Why You Should Procrastinate
The least commercially viable piece of self-help advice ever…
There are over 3500 self-help books published yearly along with courses and seminars ranging from $5 to $50,000 that are supposedly money-back guaranteed to make you a more empowered, productive, and happier version of yourself. Amidst this fury of commercialism, I would like to present the least monetizable piece of self-help advice you will probably ever hear…
Ignore your problems.
In the movie Limitless, at one point the main character narrates…
“There are very few problems in this world that forty million dollars won’t fix.”
Now your goals probably will not net you $40 million in the immediate future, but if your goals are ambitious (and I assume they are if you follow Limitless Mindset), then accomplishing them should fix a lot of your problems. Time, money, and resources spent working towards big goals will almost always yield a greater ROI than time, money, and resources spent fixing problems. Structure your goals and vision for life in such a way that your problems are fixed as a by-product or side effect of reaching them.
History is not impressed by your problems…
- Lance Armstrong won the Tour De France seven times despite lung, brain, and testicular cancer.
- Stephen Hawking became one of the world’s foremost physicists, despite being paralyzed since his 20s by Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- Ludwig van Beethoven became one of the great composers in history, despite going deaf after age 26.
- Bethany Hamilton was a world-class surfer, despite having one of her arms missing due to a shark attack.
- Howard Hughes was an aviation pioneer and one of the wealthiest men in the world despite chronic pain and severe OCD.
- JFK became the President of the United States at a young age and saved the world from a nuclear holocaust despite being a constantly sick man; suffering from severe chronic back pain, urinary tract infections, colitis, and severe mood swings resulting from his addiction to amphetamines.
A personal example…
A major problem that I faced early in my career as a small business owner was that I did not have a driver’s license and was facing a very complicated, expensive, and time-consuming process to get it back (this was due to unpaid speeding tickets, NOT to drinking and driving or any other serious criminal offense).
Consulting at client sites, sales meetings with prospects, coordinating events, outside sales, and the other activities that fill the day of a small business person were very challenging to do without a car. I walked many miles and spent more time than I care to admit waiting in the cold at bus stops and light rail stations. Eventually, this taught me to work more efficiently, schedule my meetings geographically, and task batch my transportation-requiring tasks. At the time, I strongly reconsidered the decision to go into business for myself, questioning whether it would just be better to wait to get my license back before I did the whole entrepreneur thing.
Instead, I ignored my issues with my driver’s license and focused on entrepreneurship. Eventually, the networking and business skills I acquired brought me a deal with an attorney who was very skilled in resolving driver’s license issues. This attorney saved me a huge amount of time, headache, and at least several thousand dollars in getting my license back. This was a case where procrastinating paid off.
Should you procrastinate?
This is an advanced mindset for people who think critically and analytically, taken to the extreme it could be quite destructive actually. Think of a person who ignores a serious health problem that kills them before they accomplish their goals. There are times when small problems can grow into bigger problems and there are times when small problems stay small and can be stamped out by accomplishing your goals.
How do you tell the difference? Get some expert opinions on the matter first. Knowledgeable doctors, attorneys, authors, or consultants are often willing to give a free or affordable initial consultation or opinion on whatever problem you are considering blowing off. Unless your problems present a health risk to you or significantly hold you back from accomplishing your goals, consider blowing them off or delegating them to someone else.
An introspective question
At your funeral are people going to praise you for…
Always paying your bills on time?
Always responding to emails promptly?
Always changing your car’s oil when it needed to be changed?
Getting your yearly check up at the dentist on time?
Getting good grades in school?
Doubtful. They will praise you for taking risks and going for the big goals that were important to you.
Perhaps you’re not really sure where you’re going in life, what you should be prioritizing, and what you can perhaps procrastinate on.
Create a 5-Year Self-Determination Flowchart…
I strongly encourage you to make optimistic predictions about what your life could look like in five years in these areas…
- Business or career
- Education and learning
- Family and friends
- Health and fitness
- Hobbies and entertainment
- Relationships and sex
- Things and toys
- Travel and adventure
- Where will you live?
- What would your average day or week look like?
Try to strike a balance between your wildest fantasies and a reasonable prediction of how you will be living if you practice your best habits with discipline. Mindmeister is one of my favorite tools for organizing my thoughts and ideas. So I’ll suggest that you take like 45–60 minutes (Fire up Brain.FM for a 60-minute focus session) to create a flowchart in Mindmeister which is free and takes just a moment to sign up for.