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How to stop procrastinating and have fun with the things you have to do

If you’re like me or anybody I know, you keep procrastinating on some things because you don’t want to be doing them. For example, unless you’re a happy and skilled accountant, I bet you don’t like doing taxes. It’s tedious, there’s the risk of doing it wrong, and it’ll always cost you time and money.

So what happens after you’ve been procrastinating for weeks and the deadline gets near? You start dreading the moment you’ll have to get to it, you’re even getting tense just thinking about it. And you can’t stop feeling uneasy about the whole thing. Which in turn makes the task feel even more awful.

What is happening for taxes for some, might happen for others when preparing a report, or calling an awful client to tell him his project is gonna be late. Like for hobbies and food, this is a matter of taste and experience. What is a joy for some is a pain for others. And it feels like it cannot change.

It’s too bad, because there is one easy solution.

Open up

However awful one activity seems, there is always a way to find fun in it. But first, you need to be open to the possibility.
In lots of cases, the feeling of repulsion is so strong and deep that it seems there’s no way in hell it would be better, let alone “fun”. But if you can find only one people in the world who believes that doing taxes can be fun, it means that there is no absolute rule that says you have to hate it.

If you don’t have to hate it, then maybe you might find a way to like it.

Find the fun

photo credit: Neal.

In any activity you do, there is a fun factor. Bring your candeur, bring your curiosity and forget about what you think you know. Do you like to play with numbers? Do you like to go on a quest to find where little things belong in the world? What do you think “doing taxes” is? It’s putting numbers at their right places and simply playing with them. You can choose to see any activity in a billion different ways, which means you can choose to see it in a way that’s frightening and disempowering or in a way that’s attractive and empowering. The more fun you’ll mentally create in the activity, the less fear you’ll feel, and the easier it’ll be to do it.

If there is something you have to or want to do, but it is frightening and you don’t know how to proceed, take 15 to 30 minutes to find the fun in it: how other people may have fun doing it, how it uses the same skills as things you like, etc.

It will build the positive anticipation until there is nothing you can do except doing it. Once you’re done, come and share your experience in the comments!

48 hours left to join the challenge

In my article The 30-day Passionate Being challenge, I started a challenge to help you create a Passionate Life, for free. Now there are only about 48 hours left to join the challenge. After that, it’ll be to late, as I probably won’t make that same offer again.

One free session with me (I estimate the value at $100-200) just by filling in the following form with your email and your time availabilities. Good deal, isn’t it?

Get more information or fill in the form below to join the challenge. Remember, after September 21st, it’ll be too late.

All fields are required.

Do not fill out this form field:

The 30-day Passionate Being challenge

Good day, Passionate Beings!

How’s life going these days? Pretty good? Not bad?

What about making it Passionately Awesome?

If you’re interested, it’s your lucky day, as today marks the launch of the Passionate Being 30-day challenge to help you build your Passionate Life.

What I believe

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

photo: The Wandering Angel

I believe that a life lived at 50% is a life half-wasted. I believe that doing something because you “should” instead of because you love doing it is a cry for change. But most importantly, I believe it is possible to live a life filled with passion, creation and pleasure. I believe this kind of life is the best there is, not only for ourselves but for the world. I also believe that if you want to leave a truly positive mark in the world, you have to be passionate about your life.

Finally, I believe I can help you build a life that you’ll be so passionate about, you wouldn’t change it for the world.

But who would I be if I believed I could help you build a passionate life but limit myself to helping a few friends here and there?

It is time to step up and share my beliefs and skills with the outside world.

This challenge is how I’m doing it.

The Challenge

During 30 days, from today August 23rd until September 21st 2010, if you allow me, I will help you get clear about your situation and get started building your passionate life.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a job you hate and have no idea how to make a change, or if your life is pretty good but you feel there’s something missing.

As long as you’re willing to make changes, I can help and guide you.

To do that, I offer you one session with me.

For free.

Two sessions if you’re among the first five.

Yes, I won’t ask a dime.

But I’ll ask for feedback so I can hone my skills, and if you feel I helped you, I’ll ask you for a testimonial to describe how.

