I Can… I Will… Part 2

Leadership

Were you ever asked a question, the answer to which was so obvious, that you just knew there had to be a catch?

Sometimes I hate those questions, and other times I love them… here is one that I remember from years ago.

“So there are two frogs sitting on a log and one decides to jump off… how many are left?” a friend asked.

“Uh… one…,” came my response, followed immediately by his exclamation, “WRONG!”

As I said, sometimes I really hate those questions :)

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My friend then explained that DECIDING to do something and ACTUALLY DOING IT can be mutually exclusive events. In fact, the doing could come years later, and often comes NOT AT ALL.

Hmm… so there were still two frogs sitting there after all.

Who knew? The truth is, the stories I REALLY don’t like are the ones where, as the listener, you suddenly realize you’re the frog… but alas, I digress.

But this is important.

I spoke in the previous article about the first key to success being the belief that we CAN achieve whatever it is we want to achieve, and the second and more critical component being the DECISION to act.

But like our little frog friend, there can be a huge disparity between the decision to act… and the acting itself.

In fact, it wasn’t until some time later that I realized that belief in our ability to achieve, and the resolve to some day act on that belief, are present in virtually every dream that was ever accomplished, and… in all those dreams that weren’t.

That’s right… the belief and resolve are often present in the goals and dreams that sit idle… that want for action.

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Procrastination is a dream stealer… a powerful force that keeps frogs on logs and people in ruts.

Simply put, nothing gets done… when nothing gets done.

So there is a third component… the act of taking action. To be sure, until we are doing, we are dreaming only. And if we never get around to acting, that dream may be better identified as an hallucination :)

Not good.

So what then? Certainly, the I CAN spirit is necessary… as in, I CAN do this thing! Likewise, the I WILL component is critical… as in, I know that I CAN and have now decided that I WILL do this thing!

Finally, there is just one way to push it forward, and that is to act. Success in any endeavor begins to taste real when we put away the “should’s” and “some days”, the “gonna’s” and “going to’s”, and honestly proclaim, “This is what I AM currently doing!”

I Can… I Will… I Am.

“Don’t tell me what you’re going to do,” a mentor once prodded. “Tell me what you’ve done, and what you are doing now… period.”

P-e-r-i-o-d… depending on the context, I sometimes don’t like that term either… but I’m learning :)

I look forward to speaking with you.

 
Photo Credit:

Clearly Ambiguous

8 thoughts on “I Can… I Will… Part 2

  1. After a month of immersing myself into the study of procrastination I’ve found that while people may think logically that they have some ACTIONS to work on, their subconscious is not always in alignment with what they have to do. Let me explain.

    People and I will say MOST people do things because of pleasure and pain. They will also repeat the things that they find most familiar, over and over. So once they start something, their subconscious kicks in and tells them to act or avoid something because of something associated with pain or pleasure. If your conscious efforts are to do the exact opposite, they are not in alignment. First, if the conscious effort is pleasurable, you will literally sabotage your own efforts; unfortunately you may not even realize it. Second, if the task is talking with people, you may hesitate, not show the confidence you should, subconsciously worry about the pain that occurred in the past or project pain into the future, or otherwise appear conflicted. People recognize this and your success in asking and finding out more about someone is diminished greatly.

    I can’t explain how to align these things in a few sentences but what I can add and something Steve alluded to is that you have to live in the PRESENT. Don’t worry about the past, you have no control, and don’t project what will happen to the future, it has not occurred yet. There are also ways to get your subconscious in alignment but takes repeated reconditioning over time.

    Thanks Steve!

  2. Hey Chris, I often think back to a conversation we had some time ago in which you stated, in effect, that people will often choose UNHAPPINESS over UNCERTAINTY.

    As you know, when we are not achieving the results we want in any area of our lives, change is required. And as you have so often articulated, Chris… change means uncertainty. While it may be true that uncertainty is vastly overrated and is quite illogical (the negative we fear seldom materializes), many still view the unknown as more painful than the present condition with which they are unhappy.

    I would love to hear your expanded thoughts on this topic, Chris, and look forward to speaking with you soon! – Steve

  3. I’ve been immersed in the act of procrastination, itself. Has reached a very disappointing peak in my life. Thanks so much for the article, as well as the comments. The food for thought is just what I needed!

  4. Hi Deb,

    Always so great to hear from you and, of course, you’re welcome for the article and the comments.

    So, what is going on… or should I say, what is NOT going on that you wish WAS going on? We can talk here or maybe send me an email sometime. I’m just thinking it would be great to see those “disappointing peaks” in the rear view mirror from now on… in all our lives, really.

    I hope you have a truly terrific rest of your day, and look forward to hearing from you – Steve

  5. Thanks so much for your concern, Steve.

    Basically, my woes are a likely a bi-product of the current economy… not happy with employment options any longer (even though the last year HAS been a very educational adventure), which greatly affects income and everything else that trickles down from that. So, am in the same boat as many people right now. And, I do have many, many blessings in my life.

    Regardless, have developed a nasty pattern of complete lack of motivation outside of work. This is SO not me. But, it is becoming the new me and I do not like it. Have always been able to pick myself up by my bootstraps when life gets tough, but am having trouble finding my boots these days…….

    At any rate, your article was very timely for me. Procrastination has been my middle name for far too long!

  6. You’re welcome, Deb…

    BTW, just my opinion but I believe the very fact that you’ve identified what you don’t like and are not content with certain aspects of life separates you from many of those people in that other boat (you know, the one that looks like it’s sinking).

    The other good news is that those patterns or habits you descibed can be changed very quickly… do you have anyone that can hold you accountable in a loving/supportive kind of way?

  7. Thanks for the upbeat perspective and your belief that I can quickly change this thing that frustrates me.

    I do have a support network that will hold me accountable, but have not ever mentioned this particular situation as it is a bit embarrassing……….so, have chosen to post it on a website….HMmmmmm. I turn to you… not only because of the timely article… but because you strike me as someone that is very self-motivated.

    What do you suggest? Right now, I am my own worst enemy… something to which I am not accustomed. How can I light a fire under my own derriere?!

  8. On September 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm, Deb said “…it is a bit embarrassing……….so, have chosen to post it on a website…”

    I LOVE IT…!!! But now, Deb, everyone will see your picture with your post and know that… oh, I see… I think you’re safe :)

    Planning a series of articles on this exact topic… but let’s… not… wait… for… that.

    Deb, let’s talk. Traveling and available at (920) 288-2540 on Wednesday from 9am-noon and 8-11pm CDT. If those hours don’t work, write, call, text or send a smoke signal with a more convenient time!

    To lighting fires,

    Steve :)

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