To an outside observer, patience and procrastination can look the same. The difference between patience and procrastination can be determined by whether you’re waiting on something or something is waiting on you.
If you drive by a farm during the springtime, and there appears to be no activity underway, it may be because the farmer has already planted and is patiently waiting for the next phase of his activity; or it could mean the farmer is procrastinating and avoiding the task of planting which could endanger or ruin his crop.
I meet many aspiring entrepreneurs at speaking engagements, movie premieres, and book signings. When I inquire about their current project or next opportunity, they will often use platitudes such as “I’m waiting for my ship to come in,” or “I’m waiting to get all my ducks in a row.” In reality, they never sent a ship out, and they’ve been waiting so long, their pier collapsed; and not only are their ducks not in a row, but they flew off or died of old age a long time ago.
If you have a dream, a goal, or an ambition it requires some activity today. I have written almost 1,000 of these weekly columns that are read by countless people around the world in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. I hope each column contains some useful advice or powerful principle, but without exception, every column—including this one—ends with the phrase “Today’s the day!”
It doesn’t matter what you know now if you don’t do something today. Maybe it’s only a matter of studying something or meeting a key person, but you need to be doing something today. There will be days when your activity will involve patiently waiting for something you have done to develop or emerge into reality.
If you have called an influential person to make a key contact, you may be patiently waiting for them to call you back; or you may be afraid to make the call, so you are simply procrastinating. Patience is productive. Procrastination is useless.
Patience involves celebrating the task you have done while waiting for the seed you have planted to grow. Procrastination involves avoiding what you know needs to be done which makes a mockery of your passion, your goals, and your destiny.
As you go through your day today, utilize patience and reject procrastination.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; or on Facebook at Facebook.com/JimStovallAuthor.