Welcome to Hard Talk. I'm Isaiah. You're here for the hard truth and I'm here to give it to you.
You have two choices in life. Push daily to improve yourself or settle for mediocrity. There is no third option.
Why is it so easy to procrastinate? Even on goals you really want to achieve? Studies show that procrastination is partly genetic, but it's also partly choice. Here's an interesting fact. By choosing to be positive mentally, you can protect yourself against procrastination. That's right. People who develop a positive mental attitude about what they're able to accomplish, about their strengths and about life in general, are less likely to procrastinate.
Negative people, on the other hand, are more likely to procrastinate. Look, too many people live to do nothing. They're constantly searching for ways to do nothing. These people tell themselves that they deserve a break or that resting is healthy. Of course, resting in terms of sleep or getting a massage or going for a walk is healthy, but playing video games or watching reality TV is not. You do not need to play video games to recharge your brain.
The only way to get what you really want in life is to stop procrastinating and start taking action. Here are three strategies for protecting yourself against procrastination.
First, stop setting limited goals. Look, you have false beliefs about what you can do and about what you can't do. You've been trained to believe that you don't have the connections you need. You've been trained to believe that you don't have the money you need.
In fact, you've been trained to believe that you're too old or too out of time or not talented enough and these limitations are holding you back from achieving your full potential in life. Other people are not responsible for these limiting beliefs. Other people are not responsible for your self-doubt. You are. You're limiting yourself and the only way to break through these self-imposed limits is to set bigger goals for your life, to take on bigger challenges. Setting goals that seem beyond your reach and in contradiction with your self-imposed limitations will force you to overcome these limitations.
They'll force you outside of your comfort zone. Stretching yourself will force you to be creative and do things that you didn't think were possible for yourself previously. When you set a goal that's far beyond your current reach, you end up pushing your limits and even if you don't reach it, you succeed. Quit playing it safe. Start taking risks. Set a giant goal. When that scares you and fills you with energy by setting it, this will protect you against procrastination.
Second, deconstruct your goals. Rushing in and blinding attacking your goals is stupid. It's stupid because it's blind. Blind, unmeasured action leads to burnout, which leads to procrastination and eventually quitting. Most people see something they really want and start obsessing over it. They obsess on what they want but pay no attention to how to actually obtain it. This is a recipe for failure. If you want to be successful in life, you must start considering how you're going to achieve the things you want.
The most effective way to do this is to define your ultimate goal, the biggest goal related to what you want to achieve, and then work backward to achieve it. Working backward means deconstructing or breaking apart your endpoint. Stop fantasizing about what you want and start mapping out how you're actually going to get it. Sit down and create a master plan for what it will take to achieve your biggest goal.
Set a realistic, but the ambitious time frame in which you need to accomplish it. Then plot out what you need to do every month, every week and then every day to make sure it happens. By working backward in this way, you can achieve big things. Third, throw away your short-term goals. Small, little short-term goals hold you back from your long-term goals. As counter-intuitive as it seems, short-term goals cause you to procrastinate.
When you focus on your daily to-do lists, your email inbox, and your weekly calendar, you distract yourself from the bigger things you're trying to achieve. Too many people do this. Too many people obsess over their daily schedules, trying to pack in as much as they can in every twenty-four hour period. Then these same people go around telling others how crazy busy they are. They complain and brag in equal parts as they spew out all the reasons they are exhausted, but the real reason they're exhausted is that they're suffocating from their own short-term goals.