11 minutes | Aug 2, 2016
Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 2
Romans 12:10-12 says: "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;" Our quote for today is from Jim Rohn. He said: "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 2 of Step 8: "Use the Reinforcement Principle". Q: Some people would argue that it's demeaning to "bribe" yourself to do something that you know you should do anyway. Shouldn't the satisfaction of a job well-done be reward enough? It often is. For many people the knowledge that they will earn self-satisfaction is sufficient motivation to get them to perform a distasteful task at the appropriate time. Such people have learned to utilize the most important reinforcer of all and are to be commended—if everyone were like them there would be no such thing as procrastination, a book like this one would never be written, and it would be a much different world. But many people aren't like that; they doubt they can do the job satisfactorily, or they are immobilized by anticipation of discomfort, or by shyness, or by fear of success, or by one of the other inhibitors we've talked about, so they postpone action. Such people may find it's necessary to sweeten the pot by providing some additional rewards. This can hardly be referred to as bribery, because that word implies something improper. After all, what's wrong with being rewarded? Welders and teachers and physicians do their work partly because of the satisfaction they get from doing it—but they usually don't continue very long unless that intrinsic reward is supplemented by some additional reinforcement, such as a paycheck, recognition, or benefits. ...
10 minutes | Jul 25, 2016
Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 1
Psalm 90:17 says: "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." Our quote for today is from Samuel Butler. He said: "If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 1 of Step 8: "Use the Reinforcement Principle". Q: You have emphasized the power of self-discipline. But how do you make sure that when you discipline yourself to do something it isn't just a one-time thing? In other words, how do you build single actions into habit patterns, so that procrastination is less likely in the future? You do it by using the principle of reinforcement. Behavioral scientists have demonstrated that whenever a behavior occurs, the likelihood of it occurring again is strongly influenced by whatever happens immediately afterward. If the subsequent event is pleasant, the brain links the two occurrences together. Even if the person is unaware of the linkage, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. The process is seen throughout the animal kingdom: it is built-in mechanism that makes possible what psychologists call associative learning. So if you want a particular action to be repeated, follow it immediately with a suitable reinforcer, some kind of reward that will have a positive effect. The reinforcer may be provided by someone else—as, for example, in the case of a football coach who gives a player a pat on the back after he has made an exceptional effort—or you can provide it for yourself, as when you give yourself some kind of reward for performing an unpleasant task you were tempted to postpone. ...
10 minutes | Jul 19, 2016
Establish an Action Environment, Part 3
Ecclesiastes 2:24 says: "There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God." Our quote for today is from Samuel Butler. He said: "If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 3 of Step 7: "Establish an Action Environment". Having the necessary tools and materials close at hand and ready for action minimizes procrastination. For most tasks, gathering the necessary tools and materials is the vital first step. Nothing happens until you have the resources close at hand. Having everything organized. In a workshop, that may mean having a neat and orderly workbench with all tools in their allotted spaces and a clear space for the new project. In an office, a tidy desk, free of any extraneous materials, is generally an invitation to concentrate. Everyone has personal preferences regarding the layout of their workspace. For some, untidiness is reassuring and soothing. For others, a cluttered work environment leads to disorganized thinking. ...
11 minutes | Jul 11, 2016
Establish an Action Environment, Part 2
As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Psalm 37:5 says: "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Our quote for today is from Ralph Marston. He said: "What you do today can improve all your tomorrows." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 2 of Step 7: "Establish an Action Environment". Q: You also mentioned that having things organized will help reduce the temptation to procrastinate. Exactly what did you mean by that? I mean that it important to avoid clutter in the workplace. A neat, orderly workbench, with each tool hanging in its allotted space, is an invitation to get busy, whereas a jumbled aggregation of wrenches, pipes, hammers, clamps, wire, files, pliers, sandpaper, and half-finished projects stifles enthusiasm and encourages delay and diversion. The same is true in an office. A tidy desk encourages concentration; a disheveled one is a psychological roadblock. ...
