Procrastination is defined as the attitude of postponing what one should be doing. Almost everyone is guilty of this apparent laxity, which happens as a result of mental laziness or lack of willpower to act at once.
People procrastinate either when they are not under pressure to act, or when they are not motivated. Either way, it is not a good attitude. Everyone should act when it is necessary, or pay dearly for it, when the chips are down. In fact, refusal to react swiftly to some compelling emergency situations is known to lead to avoidable disasters.
Procrastination is popularly called the thief of time. I call it the thief of destiny. A minute of indecision could cost you your destiny or your life. There are things you don’t postpone. You don’t postpone reaction to a clear and present danger. To do so is to condone danger. Even wild animals are endowed by God with predatory instincts to enable them conquer, consume, or destroy a prey in a jiffy.
Every creature in the jungle is on a flight or fight mode. And they react appropriately as occasion demands. The timing response of animals, if emulated by humans, could serve us well in critical situations. A wild animal faces mortal danger; it either escapes or confronts its attacker aggressively. It knows instinctively that it is either it kills the aggressor or it gets killed.
You must learn to act now or never. It is very dangerous to postpone critical decisions. The demands of today’s world require that you act fast with precision because of the fierce situations we face. In soccer, opposing players know that they must get the ball off the foot of a Messi or Ronaldo before they settle in front of their goal area or these predatory strikers score, even with the smallest of chances.
The message here is, know when to take your chances. Never postpone what you should do with the fierce urgency of NOW! Once the coast is clear, do it straight away. That rare opportunity may never come. Some opportunities knock only once in a life time. When you get a chance, take full advantage of it. It may never present itself again. Don’t take foolish risks. Be alert and fully aware that the plunge you are about to take is safe. What I am urging you to do is to be a fast and smart thinker. Weigh your options quickly and act like the proverbial animal I mentioned earlier.
However, there are situations that require slower response or caution. You have to determine for yourself whether the circumstance is right to strike or hold on for a while. If the scenario calls for greater reflection, you just have to hold on. Think about the move and be clear-headed about it before you act.
The bottom-line is to learn to act at the right moment to maximize an advantage that comes your way. Lazy minds postpone what requires immediate response. Many ladies are single today because they failed to respond on time to a suitor’s proposal. That’s the prize of indecision.
There are life changing decisions that require sober reflection and consultation. That cannot be denied. You must learn to act fast once you have all the facts at your disposal. A little delay can cost you dearly. You must learn to take risks. If you don’t, you can’t win big. The bigger the risk you take the bigger the reward. There’s what I call “winning decisions”. These are moves you have to make with spilt second timing. For instance, many fatal Accidents might not have happened if only the aircraft pilot, the ship captain, or the motor vehicle driver had taken decisive action immediately.
You need good sense to determine whether to act at once or delay for a moment. But many lives- threatening situations call for fierce urgency of now. You hesitate at your own peril. If you are a regular reader of this column you’d notice that I write a lot about timing, taking your chances and immediate response to dire situations. That’s because these things determine outcomes or the results you get. They are crucial to your life’s circumstance. Let’s digress a little and talk about this column.
On June 16, 2017 this column made its debut. It is now one year of exciting weekly dialogue with my readers. I thank the management of The Sun for giving me the opportunity to contribute this column. It is indeed a great honour and I really appreciate it. Space constraints won’t allow me to mention individuals who helped make this column a reality.
Yet, two gentlemen are worthy of mention. One is the managing director/editor-in-chief the of The Sun Publishing Company, Mr. Eric Osagie, who gave me this opportunity. I salute you, sir, The other person is the editor, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh. He is the one who makes sure the column is well edited each week as he carefully vets the copies before they go to bed. I thank you, sir. God bless all of you in the Sun family, Amen.
Finally, I thank my teeming readers for their encouragement. You are a great inspiration, and I cherish all your comments. For those who want my books, they will have to wait for sometime because most of the books are in print.
Weekend spice: Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly – Robert Schuller
Folks, let’s do it again next Friday. Stay motivated.
•Ladi Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & WhatsApp only)