Words Are Not Actions
by Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance
We have become a society that has convinced ourselves that words are actions. If we say something, it’s the equivalent of doing something. If we talk about something, it’s the equivalent of accomplishing something. If we verbalize something, it’s synonymous with achieving something. The reality is, most people talk, not as a prelude to acting but to substitute and avoid acting.
Procrastination is defined as putting off tasks and things you don’t feel like doing, for various reasons. Aside from the fact that you don’t like doing them, some of these reasons may be a lack of motivation, avoidance of tasks you don’t enjoy doing, laziness, lack of structure, and inability to delay gratification. Procrastination becomes a habit.
In reality the word procrastination does not exist. It’s just a word someone uses to absolve themselves from not doing what they never wanted or intended to do to begin with. When people say they hate something, they say it to liberate themselves from doing something they don't want to do.
Delayed gratification is the ability to not put something off that isn’t enjoyable to you now, in order to gain something of a greater reward later. There are consequences to gratification if you are not able to delay it at times. For example, paying your bills. If you keep putting it off because you don’t enjoy the task, the bills become late and the consequences are late fees, termination of services, etc. Just like procrastination, instant gratification becomes a habit.
People tell themselves that saying they’re going to do something is the first step in the sequence of getting things accomplished. The reality is, the first step is TAKING ACTION. There is no sequence in getting things accomplished if you don’t start doing things.
Tomorrow and later are two of the most used words that people use to procrastinate. People use words that they believe are positive words toward putting things off, when in reality, they’re self-destructive. These words are used to make themselves feel good for the moment, but it’s only temporary because the results are inevitable and unavoidable:
If you’re going to do something, you’ll never talk about it, you’ll do it or would have already done it. The amount of time people spend talking about doing something could be put toward getting it done!
People also absolve themselves from taking responsibility for their actions and lack thereof by using words and phrases that put an end to any discussion about what they did, thus ending any accountability.
Another procrastination habit people do is make daily “do to” lists and then view these lists as a way of accomplishing things. A “to do” list is only valuable if your intention is to complete everything you put on the list THAT DAY. Otherwise, it becomes a perpetual “to do tomorrow list.”
The “to do list” needs to become the “to done list.” In other words, don’t put it off.
Making the list isn’t the same as doing what’s on the list. The same holds true with so-called “bucket lists.”
The only way to stop procrastinating and learn how to delay gratification is to break the habits. You need to develop a new mindset of self-honesty and self-discipline. Being honest with yourself is the first step toward acknowledging that you are using words as an excuse not to take action. Self-discipline helps you to take accountability and responsibility for your actions, or inactions.
It takes an incredible amount of mental fortitude not to procrastinate and to delay gratification. We’re not saying it’s an easy thing to do. Developing resiliency is the mental strength required to help you develop a new mindset. It’s something you must do every single day.
It has already been acknowledged that the way you’re doing things is wrong through your failures and lack of success. What needs to occur first is to admit what has already been acknowledged and obvious to everyone else.
Admitting you’re the problem begins the process of self-discipline. The reason why people lack self-discipline is because they won’t begin the process of admission. Once you accept your responsibility, you can then take action by learning and practicing self-discipline.
Self-discipline involves continuing to take responsibility and accountability for your actions. Resilience, which is a determination to strengthen your will power to persevere and change, is hard work, but it’s also smart work. It involves having a mindset of persistence, consistency, and willpower.
These two steps can help you to take action, immediately:
1. You must define your agenda: change your mindset to one of complete self-honesty and self-discipline so you will no longer put off those things that you know you must do, whether you like doing them or not!
2. Commit yourself to sticking to your agenda, no matter what. You must be 100 percent committed, every single day, to create new habits of taking action, accomplishing things, and delaying gratification. No excuses. No procrastination. No instant gratification. Yes to action!
About the Authors
Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset specialist, and lifelong fitness and wellness advisor. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path To Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.
Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.
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The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"
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"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"
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