11 minutes | Jul 4, 2016
Establish an Action Environment, Part 1
As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Proverbs 22:29 says: "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." Our quote for today is from Dale Carnegie. He said: "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. " Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 1 of Step 7: "Establish an Action Environment". Q: To what extent does the physical environment affect procrastination? In many cases, it plays a key role; in others it's a minor factor. But it will always encourage or discourage action to some degree, so it must be considered. Q: What environmental factors are most important in preventing procrastination? Two of the most important considerations are (1) to have the necessary tools and materials at hand, and (2) to have them organized. ...
11 minutes | Jun 26, 2016
Get Tough With Yourself, Part 7
As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Proverbs 18:9 says: "He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster." Our quote for today is from Philip Stanhope. He said: "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 7 of Step 6: "Get Tough With Yourself". It's true that our grandparents sometimes carried self-denial and self-restraint too far, and it's easy to find examples we could identify as extreme. But reactions to excess are often excessive, and it's unfortunate that the so-called “culture of narcissism” has completely replaced, for many people, the robust self-mastery proclaimed by Rudyard Kipling: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;... If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run – Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son! Today we consider Kipling's writing about an empire with dominion over palm and pine to be relics of a bygone age, which indeed they are. But his veneration of the Will – with a capital W, mind you – is right on.
12 minutes | Mar 5, 2016
Get Tough With Yourself (Part 4)
Acts 20:35 says: "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Our quote for today is from Jack Canfield. He said: "You don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going. Babies don't walk the first time they try, but eventually they get it right." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 4 of Step 6: "Get Tough With Yourself". Q: Do psychologists recommend “flexing” the will regularly? Indeed they do. One who emphasized this concept many years ago was William James, who put it this way: “Keep alive in yourself the faculty of making efforts by means of little useless exercises every day, that is to say, be systematically heroic every day in little unnecessary things; do something every other day, for the sole and simple reason that it is difficult and you would prefer not to do it, so that when the cruel hour of danger strikes, you will not be unnerved or unprepared. A self-discipline of this kind is similar to the insurance that one pays on one’s house and on one’s possessions. To pay the premium is not pleasant and possibly may never serve us, but should it happen that our house were burnt, the payment will save us from ruin.” More recently, other psychologists, such as Roberto Assagioli and Boyd Barrett have urged this approach – the daily performance of seemingly useless acts for the sole purpose of strengthening the will. “Gymnastics of the will,” they have called it. Q: But it seems a shame to select something that is “useless” when there are so many useful tasks to be done! True. And I am inclined to disagree with James, Assagioli, and Barrett on this point. Instead of performing some useless act just for the sake of exercising the will, I think it makes more sense to select a useful task one has been putting off, so as to get some benefit from the exercise beyond the mere training of the will. ...
10 minutes | Dec 8, 2015
Get Tough With Yourself (Part 3)
Ephesians 5:15-16 says: "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Our quote for today is from Vishwas Chavan. He said: "If every citizen can get rid of the indiscipline syndrome, we have immense potential to build more productive, conflict-free, harmonious and peaceful communities, societies, cities, nations and world." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 3 of Step 6: "Get Tough With Yourself". Q: You recommend doing difficult things not just for the intrinsic benefit involved, but because they provide practice in self-discipline? Correct. Each time you perform a difficult act -- or resist a temptation -- you make it easier to do so in the future. In the words of Hamlet, Refrain tonight,And that shall lend a kind of easinessTo the next abstinence; the next more easy;For use can almost change the stamp of nature… Q: So you would compare willpower to a muscle, which grows either stronger or weaker, depending upon whether or not it’s used? Yes. The human mind, like the human body has an incredible ability to adjust to the demands made on it, and when the demands are steady, regular, and consistent, the result is growth, power, and greater ease of performance. In exercising your will you establish a mental “groove” -- a habit pattern -- that is deepened with each repetition, but which will gradually fade with lack of use. ...
