Archive for June, 2011

Procrastination. We are all guilty of it. We can seem to help ourselves. Sometimes I think procrastination is part of my DNA because no matter what the situation; confronting someone about their less than stellar work performance, or just dealing with a situation I may find uncomfortable, procrastination seems to affect everyone one of us at one time or another. The question is will it stick and be a part of us forever?

Now, I know there will be those out there who will read this post and just laugh. If that is the case, this post is NOT for you. But for the rest of us, the ones who tend to struggle with procrastination or self-discipline at your core level, I write this for you.

I looked up Procrastination in the dictionary and it told me “Procrastination is putting off until tomorrow what you should do today” I absolutely think that definition is very accurate but I would also interject that if procrastination only meant one waited until the next day, I don’t think the problem would be such a problem. To me though, the real issue is the people who put off what should be done today until next year, or worse case, never…those folks are the real concern. Can you imagine waiting a lifetime for someone to take care of something?

Why do people Procrastinate?
I am not a psychologist so I can’t give you reasons for people putting of their responsibility, but I can say, as a manager of people for the last 25 years, many of these folks frankly, don’t take care of what should be taken care of because they struggle mightily with self-discipline (or they are just lazy). I get to watch them everyday. Why is it that someone will only do enough to meet the bare minimum of responsibility, or wait until the last possible moment to turn in what is required of them?I see this problem coming down to personal organization or personal distractions like maybe a difficult home life or worse yet, they are just that “way”. Procrastinator, lazy, or all of the above.

Now we all know someone who fits my description. Sometimes we even find it funny, like our roommate in college who made a living with “just in time”papers to the professor, but he was only able to accomplish this with regular all night coffee binges the night before. When I hear a story like this I ask myself why…? Why is a little self-discipline so hard to accomplish for some people? Vance Havner said, “The alternative to self-discipline is disaster” and I agree with him. Continued complacency towards the future will result is just that…a disaster.

Remember that our success, in any endeavor, depends on the passion we bring to it, like our families or our place of work. God has created a world where your diligence is rewarded and laziness is not. Yes…you heard me correctly, God does NOT reward laziness, misbehavior, or apathy. Instead, he expects us to behave with dignity and self-discipline but what I have found, there isn’t much of those qualities around when you need them.

Proverbs 23:12 says to, Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge, and 2 Peter 1:5-6 tells us, For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness. God’s word is very clear to us; We must exercise self-discipline in all things and NOT put off our responsibilities until tomorrow…

Guys I encourage you to NOT procrastinate but to go out and put in a hard days work because you know it’s the right thing. When you do, you are on your way to a life of character and self discipline…a great place to be…

Until next time…

Many years ago I heard an athlete, who had just lost a huge game, being interviewed by a reporter. This reporter asked the tough question “So what’s it going to be like living with all the regret of losing this big game?” The athlete immediately snapped back, “regret!, I don’t have any regret, I left it all on the field…” I know all of us have heard that expression before but I found it to be a very good preface for this particular blog. Regret…tough word for some of us because of broken relationships or worse yet, maybe a harsh word spoken to a parent that is now deceased…Words that can never be taken back…Very painful…Regret at it’s highest level of pain…

Along this same thought, I found this article recently written by a hospice nurse who compiled this list of the top 5 regrets that people confess on their death-bed. She wrote this last year but frankly, this one to be timeless because it affects everyone. When I read this article…it caused me to think and that is exactly the reason I am sharing it with you…Please consider these 5 regrets as you live your own life…

By Bonnie Ware

1.   I wish I’d had the courage to live life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to
choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try to honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2.   I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed
deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3.    I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a
result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly,in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4.     I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks,love and relationships.

5.    I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them
pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Guys, please do what you can to make peace with your past. Remember the words of Isaiah in Chapter 43:18-19,

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing, Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

While you are all still on this earth, and young enough to make things right…humble yourself and do just that…as someone who has lost a child, you never know what your future holds. I will tell you this…It takes a bigger man to be humble and do the right thing, than to walk away all puffed up…

Do whatever you can to avoid living your life without regret…Leave it ALL on the field of life…

Until next time, God Bless You