And I’m asking you right now for your help to share the word. If you know someone who is ready to make some changes, please send them a link to this page. You can also use the buttons below to post a link to Twitter, Facebook, digg, and others.

Helping you change your life in exchange for a feedback and a testimonial, that’s a pretty good deal, don’t you think?

I will do my best to help as many of you as I can, as to make the biggest impact possible.

I’ll keep you posted on how the challenge is going on this blog in a couple weeks, maybe before if I have lots to say.

How does it work?

If you want to participate in the challenge, use the contact form below to ask for a session before September 22nd 2010. We will schedule a Skype or phone call that will last about an hour, maybe a bit less, maybe a bit more. Then you can leave a message on this post if you feel like it.

Fill out the form below to ask for a free Skype session with me (two free sessions for the first five persons).
Please indicate your availability and time zone. I am in GMT+2 and I’m mostly available between 10am and 10pm.

All fields are required.

Do not fill out this form field:

You can contact me right now using the form above to schedule a free session, or if you want more details, keep reading.

The situation

Securely Bound
photo credit: Thristian

We are all attached to things, people and situations in our lives: our job, partner, friends, diet or even our couch. When one or more of these elements are somewhat misaligned with what we want and the path to get it, this creates confusion about the road to take.

You think “this job doesn’t fulfill me, but it has a nice paycheck and I kinda like the people there”. In these circumstances, nothing short of a hurricane would get you off your current path without your say so.

Sometimes the hurricane is getting fired. In other circumstances, it is getting sick, or deeply depressed.

Quite often, this struggle is completely unconscious, because you don’t see another way, you believe there isn’t any, and without realizing it, you dismiss the alternatives that would put you on the right path.

What I do for you in the challenge

We schedule a Skype session, and during that session, I listen, I ask questions.

Then together we find the barriers and resistance that are preventing you from experiencing a truly Passionate Life. We uncover the inconsistencies between what you say and what you do. We reveal how you subconsciously prevent yourself from going forward.

Once you have more clarity about your path, your obstacles, we explore together the different ways to attain your goals so you have a clear vision of the steps to take. Then it is yours to make decisions and take actions to get closer to your goals.

In a nutshell, we look at your current situation, what is not working, and we give you more options to get you where you want to be.

What you can expect from our session

  • gain more clarity about your current situation, and how it fits with what you want
  • get a better picture of what you really want (it might not be what you believe you want)
  • uncover and understand the reasons you’re not going forward
  • get rid of the lies you have accepted as truths that prevent you from being more passionate and happy
  • come up with a few action steps and possibilities to get more of what you want

How can you be a part of the challenge?

First of all, use the opportunity for yourself by scheduling a session for free (using the form below).

Then go tell two of your friends who would really benefit from the challenge so that they can participate if they wish to do so (use the buttons below).

Finally, share your experience in the comment section of this post.

Times and dates and stuff

So, the challenge starts today, August 23rd and goes on until September 21st.

To schedule a free session use the form below before September 22nd 2010. The first five to ask get two sessions. Don’t delay.

Please indicate your availability and time zone. I am in GMT+2 and I’m mostly available between 10am and 10pm.

All fields are required.

Do not fill out this form field:

Final words

By being more passionate about your life, you improve the lives of others, especially those close to you. Join the path today.

You’re right, you’re gonna fail.

photo credit: salimfadhley

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.
Henry Ford

Have you ever heard someone complaining about an activity, a new sport, a contest, or anything that they might fail, and say “What’s the point? I’m not good enough” or any variant of “I can’t do it”?

Yeah, me too.

When that happens, I feel like I’m gonna explode, jump and grab them, then shake their poor body until they stop saying such stupid things.

We are what we think

The brain (and the universe) will do whatever it can to bring you what you expect. If you expect to fail, it will bring you failure, because this is what you wished for. If you expect success, and do whatever is necessary to make it so, it will give its best to accomplish your desire.

If you want to succeed, think like a successful person. Of course, there is never, ever, a guarantee of results, but I assure you that the journey itself is completely different.

Do you honestly believe that the people who complain all the time and never miss an opportunity to tell everyone they’re going to fail actually want to succeed?

