Our deepest desires are a part of who we are: who God made us to be. They are not something to be suppressed in favor of mundane expectations placed on us by society.
We procrastinate most when our plans are not in line with our desires. When we fill our heads up with shoulds, we lose our motivation:
- I should keep my yard clean;
- I should work hard so I can retire in comfort;
- I should spend more time with my family;
- I should walk the dog;
Do you want a beautiful yard? If so, by all means, make it so. But, do it because that is what you want, not because you’re worried about what the neighbors think.
What Makes You Happy?
I believe that deep down, all of us want to be happy above all else. So, what makes us happy? Service, acceptance, money, work, family, friends, leisure time, making others happy?
This question needs greater examination than most of us offer it. It is more difficult to answer than it may at first seem. Sometimes what we think will make us happy does not. Often we are conditioned by advertising and social pressures to believe that wealth, property or some social norm is going to make us happy only to feel empty when fulfilled.
Fantasy to Reality
I find that it helps to fantasize and imagine what life would be like with my desires fulfilled and get a sense of what it would feel like. When I considered my plans for my business, I asked myself how my business is going to make me happy. Though money was a part of the answer it was not enough to justify the dedication and motivation necessary.
I can achieve a great deal of money by working my every waking hour. I could then afford to hire someone to take care of my yard and home maintenance, even to take care of my child, leaving me to work, work, work.
But, I want flexibility in my life. Time with my family, to enjoy my home, be physically active, be of service to others. I want the ability to create things I enjoy creating.
As my business becomes more profitable, I don’t necessarily make more money. Instead, my life becomes more flexible, because that is what I want. For this reason, it is much easier to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t surf the web for hours procrastinating starting my work. And, in the evening, when I step out of the office into the living room, my work is done. I no longer carry it with me along with a load of guilt.
This post is a part of a series on Overcoming Procrastination.