We don’t have to wait until we are completely free from suffering to take positive action in the world.
That’s just an excuse. A clever way of taking ourselves off the hook. A slick trick that uses pity to justify procrastination.
And the worst part is, nobody calls bullshit on us for doing it, out of the fear of appearing cold, insensitive and uncompassionate towards our pain.
But the joke’s on us, because we’re only cheating ourselves. Which sounds like a chalkboard cliché that our third grade teacher would say, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
I’m reminded of a mesmerizing interview with a psychiatrist who shared a few of the questions her patients often ask.
Is there a danger of using depression as an excuse?
Is it fair that my mental illness allows me not to follow the rules?
Does the label of having a chemical imbalance give me license to underachieve?
There’s no right or wrong answer. But it’s an interesting dilemma. One that has nothing to do with mental health and everything to do with being honest with ourselves.
For example, here’s one of the hardest questions I’ve learned to ask myself.
Am I really doing everything I can to reach my goal?
More often than not, the answer is no. There’s always something more I can do. But the problem is, nobody knows this but me. And so, it’s a matter of being able to live with myself when I know that I didn’t give it my best.
Godin’s theory around deniability puts it perfectly.
How much of the time you invest in a project is spent preparing excuses, creating insurance, seeking deniability and covering your ass just in case things go poorly in the end? At some point, that effort becomes so great that you never actually ship anything, which of course, is the very best protection against failure.
The point is, just because times are tough, sales are down and worries are up, doesn’t mean we’re excused from taking positive action in the direction of our dreams.
We must ask ourselves how we can contribute to our, vision right now.
Otherwise, if we’re just going to let ourselves off the hook and out of the hard work of living with intention, then we deserve everything we don’t get.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What lies are you telling yourself to justify your procrastination?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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