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March 2006

Courage to Begin

THE COURAGE TO BEGIN SEPARATES DREAMERS FROM ACHIEVERS

Your difficulty and the difficulty of every individual who ever desired to achieve anything worthwhile, comes in the movement.

Don't always be intending to live a new life, but never find the time to begin living it. Most people fail because they never get started. They don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.

Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have. As you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more.

The worst thing you can do is not to try.


Quotable Quotes for today

"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people."

– Lee Iacocca, Chrysler chairman

"It is only our deeds that reveal who we are."

– Carl Jung, psychiatrist

"Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction."

– Kenichi Ohmae, management consultant


Ending Procrastination

by Jim Rohn
Perseverance is about as important to achievement as gasoline is to driving a car. Sure, there will be times when you feel like you're spinning your wheels, but you'll always get out of the rut with genuine perseverance. Without it, you won't even be able to start your engine.
The opposite of perseverance is procrastination. Perseverance means you never quit. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.
Ask people why they procrastinate and you'll often hear something like this, I'm a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I can get down to work. No distractions, not too much noise, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling well physically, too. I can't work when I have a headache." The other end of procrastination - being unable to finish - also has a perfectionist explanation: "I'm just never satisfied. I'm my own harshest critic. If all the i's aren't dotted and all the t's aren't crossed, I just can't consider that I'm done. That's just the way I am, and I'll probably never change."
Do you see what's going on here? A fault is being turned into a virtue. The perfectionist is saying that his standards are just too high for this world. This fault-into-virtue syndrome is a common defense when people are called upon to discuss their weaknesses, but in the end it's just a very pious kind of excuse making. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with what's really behind procrastination.
Remember, the basis of procrastination could be fear of failure. That's what perfectionism really is, once you take a hard look at it. What's the difference whether you're afraid of being less than perfect or afraid of anything else?  You're still paralyzed by fear. What's the difference whether you never start or never finish? You're still stuck. You're still going nowhere. You're still overwhelmed by whatever task is before you. You´re still allowing yourself to be dominated by a negative vision of the future in which you see yourself being criticized, laughed at, punished, or ridden out of town on a rail. Of course, this negative vision of the future is really a mechanism that allows you to do nothing. It's a very convenient mental tool.
I'm going to tell you how to overcome procrastination. I'm going to show you how to turn procrastination into perseverance, and if you do what I suggest, the process will be virtually painless. It involves using two very powerful principles that foster productivity and perseverance instead of passivity and procrastination.
The first principle is: break it down.
No matter what you're trying to accomplish, whether it's writing a book, climbing a mountain, or painting a house the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time.  Focus on accomplishing what's right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what's off in the distance someplace.  Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That's the first all- important technique for bringing an end to procrastination.
Suppose I were to ask you if you could write a four hundred-page novel. If you're like most people, that would sound like an impossible task. But suppose I ask you a different question. Suppose I ask if you can write a page and a quarter a day for one year. Do you think you could do it? Now the task is starting to seem more manageable. We're breaking down the four-hundred-page book into bite-size pieces. Even so, I suspect many people would still find the prospect intimidating. Do you know why? Writing a page and a quarter may not seem so bad, but you're being asked to look ahead one whole year. When people start to do look that far ahead, many of them automatically go into a negative mode. So let me formulate the idea of writing a book in yet another way. Let me break it down even more.
Suppose I was to ask you: can you fill up a page and a quarter with words - not for a year, not for a month, not even for a week, but just today? Don't look any further ahead than that. I believe most people would confidently declare that they could accomplish that. Of course, these would be the same people who feel totally incapable of writing a whole book.
If I said the same thing to those people tomorrow - if I told them, I don't want you to look back, and I don't want you to look ahead, I just want you to fill up a page and a quarter this very day - do you think they could do it?
One day at a time. We've all heard that phrase. That's what we're doing here. We're breaking down the time required for a major task into one-day segments, and we're breaking down the work involved in writing a four hundred-page book into page-and-a-quarter increments.
Keep this up for one year, and you'll write the book. Discipline yourself to look neither forward nor backward, and you can accomplish things you never thought you could possibly do. And it all begins with those three words: break it down.
My second technique for defeating procrastination is also only three words long. The three words are: write it down. We know how important writing is to goal setting. The writing you'll do for beating procrastination is very similar. Instead of focusing on the future, however, you're now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you're going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you're going to keep a written record of the places you actually go.
In other words, you're going to keep a diary of your activities. And you're going to be surprised by the distractions, detours, and downright wastes of time you engage in during the course of a day. All of these get in the way of achieving your goals. For many people, it's almost like they planned it that way, and maybe at some unconscious level they did. The great thing about keeping a time diary is that it brings all this out in the open. It forces you to see what you're actually doing... and what you're not doing.
The time diary doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Just buy a little spiral notebook that you can easily carry in your pocket. When you go to lunch, when you drive across town, when you go to the dry cleaners, when you spend some time shooting the breeze at the copying machine, make a quick note of the time you began the activity and the time it ends. Try to make this notation as soon as possible; if it's inconvenient to do it immediately, you can do it later. But you should make an entry in your time diary at least once every thirty minutes, and you should keep this up for at least a week.
Break it down. Write it down. These two techniques are very straightforward. But don't let that fool you: these are powerful and effective productivity techniques that allow you put an end to procrastination and help you get started to achieving your goals.
(Jim Rohn has helped motivate and train an entire generation of personal development trainers as well as hundreds of executives from America’s top corporations. His seminars span over 39 years and he has addressed over 6,000 audiences and 4 million people worldwide. He is the author of 17 different books, audio and video programs. Has been internationally hailed over the years as one of the most influential thinkers of our time)

