Day 4: Understanding your endless possibilities & overcoming procrastination
Thank you for the embarking this amazing journey of self discovery and transformation with me.
When I say your opportunities are endless I mean it. Although our life trajectories are partly determined by our geographical location, educational background, family history, and even race and class in some situations, there are a lot we can do to overcome these limitations. The best thing about human potential is I don't even have to know you nor your unique situation to tell you that your possibilities are endless.
If we have a solid plan and are working hard towards our goals, we don't have to listen to naysayers. Remember, gossipers and naysayers don't have any stakes in your life outcomes. Why care about them when they don't care about you?
Working hard and achieving amazing results is actually a form of self love. By giving our 100% to the tasks at hand, we can see it for ourselves how valuable we can be. Even when we don't get immediate positive feedback all the time, over time people around us will see that we have something to contribute.
Procrastination doesn't do us any good, it robs us of the energy we need and the success we deserve. But why do we do this all the time? Procrastination is actually a trick our mind came up with to protect our self esteem. In every task there is a risk of failure. By procrastinating till the last minute and not giving ourselves reasonable time to complete the task, we can legitimately blame on the lack of time for the outcome. When we procrastinate we automatically assume that the task is very difficult and time consuming to complete. But this is not true, at least not always the case. When we examine this unfounded assumption we will find that if we stop creating this fear, we can avoid procrastination altogether.
One of the most effective ways to manage procrastination is to break down a huge task into a number of smaller tasks. If you keep pushing off studying for an exam, I suggest you to set a study goal, not a gigantic one that looks so intimidating. Rather, you should set a small one that you will find it easy to complete. An example for this case would be reading the textbook for 15 minutes. You are free to do whatever you want to do after this 15 minutes, no guilt, no shame, no nothing. And don't pressure yourself after the initial 15 minutes, if you genuinely feel that after this period of reading you still find it too difficult to concentrate, then go do something else. The magic however is that once you get the ball rolling everything becomes easier. The worst thing that can happen to you with this approach is you spent 15 minutes on a task which you wouldn't spend any time on in the first place, a gain of 15 minutes of study. You will also feel better because you finally made some headway. If you're like most people, you will learn that reading the textbook is not so difficult after all and you may be able to pick up on studying again. Within a few days you will be back 100% and be as productive and studious as ever. This mind hack can be used on any tasks that you dread and need to be done.
Sometimes we set low expectations for ourselves because being successful is not something that we are used to. Like any other unfamiliar emotional states, we fear what those states might change how we see ourselves. For some of us, unfortunately, failure is the default state. To truly live a year unlike any other we have to be aware of the low expectations we set for ourselves, and replace them with healthy, realistic goals that will challenge us to become who we really are.