12 minutes | Nov 30, 2015
Get Tough With Yourself (Part 2)
Ecclesiastes 2:24 says: "There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God." Our quote for today is from Roy Bennett. He said: "Don't let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 2 of Step 6: "Get Tough With Yourself". Q: All of the advice you're giving out presupposes that the person involved has enough willpower to carry out your suggestions. But, unfortunately, willpower is often in short supply – especially for the typical procrastinator. How can one cope with a lack of willpower? You have to learn to be tough with yourself. Q: That's easily said, but it isn't really very helpful. A person who knows how to be “tough” with himself probably doesn't lack willpower, and doesn't procrastinate. What's the answer for the millions who don't have whatever it takes to exercise self-discipline? There's no such person. We all have the option of using self-discipline if we choose to. We are born with a resiliency, a toughness that can enable us to withstand privation, pain, discomfort, and all the other “natural shocks that the flesh is heir to,” but in our modern world we have become so accustomed to the easy life that this inner strength is seldom exercised on a day-to-day basis. However, it's still there, dormant, awaiting the circumstances that will call it forth. And when that happens – when some crisis requires a seemingly superhuman display of pluck – we often amaze both ourselves and others with our ability to prevail over adversity. ...
9 minutes | Nov 23, 2015
Get Tough With Yourself (Part 1)
Proverbs 18:9 says: "He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster." Our quote for today is from Philip Stanhope. He said: "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 1 of Step 6: "Get Tough With Yourself". Many people consider themselves to have no willpower or ability to overcome procrastination. In making this assumption, they sell themselves short. When a crisis strikes, most people have vast reserves of an ability to overcome adversity. Most achievers are simply ordinary people who to put forth extraordinary effort without the urging of another person. They have developed exceptional willpower by practice and effort until they reach the point at which they can call for an exceptional effort on a regular basis. Then and only then are they in a situation to achieve something very challenging. Humans grow strong and robust by adjusting to larger and larger demands. This is as true in the emotional and mental fields as it is in any physical endeavour. Therefore, by regularly taking an unpleasant task and accomplishing it, you are laying a stronger and more powerful foundation for achieving other more difficult tasks further in the future. One particularly useful habit is decisiveness. When you insist on decisiveness and demand it of yourself, you are much more likely to be sleeping on your accomplishments rather than on your problems.
9 minutes | Nov 16, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 7)
Proverbs 22:29 says: "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." Our quote for today is from Babe Ruth. He said: "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 7 of Step 5: "Raise Your Energy Level." Today, we will conclude our look at some physical and psychological factors that can affect our desire to work. Edwin Bliss writes: If you are one of the countless millions of people whose procrastination problems are caused -- or intensified -- by chronic fatigue, then doing something about this infirmity should be your top priority project. Don't arbitrarily rule out medical reasons -- that's a job for a physician. How long has it been since your last checkup? Have you discussed your chronic fatigue with your doctor? Remember, it may be symptomatic of a number of ailments, so be sure to mention it. And if you're overdue for a checkup, can you think of a better time than this moment to make an appointment? Once you've eliminated the possibility of conditions requiring medical treatment, you've placed yourself in the much larger group of people whose fatigue problems are their own fault, a result of some type of self-indulgence. Since what's at stake here is much more than just the procrastination habit -- it's your health, your energy, your longevity, your zest for living that we're talking about -- resolve to begin immediately to do those commonsense things you know very well you should do. While you're in the mood, seal your good intentions by writing down what steps you intend to take. Then celebrate your decision by taking a good brisk walk, or by getting some other appropriate exercise, signaling the beginning of a new routine. Now!
