I am fully aware that this blog is way over due. It is not that I don’t like writing. I do actually. Lack of time is also a false argument. I spend plenty of hours on airplanes mindlessly flipping through magazines. I like to tell myself that I just don’t have anything interesting to share. There are already so many blogs out there, who is waiting to hear what I have to say? Another favorite reason not to write is the idea that I need inspiration. How can I write if I don’t have any inspiration? I mean, aren’t good things (whether books, inventions, paintings, or blogs) always the result of some epiphany, or at least a profound insight? Thank goodness that I read something the other day that actually did give me enough food for thought to write about.
Ever heard of the word procrastination? Probably. Do you also know what the actual meaning of it is? I didn’t. Well, of course I knew what the word meant, but I liked to think that was something other people did. Procrastinating. Just in case, I looked it up in the dictionary. Maybe I wasn’t guilty after all, and I just misunderstood the article I read.
Definition of PROCRASTINATE
transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habitually.
intransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.
It never occurred to me that I am actually a stellar procrastinator. There. Full confession. I wasn’t writing because I was p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-n-g. It’s not that I’m lazy (which I thought procrastinators were). There is just always a reason to do something else first. Most often I am busy creating the right conditions before I start the thing I initially intended to do. Even now, sitting on a plane (again): my intention was to write this blog during the flight. Yet, before I could get my laptop out of its sleeve (a Crumpler messenger bag, I highly recommend it. It makes getting the computer in and out of its protective wrap at airport security so much easier!) I figured that it was better to wait for the beverage service first. As a kid I was taught to never have a drink next to the computer. And I still won’t. Especially on a wobbly tray table in a pressurized aluminum tube that moves at dazzling speed, it is not recommended to have a small plastic cup filled with liquid sitting beside a laptop. And of course I couldn’t pass on the drinks, since everybody knows one should stay hydrated while travelling through the air. See why I was living under the illusion that I wasn’t guilty of the p-word? I always had a good reason to not start writing (or do anything else that needed to be done, for that matter).
It was like the aforementioned article was speaking to me: “Procrastinators live under the illusion that they need to be inspired. Not true. Just do it!” According to research on how to overcome procrastination, it is wrong to belief that when we have to do something, we really have to want to do it. Often, the desire to do so is just not there. The solution? DO IT ANYWAY! We should tell ourselves that even though we are really not feeling it, we will do it anyway for 5 minutes. Top professionals make time to work on their ‘thing’ (whatever it is) every day, NO MATTER WHAT, or so I read. I guess I don’t have a valid reason anymore not to write.
And what does all of this have to do with yoga, you may wonder? (If you procrastinate going to a yoga class. You know what to do now.) Within the context of the practice of Yoga as a way to reduce suffering and to promote happiness, it is key to become aware of habits that hold you back from living your full potential. In that respect the physical practice of yoga does come into play: whatever your experience is – or your habits – on your mat, will be the same off the mat. That makes for an interesting inquiry! And yes, I sometimes do not get on my yoga mat because I believe it would be better to vacuum the floor first…. Finding out that I excel(ed) at procrastinating, and now knowing a way to deal with it (I wonder if the brain behind the famous Nike slogan was a master procrastinator too?), makes me feel better. Wouldn’t the whole world be a better place if everyone felt a little better about themselves? Just do it!