Procrastination is a funny thing.
We look down on it, feel guilty about it and get anxious when we catch ourselves doing it sometimes.
One of the biggest stressors in life is an unfinished task, regardless of size. When we have that thing that keeps getting pushed off one more day it nags at us, like water torture.
But the reality is—there are two huge lessons we can learn when we procrastinate.
1. The thing we are avoiding is something we don’t really want to do.
2. The thing we are doing instead might reveal what we are truly passionate about.
Sometimes we say yes to things we don’t really want to do out of feelings of obligation or necessity. Obviously, as adults there are things we need to do that we aren’t excited about. I am probably never going to be gripped with sudden passion about doing my laundry, but I like clean clothes so…you get the idea.
But if we find ourselves constantly avoiding our work, avoiding certain people or places in our lives, chances are we paying a lip service “yes” to something that is actually a “no.” If you are passionate about something, you don’t have to talk yourself into thinking about it or spending time on it. You can’t stop yourself. It’s what drives you.
For many innovative, creative, game changing and world changing people, school was not where they found their passion. It wasn’t the first thing they tried. It wasn’t doing the expected thing. It was the thing that crept in unexpectedly. It was the thing that that they just couldn’t ignore. It was the dream that wouldn’t leave them alone.
Take a look at what you’re doing when you procrastinate. What’s the thing you can’t stop thinking about? For most people, the path to creative and fulfilling success in life isn’t some linear, obstacle-free path. It’s usually more like this:
So, where is your mind wandering? Take a step back and look at your time “wasting” on social media pages—what patterns do you see? What are you dreaming about? Who can’t you stop thinking about? Where is your heart headed?
We can learn from our procrastinating and mind wandering, and if we pay attention, it can reveal what we are truly passionate about.
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