Quotable Quotes for today

"Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down."

Charles F. Kettering

1876-1958, Engineer and Inventor

" Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds you down or polishes you up is for you alone to decide."

- Cavett Robert


Quotable Quotes for today

"In every man’s life there lies latent energy. There is, however, a spark that, if kindled, will set the whole being afire, and he will become a human dynamo, capable of accomplishing almost anything to which he aspires."

– James Cash Penney, retailer

I try to live what I consider a "poetic existence." That means I take responsibility for the air I breathe and the space I take up. I try to be immediate, to be totally present for all my work. Thinkexist.com Quotations
- Maya Angelou.

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all".

-Helen Keller


Quotable Quotes for today

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

Helen Keller, 1880-1968, American Blind/Deaf Author and Lecturer

Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open.

Sir James Dewar, 1842-1923, British Chemist and Physicist

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940, American Novelist/Essayist/Playwright


Sing your own Song

"Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable."

-- Brenda Ueland

Great forces are directing you to conform to the patterns of your society. You have DNA that has been handed down from generation to generation, coding repeated behaviour patterns into your being. You have archetypal energies setting the standards for how you behave as a man or a woman, as husband or wife, as father or mother .... You are immersed in consensual reality, whereby the world around you reflects societal understanding of how life has been and is to be.

At the same time, you have an even greater force within you inspiring you to wake up and recognize the reality of who you are. This force, the creative power underlying the entire universe, is urging you to create brand new standards of reality.

The status quo is blind to our creative power. Create a brand new world for yourself, one that meets your deepest needs, and you will help raise the quality of consciousness of the entire world.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

-- Gandhi


Your Priorities...

"What Are Your Priorities Today?"

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do."

-- Kathleen Winsor

When we clearly set an intention, our conscious and subconscious minds mobilize to help us meet that intention. At the start of each day, thoroughly review what commitments you have made to others for the day, and decide what commitment(s) you will make for yourself.

What can you do today that will move you one step closer to your personal goals? Own your power to choose to meet your own needs. After all, we are much better able to help others when our own needs are met. And at the end of the day, when you've honoured your commitment to yourself, acknowledge your success.

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got."

-- Lee Iacocca