You have work to do.

You have goals to reach.

But you’re sitting here, reading this instead of doing the work.
Not that I don’t want you here, but really? Honestly? I only want you here long enough to get some insight, maybe spark an idea, or grab a grain of encouragement.
Then you need to get out of here and get back to your own important work.

Procrastination is going to happen sometimes. But procrastination as a lifestyle, a habit, an ongoing thing is not for you, my friend.

Sometimes – no, many times – I wish I could reach through these words and just sit down and talk with you.

Yes, you.

Because when I see you in the store, catch your eyes on the sidewalk, read that question you send via email, scroll through your semi-camouflaged pleas for help, for encouragement, for somebody to see me on social media, I want so badly to tell you this:

You really, really matter.
What you do really matters.
Who you are matters.
How you live your life matters.
What you decide today matters.

I don’t care if you’re designing logos or writing comics, if you’re upcycling vintage clothes or taking photos or running a marathon or picking play-dough out of your kid’s hair or researching an article or concocting new recipes or writing code or answering customer service calls or currying a horse or weeding a garden or walking down the street, whistling, with no destination in mind.

The “mattering” part does not have anything to do with the perceived value or importance of your work.

You, and what you do and how you do it, matters because you are valuable and important. If you waste your life on procrastination and hesitation and fear and self-doubt and hiding out in a mediocre version of who you could be, you waste yourself: something immensely valuable, unbelievably important.

Don’t pretend that you can foresee how you might matter in someone else’s life, in the world at large. You can’t see that.

You can’t see how a single step you take today might land you, years later, in a place where you can really speak to someone who is hurting, find someone is hiding, or fix something that is broken.

SINCE YOU CAN’T SEE THAT – and you can’t, no matter how great your planning is – you should never, never, never, never, never, never, never judge the value of what you do today based on how important it looks to you.

Or to anyone else.

And since you can’t see that, and you shouldn’t judge value based on what you can’t see, you should do your best possible living right here and now based on this truth:
you matter.
What you do matters.
Who you are matters.
How you live your life matters.
What you decide today matters.

Why are you procrastinating today?
Maybe it is one of these reasons:

  • you feel inadequate
  • you don’t know how to get started
  • you like the tangible results of the small detail work (and you don’t get those immediately with the big value work)
  • you’re afraid you might fail and you hate failure
  • you’re afraid you might succeed and you don’t know what would happen after that
  • you don’t really like what you’re doing
  • you’re not that great, so why bother
  • you tried this once or a thousand times before and it didn’t work

Or maybe it’s one of a thousand other reasons.
The reason doesn’t matter.
The result matters.
When you give in, when you wait, when you hold off, when you put yourself on hold, when you trivialize your work, when you judge yourself as valueless, when you waste your time and energy,
the result is

How much loss?

Who knows.

We can’t calculate that. We can’t calculate it, because we can’t foresee what might have come from what you might have done today.

This reminder isn’t to depress you or wrap you up in guilt. We have all wasted precious time. We have all made poor decisions. We have all listened to self-doubt when we should have just plugged our ears, la la la la laaaaa I can’t hear you, and plugged away at our work no matter how stupid it seemed to us at the time.

What has been lost is lost. But there is no reason that you need to keep on accepting or expanding loss. There is no reason to wait. No fear is big enough to validate the potential loss, the black hole, the void, the negative space you put into the world when you don’t do what you – and you alone – could do, right now.

Do it.
Whatever it is.
However small it seems.

Let that be your new daily habit, the new mantra you hear instead of that negative self-talk that used to fill your brain.

Let your mind dwell on the immensity, the possibility, the value, and the importance that are imbued in you just because you are. Here, now. Able. Breathing.

It’s not arrogance. It’s acceptance: acceptance of responsibility, acceptance of humanity, acceptance of your own potential.

Focus your mind on this idea: every moment has the potential to give gifts or to incur loss.

Then ask: what gift can I give in this moment?

Then give it.

Photo Credit: purpcheese via Compfight cc

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