11 minutes | Nov 10, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 6)
Psalm 37:5 says: "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Our quote for today is from David Allen. He said: "Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 6 of Step 5: "Raise Your Energy Level." We have discussed exercise, relaxation, proper diet, and posture as ways of increasing our energy levels to ward off procrastination. Our attitudes and emotions also affect our energy level. Let’s talk about how to handle these psychological factors. Edwin Bliss writes: You can make yourself tired just by dreading some frustrating or tedious task. This happens especially when you habitually turn your thoughts inward -- when you are pre-occupied with how you will feel while doing the task, with your aches and pains and discomforts -- instead of focusing your attention on the task itself. This pseudo-fatigue cannot be cured by mollycoddling yourself and postponing the job: it is cured by action. Getting involved in the job often takes your mind off your "fatigue," and your energy problem solves itself. We all know that external events often will cause fatigue suddenly to vanish. Perhaps you are tired and looking forward to a quiet evening at home, when the phone rings and you learn that some unexpected guests are on their way to visit you. As you scurry to tidy up and get yourself presentable the tiredness is forgotten. The fact that fatigue can be banished instantly by such emotions as excitement, curiosity, fear, anger, and anticipation demonstrates that, to a considerable degree, it is an ephemeral, controllable condition. It fluctuates not just according to how much we have used our muscles, or according to the time of day or night, but according to our attitudes, our thoughts, our interests. And this means that we can override it -- temporarily, at least -- by a pure act of will. ...
12 minutes | Nov 2, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 5)
John 5:15-17 says: "The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Our quote for today is from Michael Landon Jr. He said: "Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 5 of Step 5: "Raise Your Energy Level." We have discussed exercise, relaxation, and proper diet as ways of increasing our energy levels to ward off procrastination. Doing drugs is another activity that can sap our energy, and that is what we will talk about today. Edwin Bliss writes: Marijuana is another substance that promotes procrastination. The only reason this aspect of pot isn't mentioned more often, I suspect, is that it's much harder to measure procrastination than it is to measure cell damage, testosterone levels, memory loss, immune system impairment, and respiratory ailments. But consider one undisputed fact: even people who condone occasional use of marijuana admit that its use by children and teenagers lowers academic performance. And a major reason for that decline in grades, obviously, is that the students become apathetic and procrastinate on homework and on studying. Dr. Harold Voth of the Menninger Foundation's School of Psychiatry, and chief of staff of the Topeka, CA, Medical Center, has studied psychotherapy of marijuana use for eight years. Among the characteristics he lists as being related to pot personality are diminished willpower, the amotivational -- or dropout -- syndrome, lessened concentration, shortened attention span, diminished ability to deal with abstract or complex problems, emotional flatness, impaired judgment, and lowered tolerance for frustration. Every one of those factors quite obviously is associated with procrastination. ...
16 minutes | Jul 28, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 4)
Psalm 128:2 says: "For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." Our quote for today is from Pablo Picasso. He said: "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 4 of Step 5: "Raise Your Energy Level." We've discussed exercise and relaxation as methods of fighting procrastination. The third physical aspect that we will deal with is diet. It's a big subject, one we won't go into in depth, but suffice it to say that so far as fatigue is concerned one big culprit is sugar. Most of us eat many times as much sugar as we should. Lots of people think sugar is supposed to produce energy, but it just isn't true at least not in the way they think. Every week the average American eats more than two pounds of refined sugar, much of it hidden as an ingredient in various manufactured foods (one popular brand of ketchup is 29% sugar!) If eating refined sugar really produced energy, we would be a nation of live wires and lethargy would be unknown. It is true that low blood sugar means less energy, but the proper way to maintain the right amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood is through a balanced diet. When you zap your system with refined sugar (sucrose) you trigger the release by the pancreas of large amounts of insulin to counteract the sugar shock, and this insulin overcompensates, resulting in a much lower bloodsugar level than you originally had. And one result of this process is fatigue. It sounds complicated, but that's the way it works. (There are other undesired effects of too much sugar, including weight gain and dental cavities, but this isn't the place to go into that.) Of course, I'm not saying that procrastination is a result of eating too much sugar. What I am saying is that one result of bad dietary practices, such as eating too much sugar, is fatigue. If you are vacillating about whether to go ahead and get a job done or whether to put it off, you will more frequently choose to put it off if you feel pooped. So poor diet doesn't "cause" procrastination, but it may tip the scales. And if bad diet becomes habitual, causing chronic fatigue, it can tip those scales dozens of times a day on matters that don't seem to be related to health in any way whatsoever. ...
