As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Proverbs 6:10-11 says: "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
Our quote for today is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said: "Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it."
Today, we are continuing with part 7 of the section titled, "Attitude Adjustment".
Edwin Bliss writes: Suppose you feel depressed, so you frown and act grumpy. Suddenly you are put in a situation requiring you to smile and be pleasant. You find your depression diminishes, and soon you are smiling not because you are forcing yourself to but because you feel more cheerful. The change in behavior has caused a change in attitude.
How does this apply to procrastination?
Suppose, for example, you are tempted to put off the writing of a difficult letter of apology . If you can somehow force yourself to write it anyway—and before you are compelled to—your attitude changes. It still may be an unpleasant task, but you get a sense of self-satisfaction from having tackled a tough chore promptly. Your self-esteem goes up a notch. The next time you are tempted to procrastinate on an unpleasant but necessary task you are a little less likely to succumb to the temptation.
So we are going to consider not only how we can change our attitudes toward procrastination, but how we can change our attitudes despite our attitudes. If we attack the problem from both ends, we increase our chance of success.
The first step is to change the way we think about procrastination itself. We must recognize it for the evil it is. We must think of it not as a trifling weakness to be brushed off with a joke but as a malignant tumor on our psyche, which must be excised if we are ever to become the person we would like to be.
It would be no exaggeration to say that for millions of people the tendency to procrastinate is the primary reason for their failure to achieve a rich, fulfilling life. So instead of saying to ourselves, "This is a weakness I happen to have, and I guess I am stuck with it," we must say, "This is the culprit responsible for putting a ceiling on my achievement. It is a deeply ingrained habit—but it is only a habit, and habits can be changed. I can lick this thing, and so help me God, I will."
When you begin talking to yourself like that you are on the threshold of a new era in your life. Until you make that commitment, you are destined to continue sputtering along at a fraction of your potential.
The choice is yours. Which will it be?