The philosophical procrastinator

The philosophical procrastinator

by Kathy Gates — 

You can achieve success in any goal you want as long as you are willing to do something about it.

You can achieve success in any goal you want as long as you are willing to do something about it.

How many self-help books have you read? There certainly are some good ones available that provide solid information, help you get on track, and offer ideas and practical pointers for your own life.

But there is a limit. After reading a few of them, have you found yourself noticing they all seem to say the same basic thing, just in a different way?

You know the feeling. You really want to make some changes in your life. You think about it a lot and wish things were different. And you read every self-help book available. You even analyze why you do not do anything about it. You know those feelings well. You are a philosophical procrastinator.

Here are some tips to help you move past your philosophizing and on to accomplishing your life goals.

1. Make it personal. Any goal you will actually accomplish has to be very real to you. It has to come from a place that’s important to you, that makes sense to you, that is of value to you — not to your mother, your sister, your neighbor, your boss, or even what the media says you ought to want. It has to matter to you. What do you honestly, deep down, really want? What would make you feel accomplished, safe, in control, important, interested? Only you can answer that question.

2. Minimize the risk. What if I hate it? What if I fail? What if I look silly? Some things carry a bit of a perceived risk, and the thought of pursuing them can be overwhelming. But remember — nobody jumps off the high dive the first day. Instead, ask yourself what the very first step, or the very next step, is. Ask yourself what one small thing you can do today, right now before lunch, that will move you toward your long-term goal. It might be as simple as making a phone call. It might be a little bigger, like selling some things on eBay. Be willing to take a small risk and watch it add up to big rewards.

3. Create your own personal “yes” list. Write down 100 reasons (or fewer, if that’s what suits you) why you want to achieve your goal. I call these reasons “higher goals” because they are the higher energy behind your actions. They are the pull — from desire, from joy, from excitement — that motivates you to do what you do, rather than constantly feeling pushed from a place of “have to,” “need to” or “ought to.”

How do you stop being a philosophical procrastinator? You can achieve success in any goal you want as long as you are willing to do something about it. No longer simply think about, analyze, wish for or read about your dream — but actually take the logical, predictable steps which lead to your goal or combined goals. Set this newspaper down and get started today!


Kathy Gates is a professional life coach in Scottsdale, Ariz. who helps people deal with the stress of everyday living in a more organized and efficient manner. She is the author of several e-books and e-courses designed to help people live happier, healthier, easier lives. 480-998-5843.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 3, June/July 2005.

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