Have you heard about the new disease that is sweeping the nation? It is called "procrastinitis," and it makes approach anxiety look like an over-the-counter illness. So how do you know if you suffer from this common illness? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
Are you a "tomorrow" person? If so, you may be related to a "later" person. Procrastination can be a constant and consistent pattern, causing us to put off not just with things we don't feel like doing but also the things we're passionate about.
People can get very passionate about something. For instance, you can be passionate about going out and meeting women and having a new partner in your life, or you can be passionate about getting really good at a sport, or losing weight, or completing an important assignment at work. In the beginning of this process, that passion is so powerful that you just want to do it and be the best you can be at it, so good that everyone is impressed by your performance, and you even impress yourself.
The problem in life is that there's not much immediate gratification. So what happens is that you don't see enough change right away, you don't see the amazing results you'd like to get and you know you're capable of right away. For instance, let's say you've got to lose 15 pounds. You're so dedicated in the beginning, and you lose five pounds really quickly. But then, the next thing you know, one day you just screw up and you gain three pounds back after a long, lazy weekend. All of a sudden, once that happens, you lose that passion, because you feel like you haven't gotten anywhere. You may even feel like you've actually failed at your goal! So basically you're taking one step forward and then two steps back.
Procrastination is another manmade disease. Of course we're not born with procrastination -- even if you were born two or three weeks late. But procrastination can kill you. It really can. It can hold you back and lead toward a slow, steady decline instead of the constant and consistent growth that you know you're capable of but do nothing about.
So how do you overcome procrastination? It's really simple. One of the first things to do is realize that everything in life is a marathon and not a sprint. In order to get good at something, whether it's getting good at meeting women, becoming a more interesting date, being a better boyfriend or girlfriend, losing weight, becoming a master at your job or building a brand new business, every single day, you've got to do little by little by little. What you're doing is building a foundation beneath you, and that foundation needs to be strong. When that foundation is strong, then every day when you wake up, you'll realize that you're just adding another brick to that foundation. You realize that you're just adding one brick every single day. Sure, there'll be days that it's raining and the ground may get a little muddy and you may only be able to put half a brick up, but the bottom line is that in order to get great at something, you need to do it every single day.
You need to force yourself to do it every day. You've got to make a steady commitment to yourself to each and every brick. So let's say that you've made a commitment to yourself to go out and socialize and get better at communicating with people. Let's say that you've dedicated yourself to meeting 20 new people this week, but yesterday you didn't meet anyone. That's not an excuse for you to sit at home and not to go out and meet people today. Even if there's just one person that you end up meeting today, who cares? You can't let that discourage you. It's one step toward your goal. You've got to embrace that one victory.
Whenever I built up any one of my businesses that I've been involved in, I have worked hard every day, whether I felt like it or not. I would force myself to work so that I'd be the absolute best at what I do. I've used this analogy so many times: can you imagine being an NFL quarterback or MLB baseball player and not going through practice every single day? What do you think practice is? Practice exists so that you can get good and be able to react when the game is on. So if you're a constant procrastinator, you need to start setting goals for yourself every day -- attainable goals. Small goals and small wins will enable you to embrace each win every day, and not the failures. You've got to be reasonable in your goals, too. It's brick by brick, guys. You can't lose 100 pounds overnight, nor can you go out and get 100 dates overnight, but what you can do is start working on yourself and learning how to be a better communicator so that you're able to get those dates in the future. What you can do is work out for an hour a day so that you lose 1/8 of a pound that day.
Marathon, friends. Life is all about a marathon. Stop thinking sprint.