The procrastination loop, 5Qs – 5As

Do you ever feel unable to break the loop of not seeing your top priority through?

As if procrastination was an outside force you have no control over?

So many theories to overcome it, methods, to-do apps, strategies and yet when you enter the loop, it feels almost impossible to break out.

Children till the start of teen hardly ever procrastinate. They do forget tasks but not in procrastination. They will complete their top priority task at the first chance they get. This is because their time continuum is not as tight as ours. We see tomorrow connected to today, our perception of time is different to that of a child.

Children see everyday as an opportunity, as a new beginning. They die every night to be born again the next morning new. An adult only gets that feeling in life-transitioning events; a long journey, an imminent lifestyle change, a recovery from an unfortunate event, change of job etc.

In normal life most of the people resemble a puppet with actions limited by the constrains of our repetitive reality.

So,

Q1 •Can I break the procrastination loop?

– Not without changing your life. You cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results”

Q2 •Is there a loophole to escape from?

– Yes there is. Introduce pressure as a variable in your life. Not as a form of a random stress factor but as a personal agenda to achieving a goal, or walking on a path.

Q3 •I’ve tried self-applied pressure in that form and doesn’t work, i revert to procrastination. How should i proceed?

– Try again but this time remove back-tracking from the equation. Visualize a one-way street that only leads to completion of the task. Think of it as a game’s mission you need to complete so you can move to the next level.

Q4 •This doesn’t work either, i have tried every possible configuration and I always backtrack to doing nothing of the things i want to do. Now what??

– Accept your life as it is and remove all personal conquering thoughts from your mind. Clear out your goals and dreams, your missions and paths. Just be in the “here and now” with no expectation or anticipation. There is no shame in that kind of living.

Q5 •I understand a holistic life change will be helpful but it will affect those tied to my life. What if i loose them?

– If those close to you leave as a result of your actions to better yourself, it is obvious their feelings for you are not healthy. Let them leave.

The most important thing is not to allow procrastination render you incapable. It’s not an inability to perform the task, it’s just a block. Imagine a clamped car wheel; it has the ability to spin, it’s the clamp that does not allow it to.

5 Tips to Tame your Sensitivity

Become able to manage your sensitivity instead of pushing it down or letting it run wild and gain wisdom in almost every situation. An untamed sensitivity is the route to feeling inadequate, rejected and depressed as oversensitivity hones the threat of leading you into a neurotic pattern as a means of defense from a self attributed hostile world.

Being able to feel what others feel has the inherent risk of letting too much inside resulting into loosing your inner self.

This is what the easterners call opening and closing the heart chakra at will and is all as difficult as it sounds.

1 • Remember your personal status. Easy to get lost in someone else’s world, specially if this is a significant other; friend, child, spouse, sibling. Remind yourself that you are a separate entity with a life of your own.

2 • Focus on your goals. Keeping your thing(s) at aim helps you back on your path. Remember your goals when you find yourself astray

3 • Observe others behavior and point the differences out to yourself. We associate so much with the people close in our life that to some extend we assume we do things the same. We don’t; focus on these differences when you find yourself consumed by the other person’s existence/behavior.

4 • Practice all the above as a return-to-base methods and not as a standard procedure. If you maintain focus to yourself and pay too much attention to differences you wont even reach the necessary sensitivity to feel the other person, let alone needing to escape the threat of becoming oversensitive.

5 • Finally, drop the reflex interaction. Most of the time we overcompensate when interacting with those close. We don’t really listen to them as our “pre-cooked” response has become our only one. This puts us in a viscous cycle of conditioned behavior that seriously hinders communication on both sides.

This is a demanding practice and if your EQ is rusty or if you have been towards the live-and-let-die side of life you need to forget all these and simply open up; the above steps are when you have opened up so much that you cannot find yourself any more.

Molecular Choice Set

“You control every aspect of your life on a molecular level”

What does that mean? It means momentary decisions define the course of your life and because these are tiny fractions of the whole, you hardly ever notice them. For this reason we often wonder: “how did things reach here..?”; well obviously not on their own. Fleeting momentary decisions set us on the course that generates each situation. Problem is we didn’t see these moments nor were we aware of the decisions.

Let’s put that in a common real life scenario; am fed up with my work and in a moment of enlightenment i decide after many years of silence to go beyond my predictable response and claim my life. I visualize starting fresh, traveling the world, living in different places, working for the next day and many other things that my existing standardized lifestyle deems impossible. This feeling of freedom lasts only for a few moments and if i decide to act on it, I will set the cogs in motion and will bring change to my life.

In these transcendence moments we truly steer our life and go beyond the realm of our predictability.

decision

After that moment of choice has occurred there are still 2 variables that can bring the whole thing down.

The first is our ego and the second is time.

Start backtracking and overthinking where you should not and you will numb all your potential. The mind creates barriers when a realistic departure from our seemingly safe comfort zone is in sight. Feed these barriers with fear and disbelief and your empowered choice will start to loose all its lure.

Time is very important. If it takes too long to act, you will eventually end up living the thing in your head finally doing nothing. Once wholeheartedly decided, you need to act swiftly without additional thinking or external influence; otherwise is like revving the car engine without ever put it in gear.

