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The Now Habit

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I’m not even in the middle of this audiobook, but I just learned a comparison the author made that I really wanted to share before I finish with it.

Imagine you’re given the task of crossing a board about 30 feet long, 4 inches thick and 1 foot wide placed on the ground. Would you dare? Of course everybody would, and it actually seems a pretty easy and risk less task to undertake.

Take that same board, and place it connecting 2 buildings at 60 feet height. Now, would you dare?

Crossing the board represents tasks that we’re given to accomplish, but that often our minds tricks us putting that board on top of a building encouraging us to procrastinate because of the possibility of not performing perfectly the task. Isn’t that how you face, for example, filling in the annual income tax declaration? So hard to get it right, that you think you can’t do it?

Leave the board where it is, and now imagine that the building at the end you’re at is on fire. Would you dare to cross it now? I tell you what I would do: I would get a grip on the edges of that board and would slither across it and meet the other end in 30 seconds. The fire, is the quickly approaching deadline to accomplisg the task that we only realize after a long procrastination, making us rush and forget about perfectionism and do whatever it takes to accomplish the task.

What if at the other end, you see your little child crying for help? Sometimes, we’re also driven by emotional feelings besides deadlines.

And now, think that 3 feet bellow the board there is a strong net placed to safeguard your crossing. You sure would like to cross it and would even make fun if you fell and bounce on the net. In reality, this is just what it is for most of the tasks we procrastinate: we don’t need to wait until near the deadline to rush rubbing yourself over the board to the other end, nor we need to be teased emotionally. You placed that board on top of that building, and falling isn’t going to kill you. Often, you’ll find a net to hold and bounce you back when you fail.

Never forget this: successful people are those who fail and learn from their mistakes. While people that never try, never fail… but also never learns.

I’m pretty sure that perfectionism isn’t the only cause for procrastination. But if you feel that this is your problem, then just remember that the board is on the ground.

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