I have been putting off doing some simple things over the last few days. Why do I want to improve this?
I want to improve this because these tasks are easily within my ability to do and I have enough time to do them. I will get a feeling of accomplishment when I spend a complete day to fulfill my tasks.
I'm trying to figure out what is the root cause and solution for this issue. I guess part of the issue is that I'm not passionate about the things that are on my To-Do list. Sort of like if on the list is to take out the trash and you keep putting it off. I mean, how passionate about taking out the trash can I be? One way to look at it is that taking out the trashing is something that must be done with no need for passion.
Let's think about taking a shower. Am I passionate about taking a shower each day? Not really. Do I have to come up with all sorts of reasons to take a shower? Nope. Why not? Because taking a shower is just something I do. I have been brought up that part of being a civilized person is to regularly bath. It is just part of who I am, no need to think about "Why" or if it something that I'm really passionate about. I also don't regularly suffer form procrastination on this issue.
Maybe it would be helpful for me to define "Who am I." For example, if there is some work related topic that I am procrastinating about, I can ask "What type of worker am I?" I'm looking for an answer like "I'm an astronaut, writer, business person, or leader." From this you can ask yourself, "What does x, act like?" If the thing you are procrastinating about is something that your profession does, then in order to be excellent at your profession, you should do that, no matter how you feel, actually how you feel shouldn't make much difference.
If I am a blogger, than I write in my blog. No question or delay about it, that is what I do. If I am a business person, than I develop business contacts, that's what business people do. If I am a project manager, then I develop project plans, schedule meetings and write reports. If I am an internet marketer, then I oversee the development of a website, SEO and product development.
Who are you?
In general there are two reasons why we do something: Pain and Pleasure.
We can be motivated to escape pain or to achieve more pleasure. In general, the self development and positive thinking teachings focus on getting more pleasure. They talk about how we will achieve that which we focus upon. So if we focus on achieving pleasure we will receive more pleasure. How about if we focus on escaping pain? Does it mean we will achieve more escape from pain or will we just get more pain?
I propose that pain is the most powerful motivator in the world. Think about it. How quickly do you respond to the pain of your hand being place on a hot stove versus the pleasure of petting your favorite animal? I suspect most of us respond with great urgency to pain, and the more painful, the more rapidly we respond.
How do we solve this paradox? Pain is a powerful motivator, though if we mostly focus on pain than we may mostly achieve pain. As with many things we should strive to achieve a balance between these two motivators. To ignore pain as a motivator is to throw away the most powerful motivator in our toolbox.
I was thinking about the saying "No pain, no gain" and now when I think about it, I interpret it more as, if we want to experience pleasure, we will have to endure some pain as opposed to trying to escape pain in order to achieve pleasure. It is more that pain usually stands in the way of the pleasure we want. So, in this context, pain isn't a motivator, pleasure is the motivator and pain is just another obstacle.
I'm still trying to figure out how utilize both pain and pleasure as motivational tools. I'll try it by adding one question to my regular goals review session. I'll ask myself, "What am I most afraid of?" I'll let you know how it goes.
What do you think? Is it worthwhile to think about our pain points and use them to motivate us, or is it sufficient to think about what pleasure we want to achieve? If it is useful to use pain? If so, how can we do it? Do we reinforce every day our deepest pain/fear and use that to drive us to action?