16 minutes | Jul 20, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 3)
Acts 20:35 says: "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Our quote for today is from Dale Carnegie. He said: "The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today's work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 3 of Step 5: “Raise Your Energy Level" by "Doing It Now: A Twelve Step Program for Curing Procrastination and Achieving Your Goals" by Edwin C. Bliss. We have already talked about exercise being one of three factors that we can use in combating fatigue. Relaxation is the second factor. Just giving lip service to the value of relaxation which we all do isn't enough. And it's not enough, either, to plop down in front of the television set for an hour or two every evening with a beer in one hand and a bowl of potato chips in the other. That may be entertainment, it may even be recreation, of sorts but relaxation it isn't! Dr. Herbert Benson, a psychiatrist on the staff of Harvard, has made extensive studies on what he calls the "relaxation response," which is involved in transcendental meditation, Zen, yoga, and various other relaxation techniques. He found that these relaxation-producing regimens all have quantifiable physiological effects and that they have four things in common: a quiet environment, a mental device (such as a sound or word or "mantra"), a passive attitude, and a comfortable position to reduce muscular effort to a minimum. To obtain the relaxation response, sit comfortably, close your eyes, then relax your muscles, beginning with your feet and slowly working up to your head. Breathe through your nose. Say the word "one" as you breathe in, and again when you breathe out. Continue this for twenty minutes. Open your eyes to check on the time, but don't use an alarm. Try this twice a day for several days, preferably not just after eating, and see if it doesn't make you feel calmer, more energetic, more self-assured and more inclined to tackle some of those unpleasant chores you've been putting off. ...
16 minutes | Jul 14, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 2)
Ephesians 4:28 says: "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Our quote for today is from Philip Stanhope. He said: "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 2 of Step 5: "Raise Your Energy Level." Edwin Bliss writes: When it comes to boosting your energy level, programmed exercise is only part of the story. There is also the matter of getting the kind of physical activity during the working day that will prevent fatigue. People with sedentary jobs often get too little activity at their work and consequently become lethargic. We weren't designed to work at a desk or a machine or a computer screen for eight hours at a stretch. These prolonged periods of immobility cause the blood to stagnate in the large muscles and in the extremities. The result is a feeling of drowsiness or tiredness, so that when we are faced with an unpleasant, postponable task, the scales are tipped toward postponement rather than toward action. Most office tasks can be done at least part of the time standing up. Now, of course, if you are an office worker you will sit most of the time, but you should use every opportunity to alternate between sitting and standing to minimize fatigue. For example, you might form the habit of standing when on the telephone. An extra-long telephone cord or a cordless phone can free you from being confined to one spot while phoning. If you do want to sit, it's often better to sit on the edge of a desk or table rather than sitting plopped in a chair, because you don't remain in the same position for long periods. Hold conferences standing rather than sitting, when possible they tend to be shorter and more productive that way anyhow. And a standup work area can reduce fatigue. A counter, a bookcase, a file cabinet, even a makeshift work platform about elbow height anything that provides an alternative to prolonged sitting is worth considering. ...
15 minutes | Jul 6, 2015
Raise Your Energy Level (Part 1)
Ephesians 5:15-16 says: "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Our quote for today is from Karen Lamb. She said: "A year from now you may wish you had started today." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are beginning Step 5: “Raise Your Energy Level.” A person may have a clear idea of what needs to be done and a firm intention of doing it only to find that physical exhaustion causes repeated postponement. Fatigue is one of the most common causes of procrastination. Fatigue from normal physical exertion is a natural, healthy response, but it tends to be short-lived. Once your body bounces back, you experience an abundance of energy. But chronic fatigue the kind that gives rise to procrastination is a malady, and unless it is dealt with, it will thwart your efforts to get things done. ...
