Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

I’ll get to it in a minute… November 5, 2013

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wristwatchSo, what do you think procrastination is all about?

People (and I’m not naming any names here) who do it, know that they do it, often see it as a problem and do it anyway. They aren’t proud of it. It often makes them feel uncomfortable and yet they repeat the same patterns over and over again, forcing themselves into situations where they are left trying to complete projects at the last minute, often under a great deal of stress and occasionally at a sub-par level due to time constraints.

Just thinking about it makes my anxiety rise. It’s like when you think about having a dentist, drill your teeth for fillings. It just isn’t pleasant.

We’ve all procrastinated at one point or another, it’s probably more common a phenomenon than not – though I suppose that there are some people who do it much less than others.

Maybe it’s all in the anticipation. After all, people don’t really have a big issue procrastinating about things that they want to do. Procrastination is more typically reserved for unpleasant or arduous tasks, sometimes big things and sometimes very small.

Maybe some people really do, do their best work when they feel the urgency of a looming deadline.

Maybe it’s a way of taking control of circumstances in your life that are less favorable. Or maybe it’s a way of abdicating your role in the control that you do have in a given situation.

Maybe if your past experience tells you that you can wait until the last minute to do something and still receive the outcome you desire, there is some positive reinforcement for putting things off.

It’s a funny thing, procrastination. It’s pretty pervasive, often counterproductive, and surprisingly seductive all at the same time. I don’t have any big “answers” here tonight – I am just thinking “out-loud” a bit. The subject of procrastination keeps coming up in conversations that I have had with a number of folks over the last few weeks. It’s not an uncommon topic. And I do believe it can be “overcome” if that in fact, is your goal. But it’s still tricky.

In ways, I think procrastination is the evil cousin, of savoring. Maybe people who are procrastinators are better at living in the moment? That can’t be all bad. Is it?

It’s complicated. And for tonight I am not going to try to tie this up into a neat little package. I’m just going to put it out there, let you think about it a little bit if you want. Do you think of yourself as a procrastinator? Are there some things that you are more likely to procrastinate about than others? When you finally take action after procrastinating for a while about something, what gets you to move into action?

Maybe it’s one of those things that is worth thinking about sometimes, not to make yourself feel badly about it, but to decide how it effects you, what you get from it, and how you best deal with it? Maybe not, you decide.

 

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall March 31, 2010

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Every year people in colder climates look forward to the advent of spring with great anticipation. The promise of longer, warmer days, sunshine, flowers and a myriad of outdoor activities puts an extra spring in our step (pun only marginally intended) and boosts us through the final days of winter. And every spring, I think we all suffer a temporary amnesia that causes us to forget that “with spring comes rain”. Sure there are the old sayings “March – In like a lion and out like a lamb” and “April showers bring May flowers” but the idea in most folks head is that the rain is just a light watering needed to make the spring flowers bloom, not a veritable monsoon season! This year, those of us in the Northeast as well as other rain-soaked regions are finding that those spring showers are carrying a particular tenaciousness and ferocity to them that just weren’t what we had in mind.

As water tables rise, rivers crest and the Earth becomes sodden with the seemingly endless supply of rain in the forecast, we are forced to table our plans for enjoying the warm weather that spring promises in order to mop our basements, replace our windshield wipers and buy new umbrellas to replace the one that was turned inside out by a rogue gust of wind. Like many of our other plans, hopes and dreams for our future – the rain provides the perfect metaphor for the monkey-wrench that is often a part of the process. There are few things in life that are a straight shot from desire to attainment – the path winds and the obstacles are unpredictable and plentiful – yet the spring always really does arrive. We may have the opportunity to get outside here and there – though it feels like forty days and forty nights, there are breaks in between and when there are, they are often glorious.

Though it would be nice to be able to believe that everything you work for and want in your life is just there around the corner – a short burst of elbow-grease away but the reality is that the path to getting there is often fraught with challenges. The key to succeeding is about being able to weather the storm, and work through the stalls and sidetracks along the way, focusing on the vision you wish for and dealing with the challenges as they arise in the best and clearest way that you can. There will always be another rainy day but there will also always be another sunny one. Reminding yourself that you have what it takes to get through the obstacles in your path as you strive toward your goals will help you along your journey – because if it was all flowers and sunshine the sense of accomplishment though sweet would feel a lot less satisfying. Besides you never know what you can learn from a little rain.