolerance for your own procrastination, well, I have a message for you. It’s simple. It’s a bit harsh. Here it is…..
YOU CAN DO BETTER.
Yes, you can. I believe in you. I know that you are bigger than this. You can do better. Just get it done. Here are a few simple tips that will help.
- Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to finally get on top of whatever this task is.
- Schedule your time generously so that you have plenty of time to actually get it done.
- Don’t give yourself too much time….just enough!
- Turn off your phone, log out of Facebook or any other social media that distracts you.
- Just do it!
And then, most importantly, CELEBRATE. Yes, I’m serious, even if it’s that paperwork that’s been sitting on your desk for a year….now’s the time to celebrate. You did it. You are amazing. You deserve to celebrate. This is the most important step of all.
And share it right here…what you did, and how you celebrated!
Now you can tell a new story!