I find more often than I care to admit, that I allow myself to become distracted with things in life that, really, don’t matter.
Things like checking my Twitter feed to read up on this or that person’s thoughts about something; checking Facebook to see how my friend is doing on their vacation (and allowing myself to feel depressed that I’m too broke to go on a vacation myself); or some random news website because, let’s face it, I need to know all this stuff – it could one day come in handy when I find myself playing Trivia at a local bar. Besides, I want to impress my friends, right? (Maybe they’ll buy me a beer for getting the answer right to boot).
But when it comes down to it, I know what I’m supposed to be doing: I’m supposed to be writing. Sure, it may never be the next Great American Novel, but you know what? It doesn’t have to be. For longer than I’d ever care to admit, I allowed procrastination to take hold in my life. I would say things like, “Oh, I’ll start this book tomorrow”, or “My training to run a half marathon? That can wait for Monday morning. I shouldn’t start a training regimen on a Friday.” Fact of the matter is, there’s no time like the present.
Steven Pressfield, in his book, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles, writes:
“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.
Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. this second we can turn the tables on Resistance.
This second, we can sit down and do our work.”
For far too long I was putting off today what I thought I could start tomorrow. Those simple moments of saying, “Oh, I can do that tomorrow add up to the sum of a life not fully lived, and life where I missed out on some amazing opportunities, until we look back and realize that we really didn’t do anything at all.
The part about that quote that really struck me was that I have the power to change my life. For far too long, I bought into the lie that I was stuck – stuck personally, professionally, and any other which way you could imagine. I bought into the lie that said I deserved what I got, and that I didn’t deserve anything better; that nothing I did would change that I deserved my here and now; and that nothing I could do to change would make changes for the better.
In short, I felt trapped.