We've all said it at one time or another. "Someday I'll ... go back to school, ask for a raise, improve my skills so I can be promoted, find a new job, start saving for our future."
What is your version of "Someday I'll...?"
Well, my friend, let me be the first to inform you that today is that someday you've been waiting for.
There Is No Better Time Than Now
A quotation that was popular in the 196os reminded us that "today is the first day of the rest of your life." This quote could be seen on T-shirts, posters, and signs everywhere. (I'm not sure who actually stated it, but it's been attributed to Bob Dylan.)
There will never be a better time to begin whatever project you've been wanting to undertake. The reason is simple. Now is the only time there is and the only time there ever will be. As the title of one of my other books reminds us, What Are You Waiting For? It's Your Life.
"Someday I'll..." is Procrastination in Action
We all tend to use the "Someday I'll..." excuse as a way to delude ourselves into believing that we will, one day soon, study for the promotion test or go back to school, when, in fact, all we're doing is procrastinating — probably out of a fear of not succeeding.
We do things for basically one of two reasons: we either want to gain pleasure or avoid pain. That's it, folks. Everything we do breaks down to one or, more likely, a combination of these two emotional states.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
So how do you change this dynamic? The best way to motivate yourself is quite simple. Take control of what is sometimes referred to as the "carrot and the stick"— the perceived pain and pleasure connected to your action.
Let's say, for example, that you want to complete your education. What will it mean for your career and overall happiness if you do? Imagine how great it will feel. What will you gain in terms of your earning ability and future work prospects? How will you feel? This is the "carrot," the pleasure motivator. On the other side of the equation, because I feel they're both useful at different times, is the "stick," or pain motivator. Imagine what you would be missing out on if you didn't complete your education.
Looking Forward to Twenty-Years in Your Future
When I did this assessment for my health and fitness it was easy to gain leverage. One morning I sat quietly, eyes closed, and projected out twenty years. I then imagined what my life would be like if I continued to eat unhealthy food and to ignore physical exercise.
Believe me when I tell you that what I saw scared me. I realized that if I didn't change my habits, I was looking at a depressing future. I then imagined how I would feel not only twenty years out but also in the immediate future... if I took action immediately.
I remember that day as if it were yesterday, even though it was more than twenty years ago. After taking a few minutes to write in my journal the result of my carrot-and-stick exercise so I could refer to it and stay motivated, I got up, put on a pair of sneakers, and started an exercise program that I've pretty much stayed with since.
Sure, I may slack off since I'm only human, but I am always aware of my diet and exercise choices and have remained committed to my health since that day.
Whatever it is you want to do "someday," begin it today.
Activity Steps: Taking Action
Take a few minutes and write out your desire(s). Sit quietly and imagine that you took action and it's now ten or twenty years into the future. Then, answer the following questions in your journal.
What are all the benefits you've enjoyed because you acted today?
What have you been able to do because of this action?
What has it meant to your family and community?
Next, do the reverse.
What has the fact that you didn't take action cost you?
What is it already costing you now? Chances are that your not doing something has some unpleasant consequence in the present as well.
I think you can guess the next step.
Begin! For, as Goethe said, "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"
©2014 by Jim Donovan. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.
www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
About the Author
Jim Donovan speaks regularly to employees and executives at small businesses and large corporations. He is a frequent media guest and expert source on personal development, business success, and the spiritual laws that develop both. His previous books include Handbook to a Happier Life and What Are You Waiting For? It’s Your Life. Visit his website at http://www.jimdonovan.com
Watch a video with Jim Donovan: Why Elephants Don't Run Away
Watch another video: Reclaim Your Power