By Deon Richter
It’s a crisp morning. I wake up with purpose.
My Sumarpo gear has been packed and I am ready to take on the cold, yet refreshing feel on my skin. I enter the water slowly. I put on your goggles and submerge my face , push myself off and take on my distance ..one… stroke…at a time.
What I love about swimming is the fact that you truly are stuck between breaths with only your mind. Focusing all that you are on what you need to achieve. And a lot more.
Swimming for me is not only exercise or preparation for my next IRONMAN. It places me in full control of my mind. I think. I plan. And I dream.
It’s the ultimate model to figure out how to be more productive. In the physical realm, productive with energy input versus momentous return or gain, yes, but also teaches me more than that. That I am capable of focusing on each energy I insert into my life and if done well, get the best effortless return possible.
You see, everyday is a swim on its own. Ever wondered why people use terms like “staying afloat” , “drowning” , “flooded” , “drifting” or “keeping head above water”? Whether you are a swimmer or not , the swimming effect is a term applicable to all.
In my life , being a practical guy, I learn from my physical swim and apply it to my non-physical swim.
Preparing for the swim
In preparation you find yourself in Full control. It’s the time to plan what must happen and use all resources you have available to make it happen. You analyze, evaluate, plan and pack for what’s needed on your task ahead. You think of everything. Like with swimming, if this is well planned for it takes tremendous time and stress of your shoulders when you “arrive” at the pool.
On the other hand not preparing well means, well, what most of us have experienced before, showing up forgotten our goggles, suit or other gear, and although you are still actually able to swim without these, the training effect and purpose goes out the window and you occupy your mind with “failure” - before you even started.
This is what you planned and prepared for. You take all the planning, gear it up, feel confident and ready to take on the venture. Although proper planning lowers the risk of “forgetting” things, it’s still up to this phase to ensure things that are in your control remain in your control and you still have the power to decide what is needed in the actual moment. Do I need a wetsuit for these temperatures? That question and that predetermined answer is in your full control. Assessing the Pros and Cons before taking on the task.
Entering the water
It’s never go-time, until it’s Go time. Although with swimming , most of the time the decision will be yours to actually start and when. In life this will vary. Sometimes opportunity comes knocking unexpectedly and you just have to get in, still, the decision is yours.
If you planned as well as you can and you geared up your planning the only logical next phase is not to procrastinate . Executing the plan should always be the goal.
Are you a procrastinator? If so, see it like this:
One of the most destructive effects of procrastination is the fact that it makes you feel out of control. Procrastination is like an ‘invisible force’ that keeps you from doing the very things you know you must do. With the increasing demands on our time and attention there seems to be an increase in procrastination as a chronic problem, especially among those people that want to succeed the most. Procrastination usually sets in when you feel overwhelmed by all the ‘have to’ in life and instead of making steady progress you take on too much without ever getting any of it done.
Feeling out of control takes away all your power to shape and direct your own life. It’s true that there are many things over which you have no control, but you always have full control over what really happens to you – and what really happens to you is a mental process independent of the circumstances and events of the outside world. Being empowered means that you realize that you already have the power and this realization also gives you the ability to take action.
Here are four empowering procrastination tips that can help you to reach this realization and become empowered to effectively deal with procrastination and inaction.
It’s All Inside:
Procrastination is an internal process and although it might feel like it’s happening to you, you are in actual fact responsible for it. This procrastination tip can help to put you back in control almost immediately. Procrastination is not an external force, but an internal response and evaluation. The simple realization that it’s ‘you’ that are doing it to ‘you’, gives you the power to do something about it.
It’s All You:
When procrastination drags you down it’s all too easy to think that ‘it just is’ and that you can’t do anything about it. Although it feels like you have no control, you actually do. There are two very important beliefs you need to develop to help you break free from procrastination:
- You can overcome procrastination
- No one else can do it for you and because you created it, you can uncreate it.
It’s All In Your Head:
The reason why most people remain stuck in patterns of procrastination is because of fear. To overcome the fear and the procrastination that comes with it, you need to confront and do the very things you don’t want to do. The instant you do, you take charge and it no longer has any control over you. The ironic thing is that
- Fear only exists in your imagination – it’s always something that hasn’t happened yet.
- Procrastination is not real – it’s only the way you evaluate things in your mind.
It’s All about conditioning:
Success at anything in life relies on consistency. The best of the best at anything are those who can repeat their greatness consistently. The way you get consistent is through conditioning. Your nervous system operates through conditioning. When you do something over and over again it becomes ‘normal’ and when it’s normal you don’t have to think about it – it becomes automatic.
Procrastination is no power and it takes away your ability to take immediate action and deal with any situation. Always remember that you are ultimately in charge of you. Tomorrow will be today tomorrow. Don’t delay. Act!