How to Overcome Procrastination – Part 3

This is part 3 of my 5-part series on How to Overcome Procrastination.

Lack of Desire, 1st Root Cause of Procrastination

Procrastination happens because there is a lack of desire. For example, someone who procrastinates on his work because he lacks the passion for it. Someone who procrastinates going to a networking event because he is not interested in networking.

What should you do then to get a never-ending flow of desire? By living in alignment with your higher self. There are two key ways to do this:

  1. Follow your inner desires. What is it you love to do? What excites you the most? These are the things you should be doing – not things you don’t enjoy doing. The more you follow your desires, the more connected you become with your inner self, and the more aligned you become in your thoughts and actions. This results in an ongoing force that springs you forward endlessly and grows larger and larger every day.
  2. Live in alignment with your values. What are your values in life? What are the most important qualities or attributes? Use them as the navigational compass in the decisions and steps you make. Again, living in line with your values lets you become more connected with your inner self.

My Example with School and Work

Secondary school years of late 1990s

My life growing up was a journey in the alignment of my desires. When I was in secondary school, I was largely disinterested toward studies. I was much more interested in developing my interest in web and graphic designing. This led to procrastination for the most part on anything related to studies. To be honest, I barely ever paid attention, touched my school books nor did much preparation for the tests/exams. There was a point where I hated school and would avoid going to school by feigning illnesses or making up some reason! Needless to say, I underperformed in my academics compared to what I could have done.

My underperformance in academia led me to experience what it meant to be labeled and discriminated against in a meritocratic society, where students, teachers and society alike would make conclusions on one’s ability and worth based on just grades alone. Being a social misfit was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Not only that, it was disjointing to be disregarded for what I considered to be one of my core values – excellence. At that particular point I was living in alignment with this value through web/graphic designing, but not academia.

Junior college years – 2001-2002

When I was in junior college, I realized my procrastination toward studies had to be addressed. My strategy for addressing it was via channeling into my value of excellence – by striving for academia excellence. Even if I wasn’t fully interested in what I was studying, I was definitely passionate about achieving excellence. This worked out well. While I would still feel some inertia toward studies, it wasn’t to the same extent as before as in secondary school.

University years – 2003-2006

In University, I entered the course of my choice – Business. In addition to my inherent desire to excel, I was now studying something I was interested in. This naturally led to a marked increase in my interest toward studies. 🙂 The interest level led me to be more proactive, vocal and energized through the coursework. Every step along the way, I was met with positive results and these results would simply reinforce my interest level. All-in-all, procrastination became hardly an issue, with the exception of certain modules which I was not interested in (Finance being one of them). There was hardly a moment I could remember where I wanted to avoid school work. I honestly enjoyed my whole varsity life.

In my corporate job – 2006-2008

When I entered my ex-company in brand management, the alignment with my desires became even stronger. It being one of my two choice employers (the other being consulting) made me very ecstatic – I was eager to work there develop myself as an individual.

As such, my passion was strong – I never dreaded work, I loved everything I was doing and I always put my 110% in everything I did. While people would talk about Monday Blues and the like, I never saw work as work. Honestly, if you truly enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t even think of it as work at all. In fact, I associated ‘work’ with fun and joy 😀 . I often worked late every day and even over the weekends because I wanted to. Nothing ever came across as an obligation.

However, things changed toward the end of the 2 years. As I grew more and more as a person, my passion to help others grow consciously became stronger and stronger. Since my work wasn’t the best channel to express this passion,  I experienced signs of procrastination toward my job. The internal alarms inside me went off. In my years of experience from dealing with dread/procrastination to living in a state of flow, I knew enough to know that if I were to ever feel dread toward something, it was a clear signal to reevaluate my situation.

Personal development work – 2009 to Present

Eventually, I quit my day job in ’08 to pursue my passion in full force. With this one act, I have become more aligned with my inner self than ever before. From there on, every step I take – whether it’s starting the blog, doing coaching, speaking or most recently, setting up my personal excellence school – is a conscious move toward increasing that alignment even further.

For the same reason, procrastination has become a distant memory of my past. In the instances where I do experience procrastination, it’s primarily due to fear which is the second underlying cause of procrastination. Read on more about fear in part four of the series.

This is part 3 of my 5-part series on How to Overcome Procrastination.