Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If Not Now, When?

Photo by Jon Newman
Procrastination Rules

We live in a really schizophrenic society in regard to wanting certain things in life immediately and then, on the flip side, dragging our feet in other life areas. There's no consistent behavior across the board. On the one hand, we have a culture in which instant oatmeal and microwave popcorn are popular food items because they're super fast and easy. When we need a quick breakfast or late night snack, we don't like to wait. We want our food, NOW! Or, if we're in a hurry to replace our old washer and dryer or a family van that has a few problems with it, then we don't hesitate to run out and do a 90 days same as cash deal for the latest and greatest home appliances or take out a 7-year car loan to replace the old and busted van.

On the other hand, we also have a tendency to drag our feet in other areas of life. Many times, these are important areas that need to be addressed...and we know it. But, we deliberately drag our feet in making an executive decision or taking action. We know we need to get moving on these certain areas, but we fail to pull the trigger and get things going.

I'm Staring At The Man In The Mirror

The biggest life areas of procrastination, in my opinion, are in the arena of personal life change. Each and every one of us has certain issues in our lives that need to be addressed. We can stare at ourselves in the proverbial mirror knowing that we need to change our ways. Maybe we need to shed a bunch of weight because we've just been plain ol' lazy in the areas of diet and exercise. Or, we need to our personal finances in order bcause we've been really sloppy in this this area. Or, we have a bunch of excess stuff in our house that we need to sort through, and then throw away, give away, or sell. Or, we need to be more consistent with doing a monthly budget and working our debt snowball. I'm sure all of us have a mental list of things we need to quit procrastinating about and take action.

Fear is probably our biggest obstacle when it comes to making some major, life changes. We have a fear of how much time and energy it's going to take to get in better physical shape. Or, worse yet, we fear what people will think of us, if and when we fail. We're fearful if we get back into doing the whole budget, debt free, "I love Dave Ramsey" thing, that it's going to cause more money fights and money problems with our spouse. All of these fears are definitely genuine and in the realm of possibility when you take action in order to accomplish some great thing(s) in your life.

Create A Compelling Future

The most effective tool in helping us move past our procrastination and into action would seem to be creating a compelling future. We need to have such an incredible, forward looking vision that this vision pulls us toward it. We take the appropriate actions necessary to create that future because we can't wait to get to that new, exciting time in our lives.

In his book Awaken the Giant Within, author Anthony Robbins gave this example of the power of creating a compelling future:
Venerable funnyman George Burns understands the importance and power of a compelling future. When asked to sum up his philosophy of life, he once replied, "You have to have something to get you out of bed. I can't do anything in bed, anyway. The most important thing is to have a point, a direction you're headed." Now in his nineties, he's still sharpening his wit, still taking on movie and TV projects, and I recently heard that he booked himself at the Lodon Palladium in the year 2000, when he'll be 104 years old - how's that for creating a compelling future?! (p. 321).
So, what's your compelling future? What's your vision of a "better life?" Christian, has God given you a vision and calling that He wants you to get moving on? Allow this vision, this compelling future to pull you forward into taking the actions necessary in order to see that future unfold in your life.

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