Clint Eastwood

Procrastination is the disease of the poor

It’s a bold statement to start with

Procrastination is the disease of the poor – it’s a powerful and wicked statement. It immediately makes you think of your own situation; well it did me any way. Then you have to define poor. Most people will think of being financially poor, but there seems to be a lot of wealthy people who are unhappy. Does that mean money can’t make you happy? I don’t know; ask that couple that won £148 million last weekend, they looked pretty happy to me. I recently read ‘How to be rich’ – by Felix Dennis and he said most wealthy people he knows (the mega-millionaires) aren’t happy either. So if money isn’t the answer (and I’m not saying it isn’t) is it love that makes us happy? I know people who are happy being in love and others unhappy because they fell in love; maybe that isn’t the answer either. How about spiritual enlightenment? I saw a great quote today:

“Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there.” It’s attributed to Vine Deloria of the Sioux Nation.

Who are the droids we’re looking for?

Do we look to the Pope or the Dalai Lama for salvation? I guess you have to make these distinctions for yourself. Yesterday I was asked what constitutes success. My answers were health, relationship (partner, children, friends), finances, knowledge and recognition. They link perfectly into Tony Robbins’ and Marshall Rosenbergs’ theories of feelings and needs. That needs remain constant and feelings change by the second. The six human needs being certainty, uncertainty (variety), significance, connection (love), contribution and growth. Every feeling can be traced back to a lack or abundance of these needs.

The losers and the achievers

With these thoughts in place then, why is procrastination the disease of the poor? Because those who hang around waiting for life to happen are the people who cope with life happening to them. Society is set up to distract you from thinking. I come from a time when there were only 4 television channels, infact, until I was 19 there were only 3 tv channels and tv was a big enough distraction then – now there are hundreds. The internet didn’t exist, no Facebook or Twitter. Did we get more done then? Of course, not, we listened to records, got drunk, talked on the phone (how about that for a concept?) and found a thousand other ways to wile away the hours. Now consider the achievers: in business Donald Trump, Philip Green and the ubiquitous Lord Alan Sugar; in music Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Take That; in film Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise and Clint Eastwood; how about writers: JK Rowling and E L James. Finally in sport: Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins. All of them, without exception, get off their arse and get out into the world and perform, turn up, plan and work really hard.

It’s pointing out the obvious

Financially all of them are made for life. They appear to have the world at their feet, but what of us? The mere mortals, the great proletariat, the envious and the lazy. Is there hope? Is there opportunity? At a time of recession and Jeremy Kyle, what hope do we have? To ask the question what can I be? Who can I become? What am I willing to do? I see clients who fear their future. I know people who worry about their past. I know others who think their time is running out. If this is the case then the time to act is now. I’m not trying to make this an American guru speech, I’m pointing out the obvious. The Olympics inspired, but today sees the start of the football season and X Factor returning to our tv screens. I quite like football and X Factor, but I won’t let it define me. I’ll keep thinking, planning, implementing, working towards a better future to attain those things that I consider success. When a year has passed we will know how far we have all come. Keep a notebook and note your achievements week by week. We often forget the small successes and wait for the big day. When you look at what you get done at your best it can inspire you to push through at your worst. Beware of the people you hang around with; the poor are the negative who want to keep you where you are. The wealthy want you to succeed and applaud as you do so. I know what I’m up to today, enjoy a life of action and the results it brings.