“Congratulations! You have passed your Road Test”
These are the words any one applying for a driving license wants to hear. I did an invisible summersault and with a cheeky smile (not unlike Rafael Nadal’s in his recent Tommy Hilfiger ad) collected my temporary permit and sauntered out of Texas DPS. My sleepless nights of poring over the 83 pages of the Texas Driver Handbook and practicing the art of parallel parking had finally paid off. I heaved a sigh of relief; I had gotten it out of my to-do list after weeks of procrastination.
I looked at the next item on my list, one I had also been putting off for a while; ‘learn to swim’ not necessarily as an Olympian, just to get by in the deep end of a pool without shouting for the lifeguard. Hold on a second, have I mentioned the rest of my list? Here it goes; learn to cycle(pathetic?), learn to skate, horseback riding, skydiving, learn to shoot a rifle(really?), join a gym, lose 10lbs, and learn ballet (not necessarily in that order). Outrageous! Right? No thanks to my coworkers who keep suggesting activities I need to do before I leave the Lone Star State.
Making lists is something we all have in common, whether it’s a list of errands we need to run like shop for groceries, do the laundry, go to the bank or post office, pick up prescriptions or list of goals we’d like to achieve like apply to graduate school, apply for a scholarship, get a certification, change jobs, eat healthier, exercise more, take a much needed vacation, have a checkup etc. No matter what type of list it is, procrastination is sometimes inevitable! We keep putting things off. One day becomes a week, a month, a year. But when does it become detrimental to our success? There is probably no major harm in postponing that laundry till you run out of clean clothes or the grocery shopping till you’ve got nothing to eat. It becomes an issue when postponing that certification or graduate school application keeps you from your dream job or when postponing that checkup lands you in the ER.
I, in particular, feel overwhelmed when the task at hand seems monumental. When I tried applying to graduate school some years back, I took a few steps back on seeing the requirements; get your transcripts, write GRE, write TOEFL, write a SOP, apply for funds etc. It seemed unending! Where do I start from? So I postponed and postponed and almost missed the deadline. Likewise, I’ve always wanted to be adept at swimming but just never got to it. It was just never the right time or the right weather or the right ……So, last week, I manned up and booked an appointment for my first lesson. Want to know how it went? Let’s just say I am still here writing this. Sometimes, all it takes is the first step, that’s usually the most difficult part.
I’ll probably not get to do all the activities on my list. In fact, I’ll probably procrastinate some more. But will I stop trying? Not a chance! So next time you see me, feel free to ask where I am on my list. In fact, feel free to add to my list like my lovely coworkers. So, guys, do you have a list of things you’ve always wanted to do but never got to? Get it out and let’s do this! NOW!!