‘People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The end of procrastination is the art of letting go.
I’ve been a lifelong procrastinator, at least until recent years. I would put things off until deadline, because I knew I could come through. I came through on tests after cramming last minute, I turned articles in at the deadline after waiting until the last hour, I got things done.Advertising
Until I didn’t. It turns out procrastinating caused me to miss deadlines, over and over. It stressed me out. My work was less-than-desirable when I did it last minute. Slowly, I started to realize that procrastination wasn’t doing me any favors. In fact, it was causing me a lot of grief.
But I couldn’t quit. I tried a lot of things. I tried time boxing and goal setting and accountability and the Pomodoro Technique and Getting Things Done. All are great methods, but they only last so long. Nothing really worked over the long term.
That’s because I wasn’t getting to the root problem.Advertising
I hadn’t figured out the skill that would save me from the procrastination.
Until I learned about letting go.
Letting go first came to me when I was quitting smoking. I had to let go of the “need” to smoke, the use of my crutch of cigarettes to deal with stress and problems.
Then I learned I needed to let go of other false needs that were causing me problems: sugar, junk food, meat, shopping, beer, possessions. I’m not saying I can never do these things again once I let go of these needs, but I let go of the idea that they’re really necessary. I let go of an unhealthy attachment to them.Advertising
Then I learned that distractions and the false need to check my email and news and other things online … were causing me problems. They were causing my procrastination.
So I learned to let go of those too.
Here’s the process I used to let go of the distractions and false needs that cause procrastination:Advertising
- I paid attention to the pain they cause me, later, instead of only the temporary comfort/pleasure they gave me right away.
- I thought about the person I want to be, the life I want to live. I set my intentions to do the good work I think I should do.
- I watched my urges to check things, to go to the comfort of distractions. I saw that I wanted to escape discomfort of something hard, and go to the comfort of something familiar and easy.
- I realized I didn’t need that comfort. I could be in discomfort and nothing bad would happen. In fact, the best things happen when I’m in discomfort.
And then I smile, and breathe, and let go.
And one step at a time, become the person I want to be.
‘You can only lose what you cling to.’ ~Buddha
Last Updated on June 13, 2019
10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business
Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.
I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.
Jealous of them? You don’t have to be.
You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business and success books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’re 10 of my favorites:
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.
Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.
2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy
Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.
Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.
3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.
In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.
4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.
5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel
It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work.
Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.
6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.
Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.
7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.
To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.
If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.
8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard
If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.
9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries
Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.
10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar
The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.
Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.
This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.
More Inspiring Books
- 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life
- 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life
- 30 Best Productivity Books You Should Read To Boost Your Productivity
- 15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com