“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” -Mencius
Do you ever wonder where the simplicity and joy of your childhood went?
In the growing up process, we have replaced the innate wisdom of who we are with fears and doubts. As children there was no doubt that we were great–even invincible. We were inquisitive, adventurous and fearless. Laughter and tears came and went. We didn’t care if we had tears in our pants or dirt on our shirts because we were on a mission to experience as much of life as we could.
Little by little the “don’t, can’t, mustn’t, shouldn’t” eroded our fearlessness and began to create limitations in our world. Slowly these walls began to silence our innate wisdom.
The great news is that you don’t have to stay trapped in these walls. You can rediscover the wisdom you brought into the world and let it play a greater part in your life again. When you do, life will become happier, more creative, and more productive.Advertising
Let life become fun again!
You are perfect.
You were born perfect and still are perfect. Somewhere along the way you were told that you were not good enough, or were made to feel you were not complete–but you are. You think that something is wrong with you that needs to be fixed, but there is nothing to fix.
What you haven’t been told is that you have to accept and love all of you exactly as you are. The warts and the dimples! In doing this you find the perfection that you are.
You are born to greatness.
In the same way that you were born perfect, you were born to greatness. As a child you knew that you were great. You did not know you had limits until someone told you, and even then you challenged those limits. Eventually it became easier to live within the limits. The greatness was stifled within you.
You can reawaken your greatness by replacing your doubts with the belief you can do anything that you set your mind to.Advertising
You know the answers.
You have an innate intelligence within you that knows what is best for you and what you should do at any time. Remember that uneasy feeling that something wasn’t right and later you discovered your feelings were correct? Or the time you just knew you should do something and did. When you saw the success, you chalked it up to a gut feeling.
As a child you trusted in those feelings, but over time the trust faded as your over active mind took over. It is time to trust that gut feeling–your intuition–again. This is the wisdom you came here with.
Life is an adventure.
As a child you were not afraid to try anything. At the merest suggestion you were off to explore, climb, probe, poke or taste most things. If you were like me, you didn’t hesitate before trying something. If you fell or got hurt you didn’t do it again, but it didn’t stop you from the next experience. Life was an adventure to be explored.
This sense of adventure was killed in you when the adults around you repeated, “No, don’t do that! Be careful!” Bring that sense of adventure into your life again. Don’t be afraid to try things, to experience new things, and to explore.
Be honest in all things.
Children are so honest. They tell it like they see it. They say whatever is on their mind. They don’t guard their words, look for reactions, or have expectations. It is all spontaneous.Advertising
When was the last time you said something honestly, without first weighing your words? You can speak with childlike honesty without being cruel or mean. If you start being totally honest with yourself, it becomes easier to be honest with others. At first this will not be easy, but with time you will see the vast benefits.
Be fully in the moment.
Children can be totally engrossed in something to the extent that they are not aware of anything around them. At moments like this, when they are asked to do something else they can get very upset.
For them, only this time and place are relevant. The instant they are no longer engrossed in what they are doing, they easily move on to the next thing. There is fluidity of movement and complete awareness of the moment.
You can recapture this by being mindful of what you are doing at any given time. If you are engrossed in it, keep doing it. If your attention fades it is time to move on. Mindful people tend to be very productive.
We are all equal.
Watch children play. They don’t discriminate against the opposite sex, physical appearance or age. They come together and before long they are playing like long lost buddies. They trust first and welcome all.Advertising
Look at others with the eye of a child and see that everyone is the same under the skin.
It is okay to show emotion.
Children cry, scream, laugh, dance, hop or pound their fists with abandon. They can be raging with anger one moment, and the next be laughing and playing. They move through emotions as they feel them. They don’t hold a grudge, resentment or agonize over what they are feeling. They let it out.
Adults have been taught to hold back emotions or stuff them down. It is time to be honest about how we are feeling. That doesn’t mean you have to lash out at someone, but you can let them know how you are feeling. Open up a dialogue around those feelings and everyone wins.
By rediscovering the wisdom you came into this life with, your world can be more creative, more productive and happier.
Are you ready to reclaim your natural wisdom?
Featured photo credit: Curious/CaseyPicker via flickr.com
Last Updated on September 16, 2019
How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators
You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.
We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.
The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.
Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:
1. Break Your Work into Little Steps
Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.
For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –
- (1) Research
- (2) Deciding the topic
- (3) Creating the outline
- (4) Drafting the content
- (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
- (6) Revision
- (7) etc.
Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.
2. Change Your Environment
Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.
One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.
3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines
Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.
Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.
My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.
Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines
4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops
If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.
Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.
I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.
5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action
I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You
Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.
As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.
6. Get a Buddy
Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.
I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.
7. Tell Others About Your Goals
This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.
For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.
8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome
What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.
9. Re-Clarify Your Goals
If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.
Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?
10. Stop Over-Complicating Things
Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.
Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.
11. Get a Grip and Just Do It
At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.
I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.
More About Procrastination
- 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life
- 10 Best Ted Talks About Procrastination That Will Ignite Your Motivation
- Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)
- What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)
Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com