Thursday, December 30, 2010

Procrastination vs. Success

Oh, I do procrastinate. In all things, big and small. When there are not reasons to put things off, I will invent one. Next thing you know it is less than 36 hours to a brand New Year 2011. For the first time in 10 years my #1 resolution will not be to lose weight, but to get my stuff done as I am not getting any younger! In my search to psychoanalysis myself, I found this wonderful article by artist Leslie Riley who has started a web blog about artist success:

The Secret to Getting What You Want in 2011
Remember the Spice Girls song lyrics, “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want?” Well, I’m asking you - what do you really, really want? That’s the first step to making it happen – figuring out what you really, really, want. Really. It’s as basic as that. If you don’t know where you want to go, who or what you want to be or do, how will you get there?
So many of us roll through life like a tumbleweed, letting life happen to us. I know, because I did that for so many years. Yes, I got places, but for the longest time I felt like that tumbleweed or, more appropriately, like the ball knocking around in a pinball machine. I hit the right spots some times, rang the bells and scored some points, but, inevitably, where did I end up? A few tilts and then, yep, you guessed it, down the hole. Over and out. Time to start over but, again, without a plan - leaving it all to chance.
Now I know better. I know how to get what I want. I say it’s a secret but it really isn’t. It just feels like one until you begin to live by it. It is so very simple that many of us dismiss it or put it off like it's optional or just an interesting exercise to do when you have a moment.
And now, for the big reveal, I’ll turn this over to W. H. Murray, a mountain climber, who, in his 1951 book, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, shared this secret more eloquently than I ever could:
This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
This is something I have lived by for over 20 years. The quote has been on my mirror for years so that I see it every day. The words run through my head every time I have a dream. I begin, and the magic – providence – moves with me. I have had it happen too many times for me not to believe it. I look for it in others as well, especially my clients. I can see that when they commit to something and take action, that the Universe steps up to meet them and help them on their way. You might be thinking I’m a little woo-woo right now, but trust me on this. COMMIT. Take ACTION toward the dream and you will find what you are looking for.
Still not sure? Will Henry David Thoreau’s words convince you?
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
So I ask you, what do you really want? Can you commit to going for it? Can you break it down into doable steps and begin? Take the necessary action to get what you want? I’m betting you can. So here’s what you need to do right now:
1. Decide what you want.
2. Write it down on an index card and post it where you will see it every day – even better, put one next to your bed, too.
3. Figure out the first step towards that dream.
4. Take action. And watch for signs that the Universe/Providence/God is helping you.
5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you reach the dream.
Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist,

Happy New Year 2011

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