“I don’t want to think about it.” I heard this line coming through the radio as I was sitting in the beginning of rush hour traffic. Maybe it was because I was tired, or maybe it was because I hadn’t been in anything remotely close to rush hour in many months. I hadn’t been listening to the radio very closely until that moment. I hadn’t even heard the song before. (By the end, I decided I liked it, and now it’s in my iTunes library.) But something about that lyric set me off.
“I don’t want to think about it”, but what happens when you have to face the thing you don’t want to think about? You’ll be blindsided, unable to weigh out all the options in the situation. Your procrastination will cloud your ability to think clearly and make a decision. Of course, there’s a difference between thinking about it and dwelling on it. But you have to prepare yourself for the possibilities.
Why do we put off doing things that are difficult? Ignorance is bliss, it’s true. Yet we choose security over challenge. Rather than strive for greater things, we opt to stay in a relatively safe comfort zone, even if it doesn’t bring us true happiness. And we all do it. Procrastinating difficult things only begets laziness, passiveness, and further procrastination. I believe that it’s better to just do the undesirable things and get them over with, instead of knowing that you’ll have to deal with them eventually. Doing the things we don’t want to do creates discipline. It creates work ethic. It creates efficiency, and it creates a better ability to overcome challenges the next time they come around. This can lead to increased pride in your work and greater self-esteem.
So my challenge to you, and to myself, is this: tackle an obstacle head-on. Have that difficult conversation. Overcome challenges. Get something done now, instead of putting it off. Power through the tough stuff. Do things the hard way. Lean in. Do not stand idly by; rather, get after it and make it happen. From the bottom, it seems impossible. But the view from the top is sweet, and I can almost guarantee that the climb will benefit you in the long run.
Love Me Now – John Legend
“Work smarter AND harder.” – Mike Rowe