I’ve just created my account on 43-things, and I’m having a look at the tag cloud, seeing what’s being done, what’s on people’s minds. I have specific ideas in mind, and while I’ve joined the community for the purpose of getting input and inspiration from others, I’d rather not be sucked into doing something because it’s popular. Had enough of that in high school. But there, in bold letters, three times the size of any of its neighbors, is the goal that’s probably been on my mind more often and more persistently than any other during the past two years, and even farther back than that.
And I’m not alone.
So why is it that so many people – more than twenty thousand of us, from the counter at the top of this page – keep on going around and around on this issue? Can anyone even say that they have truly solved it? Even more than dependence on alcohol or tobacco (with which I don’t claim any personal experience) procrastination seems to me to be something that you just escape momentarily. And that’s part of the problem.
You see, I have learned, just as I suspect a lot of us procrastinators have, to associate procrastination and laziness with simple inaction. We know that everywhere on planet earth, things that are not pushed continually into motion soon become inactive. We know (or think we know) that we as humans do not have infinite reserves of energy with which to push ourselves, and we fear that sooner or later, no matter how much momentum we build up, we will fail to supply the energy necessary to take us where we want to go. And then, as soon as we stop supplying energy, we will begin to slow back down, and our friends and colleagues will see us for who we are, and all the progress that we have made will be undone, and we will be procrastinators again. Like we are today. Maybe worse.
It’s this handcrafted mental economy that makes us wait on pushes from others, or from our circumstances, to take action on our own behalf. No. Makes me wait.
I’m ready to see past this construction of my mind, stop thinking of myself as a procrastinator, as if that were some special entropic form of human being. When I get things done, I’m not posing, and I’m not acting against my nature. It’s when I procrastinate and put things off that I’m fighting against who I am, refusing to do what I myself have decided is good. I know better than that.
So what am I going to do? I’m not going to worry about not procrastinating, because that’s not one of my problems. I’m going to continue using my site, and all the other tools available to me – right on down to good old pencil and paper – to discover what my real goals are and start accomplishing them. I’ll let you know how it goes.