Reaching Out – parent VS child

My parenthood experience is limited to 10y. Combine this with my extensive childhood experience which spans to the present day since my parents are still in this world, i can report one thing with confidence: Whenever you feel a distance growing between you and your kids, it is your responsibility as a parent to reach out to them. The longer you wait the longer the distance will grow. Some times parent feel like keeping their ground as a method for kids to understand where they’ve gone wrong.

IMG_1344.JPG

This approach is not fruitful, distant behavior from parents’ side will not pass any messages to the kids; it will push them away into an introvert defense. Even if th

ere was a point to pass through in the first place it will end up vanishing all together. As time passes in distance, the only point a child will receive is that of indifference.

It might feel beyond your power, or a spoiling move but when you begin to doubt whether you should continue in distance or reach out for one more time, then you need to swallow your pride and reach out. Even If nothing happens and the gap does not bridge you will at least feel some closure knowing you have gone all the way, selflessly.

Forcing the timing, 5+1 pitfalls

Forcing an action or an outcome before its time has more negative traits in the process than the gain of a successful outcome.

• If this happens once every now and then is ok. Everybody has fallen in the trap of shaking the tree before the fruit is ready. You might finally get the fruit to fall but you will be too exhausted to enjoy or you might have sacrificed a tree branch in the process.

• If this is your pattern of doing things then is not ok. You need to realize it and alter it.

IMG_1651

Here is what the process of forcing outcomes in the wrong timing creates

1 • It is a fun-kill. We make so much effort we forget to pay attention to anything else

2 • It increases the risk of failure. Fruit doesn’t fall, am keep trying in frustration

3 • It creates an imbalance on the effort vs time vs outcome ratio

4 • The above reduces the value of the goal. As we try and try fruitless, we begin to question if that goal really deserves all the effort. Even if we do reach the goal while the effort has been in the discomfort zone, the overall experience won’t be gratifying.

5 • All the above create a feeling of inadequacy as we constantly find ourselves in the overdoing zone in order to achieve things that don’t even fulfill us as much as we thought they would.

So what is the right approach? (if there is such thing in life…)

The simplest and easiest one (we repeatedly tend to overlook): shake the branch till you see that the fruit does not want to come down. Then move on to another branch till you find a fruit that is ready. Don’t fall in the pit of creating attachment to a beautifully shaped fruit that after shaking the crap out of it still hangs in pride. This can easily make you loose yourself and all perspective resulting even in cutting down the whole tree for that one goal. Make no mistake, you might think that specific fruit is all you will ever want from the whole tree, but this is an illusion. Anything you have sacrificed everything for, is guaranteed not to fulfill you.

Relationship Balance: The Most Common Reason to Fall-out

Imagine a romantic relationship as a car where you and your partner travel by. You need to keep it running in good condition for the relationship to stand.

So, you find a partner and get in that new van you just bought together. The tank is full and you start driving. Things run smoothly as you take turns both in refueling and driving. As your traveling continues and the relationship grows, you get to know each other better and start helping each other out; one takes the wheel more, other refuels few times in a row or handles service arrangements. That is fine and benign, partners in life ought to help each other unconditionally yet in the long run this practice reveals a thin line between conditional & unconditional contribution. Once the line is blurred you find yourself counting refills, drive turns and service costs in frustration. It’s then you need to reassess the situation and redistribute responsibilities before the blurring line disappears completely. Sometimes you even need to repurpose the whole bigger picture for the relationship to balance out and the line to appear again.

The most common mistake couples make is spending too much time in the blur area which translates in day-to-day situational frustration that results in harbouring negative energy for each other. Then a random and usually insignificant event triggers a car crash where you exit the vehicle and try to fix it in order to continue your traveling. When the relationship reaches that point more contribution from both parties is needed at an already difficult time which complicates things even more. Few couples manage to fix the van and continue traveling and even fewer manage to continue with the same spirit they had before the crash.

Avoid crashing the car, acknowledge the situation and act before it escalates.

Couple-Driving-in-Car-600x400

Image by Charleston-based wedding photography

Faith: The bicycle analogy.

Our measure-anything/count-everything society has made faith an impossible practice. We have been conditioned to think of faith as a don’t-know-where-to-start-from exotic element only practiced by gurus.
That’s simply wrong. Faith can be practiced every second of the day on anything that happens. It’s not about religion, nor requires you to be master Yoda. It only needs letting go of the illusion of control. Then you live in faith.
By letting go I don’t mean inactivity, apathy or isolation. It’s more like riding a bike. You are in control, yet this is done by keeping the right speed and a fluid motion.
You don’t keep the bike upward, you create the conditions for it to do that. That’s the main issue we overcome when learning to ride.
We struggle to keep the bike up by falsely trying to control it and the more we try the more it refuses to stay up. The second we let go, the bikes just rolls away!
Undeniably one of the most memorable feelings in someone’s life. Not only because riding per se is a liberating feeling, but also because our letting go into an untested state of fluid momentum is so unexpectedly rewarded.
And this is the exact case in life. Faith does not have a point of belief, a God, a Human, an Icon, a situation. It is that fluid momentum when we let go, things just work and life happens.
—————————————————————————————————