Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. – Thomas Jefferson
What does that mean?
This seemed like an appropriate saying to start things off with, as I am starting two full months behind schedule. I had initially planned for this blog to start at the first of the year, but kept putting it off. Now I know better. 8)
This quote is all about the present. Too many people (myself included) focus on the past or the future. We can lament the past, and plan for the future, but we can only get things done in the present, today. This quote urges us to actually do something today, instead of waiting until tomorrow to get it started.
Why is it important to not put things off?
Besides the obvious answer (it won’t get done), it also creates a kind of momentum. Newton’s First Law says that “An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it”. So there is momentum in sloth, delaying, procrastinating and all the other euphemisms for the act of not doing.
The opposite is just as important. Avalanches start when just the tiniest of pebbles or snowflakes bumps into just the right spot. All that pent up potential energy is released, and gathers speed, strength and momentum. By putting off until tomorrow, you are robbing yourself of the “mighty Mo” (momentum).
But why would momentum, the presence or absence of, be important?
Tony Robbins has a saying that I try to live by, which is: “never leave the site of a decision without taking action.” Does that sound kind of like Thomas Jefferson’s quote, even a little bit? What Tony’s saying is trying to do is to get you to help yourself by taking a step, no matter how small, to start that momentum, to start your very own avalanche.
Where can I apply this in my life?
What have you been putting off in your life? A project to do, something to start doing, something to stop doing, some cleaning that is needed, some rearranging of schedule (or furniture), some habits that need to be modified, or…? Choose one for now, you can go back and try this again later.
Can you find a way to break it into a couple different steps? Can you break one of the easier steps into a few chunks? Find the tiniest chunk, and do it! Put that object into motion, and feel the thrill, the expectation and, at times, the terror, of having started something. Then follow it up.
What I mean when I say follow it up is that one push (alone) won’t get it done. As an avalanche needs gravity to constantly pull it, so your task will require your attention. Perhaps not as consistent as gravity, but, you will need to continue to take steps toward finishing the task.
Friction exists in the real world, and it tries to slow the avalanche. Your task will face a similar counter-force. It may be apathy, being too busy with other ‘high priority’ tasks, distractions, fear of success (yes, that can happen). By keeping after it, even in small steps, you will eventually get there.
Whew. One a day, he says? This is going to be an interesting journey! Hope to see you tomorrow!
From: Twitter, undocumented feed (my bad)
confirmed at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff163891.html
Photo by jonathanb1989