Pablo Picasso famous Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. We should take what this great artist has to say because the latest sale of one of his paintings went for $106.5 million dollars. On one occasion Pablo said, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
For most people today, the exact opposite is true. They don’t want to try doing something they cannot do because it’s a waste of time. Psychologist Heidi Halvorson offers several things a person should do when they just don’t want to do it. We all know those things we keep wanting to do but there’s so much else we need to do first. It’s the worst kind of procrastination. We keep moving things in the way so we can push it off for another day or week.
But can you imagine how much less guilt, stress, and frustration you would feel if you could somehow just make yourself do the things you don’t want to do when you are actually supposed to do them? Not to mention how much happier and more effective you would be? The good news (and it’s very good news) is that you can get better about not putting things off if you use the right strategy. Figuring out which strategy to use depends on why you are procrastinating in the first place, says Dr. Halvorson.
One of the reasons you keep putting something off is because you’re afraid you’ll fail or mess things up. But instead of thinking negative, think positive. Start promoting the idea that you’ll end up so much better off if you do it than you will be trying to avoid it. Such motivation will push you forward while being anxious and doubtful will cause you to take no action at all.
Another reason why we often postpone doing something we know ought to be done is because we keep telling ourselves it will work itself out. Sorry, but the theory of evolution doesn’t work in these cases. Instead of concentrating on promotion, you are obsessed with prevention. Why not leave things the way they are instead of taking a chance and ruining things.
Another reason you keep putting something off is that you just don’t feel like doing it. It’s hard to ignore your feelings. How many times have you used the excuse of “I can’t get out of bed that early to exercise,” or, “I just can’t get up the energy to exercise with so much on my mind?” The truth is, your excusing yourself just because you don’t “feel” like it. There’s no one tying you to your bed in the morning, there are no imitating people preventing you from exercising. If you wait until you “feel” like doing something, nothing will ever get done. The truth is, you don’t have to feel like it to do it. The only thing stopping you is yourself.
One more reason you may be putting something off that needs to be done is because you’re not excited about doing it. So the excuse you use is that tomorrow you’ll start, or the next time you have the opportunity you’ll get started. Remember, “self-control” is not only a method used to keep from doing something, but it can also be used to start doing something. You must do yourself a favor and stop leaning on willpower and switch to mindpower. Make up your mind to do it whether you feel like it or not.
With our just having celebrated the heroes of D-Day at Normandy, do you think those soldiers, sailors, airmen, paratroopers, and marines were excited about running full speed into the hail of bullets, shells, mortars, and grenades knowing they may not live more than five to ten minutes? No! They did it because they knew they “had” to do it in order to save Europe, and eventually the USA, from the terrors of Nazism. They weren’t thinking about failure, they were concentrating on victory. That’s why Europe is free today.
The Apostle Paul put it very succinctly, everyone is in the race, but the only ones who receive a prize are the ones who exercise self-control and keeps going.1 He no doubt said that because as a young Jewish lad he was told what wise King Solomon once said about a lazy person who wants something without trying to get it, while the persevering person will have their desires fulfilled.2 And in the Book of Ecclesiastes we read that every time we have work that needs to be done, we should do the best we can. If we don’t it will never get done once we are in the grave. There are no ideas, no planning, and no visions for success there. It’s the place where everything we needed to do dies with us.3
There are few joys and elation that a person can experience any better than when you know you’ve pushed yourself beyond your doubt, fears, anxieties, and unwillingness to try something because you don’t want to be a failure at it and are able to look at you effort and handiwork and be proud of yourself. This not only applies to this world and everyday life, but also to our spiritual world and our place in the life to come. So don’t think about it, just do it! – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
2 Proverbs 13:4
3 Ecclesiastes 9:10