14 minutes | Jun 8, 2015
Overcoming the Fear of Success (Part 4)
Ephesians 4:28 says: "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Our quote for today is from Ambrose Bierce. He said: "A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are continuing with part 4 of our series titled, "Overcoming the Fear of Success". How do you distinguish between genuine inadequacy and low self-esteem? I wish there were some kind of litmus test that could be used to determine the difference, because it's the central question every person faces in deciding whether to try for any ambitious goal: "Do I have what it takes, or don't I?" No one can answer that question for you. Sometimes you can't answer it for yourself, either, until you've attempted the task and risked the possibility of getting in over your head, making up your mind that you'll give it your best effort anyway. Let me just say this: chances are, your fear stems from a faulty self-image rather than from incompetence. If you have a set goal for yourself, it is probably something that you could achieve and could handle after achieving it if you would only make your move. Instead we all tend to sell ourselves short, underestimating our abilities. I referred earlier to the belief of distinguished psychologists that most humans use only a small portion of their potential, a belief shared, I think, by all thoughtful observers of the human condition. This means that you have a vast reservoir of unused talent and capability available to you. but if procrastination and timidity keep you from ever opening the floodgates, the reservoir might as well be empty. ...
19 minutes | Jun 2, 2015
Overcoming the Fear of Success (Part 3)
Galatians 6:9 says: "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Our quote for today is from Denis Waitley. He said: "Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll do it' philosophy." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are continuing with part 3 of our series titled, “Overcoming the Fear of Success”. Caution and fear of success are totally different things. It is prudent, of course, to avoid unnecessary risk and to set attainable goals (which presumably would not include such feats as flying near the sun on wax wings). But having established attainable goals, you should strive wholeheartedly to attain them. You should not be held back by procrastination -- or any other self-defeating behavior -- in order to hinder your progress toward those objectives you've decided are worth striving for. What it all comes down to is dealing with yourself in a manner that is forthright and logical, instead of devious and irrational. If, for some good reason, you've really decided not to do something, then for heaven's sake don't do it. But having made that decision, eliminate the thing from your mind. Don't let it remain there in the guise of something you're "going to get around to one of these days." The accumulation of a bunch of these pseudo-objectives has a debilitating effect; their insistent nagging diverts you from the matters at hand and prevents you from enjoying your leisure time with a clear conscience. There's much satisfaction to be had in crossing a difficult item off your "To Do" list once it has been done -- but there's almost as much in crossing it off just because you've decided that you definitely don't want to do it after all! The procrastinator doesn't get that satisfaction -- he just leaves the task on his mental "To Do" list where it festers indefinitely. So the person who procrastinates because of fear of success puts himself in a no-win situation: he tells himself that he should do certain things, but at the same time at a subconscious level he orders himself not to do those things, and through procrastination evades any resolution of the two conflicting commands. One is reminded of the prayer of St. Augustine said he offered as a young man: "Give me chastity and continence, but not just now." ...
15 minutes | May 25, 2015
Overcoming the Fear of Success (Part 2)
Isaiah 41:13 says: "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." Our quote for today is from Michael Jordan. He said: "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are continuing with part 2 of our series titled, “Overcoming the Fear of Success”. Any time you put your problem into the Fear of Success pigeonhole, it's time to sit down and have a long heart-to-heart chat with yourself -- or with your therapist. You're being torn by conflicting pressures. You are unsure of your goals, since the things you've been telling yourself you want aren't what you really want, in view of the price involved. To use a term that's in vogue among psychologists these days, you're not being "authentic" in your dealings with yourself. And procrastination is never the answer -- it only makes matters worse. There are two sides to every coin. No matter how desirable a goal may be, there are some negative consequences of having reached it. Fame means lack of privacy; wealth draws envy; growth fosters higher expectations; a promotion entails more responsibilities; a spectacular achievement raises the question of what you will do for an encore. We are constantly weighing the pros and cons of possible courses of action, deciding in one instance that the advantages offset the disadvantages, in another that the price is too high. But with procrastination that process is circumvented. Instead of objectively considering the price of achieving a goal and then making a decision, the procrastinator decides by default against resolving the matter either way. The will to fail blocks objective consideration.