They want comfort, and to be allowed to fail

There are basically three reasons people set themselves up for failure:

  • They want encouragement, they want to be told that they’re wrong, that they will succeed. Basically they want others to make them feel better about themselves.
  • They want to be allowed to fail. When they say they’re gonna fail, they try to remove expectations from other people, because they don’t feel like they can handle them, they don’t want the risk of disappointing their family and friends. They want to make sure it’s alright to fail.
  • They want to be comfortable, and right. They want to be able to say “yeah, well, I told you I couldn’t do it”, so they’d rather fail as a rule than own and assume responsibility for their own outcomes.

Change your outlook

In any case, you don’t know for sure whether you’re going to fail or succeed. So saying “I’m gonna succeed” is no less true than “I’m gonna fail”, and it is much more encouraging.

Besides, if someone tells you they’re no good at anything, are going to fail, who are you to question them? When we meet someone and we perceive that “failure vibe”, we trust them to.. fail. After all, they know better than we do. And then starts a vicious circle, if you complain and set for failure, you won’t get the social support and friends that could help you succeed. Whereas if you are determined to succeed, the people around you will do their best to help you.

Yes, “blindly” aiming for success means you risk disappointment.

But not only is the path itself much more pleasant, it’s also much more satisfying in the long term to set for succes even if you fail than set for failure and meet your expectation.

Don’t you agree?

Why clarity is your best ally on the road to success

The Strong Clouds
photo credit: dobrych

Is everything clear?

Have you ever felt like something wasn’t right, without being able to point out what it is or why it’s giving you this feeling?

It might be your career, your personal life or simply the number of items on that damn new restaurant menu.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything just made perfect sense? No wondering, no hesitation, just the feeling of knowing…

Would you like some clarity on the side?

Having clarity means knowing what your current situation is, what you’d like it be to, how they differ, but most importantly, how to close the gap and achieve what you want.

If you know where you want to go, and how to get there, congratulations! You can stop reading now. Otherwise, stay with me.

“I had the perfect plan!”

Awesome! Me too! It involved me being rich and famous (basically ruling the world) by 25. Hasn’t happened yet. Nor do I still want it to happen, mind you, but I digress.

If life always went according to plan, it’d be way easier, or at least, more comfortable. Unfortunality for our controling nature, life rarely goes according to (our) plan.

All the unexpected events and unforeseen consequences in your life slowly changed the picture. But worse, most of the time, they don’t actually brag about it, so you might not realize that the circumstances have changed until way later. That creates confusion, not only about the present situation, but also about the future: what’s ahead and what’s possible (or not). If you’re in your forties but still dream about competing in the Olympics, sorry to destroy your dreams: never gonna happen.

Maybe it’s time to move on and shop for some new goals.

Focus on why, not how

Imagine you go to the store to get a dishwasher. After a few minutes wandering around, you find yourself in front of a list of all the characteristics of the machine: speed, capacity, eco-friendliness, price, etc. And while these informations may give you some idea of how that particular piece of machinery will behave, it is easy to get caught up in all the details and forget why you wanted it in the first place: to help you reduce your burden, save time, and enjoy more of the rest.

Whether you’re looking for a dishwasher or a job doesn’t actually matter, if you have enough clarity to know what you want and why you want it, you’ll know how to choose the right match for your goals and the life you want. Besides, you’ll be less prone to influences from third parties, who have their own goals, which quite often conflict with yours.

Doing or buying one thing because that’s what your peers expect is not a good enough reason to act. Knowing why you’re doing something is the only way to be invested in it while going forward.

When you are confused, your mind is reluctant to go forward and take any action. The best first step to get unstuck on your path, is to get more clarity.

“Naah, it’s fine, I’ll just figure it out while going along”

Seriously? Is that your answer or the fear talking?

Do you know where you current path leads?

Do you know where you want to go?

If both destinations are the same, great, you can simply act as usual and continue on your current path. But if the answers are not clear, or are inconsistent, you need to ask why. What on your path is not aligned with who you are and where you want to go? How can you change it?

Having clarity means you:

  • know where you are, what are the paths available to you, and what they entail
  • understand why you’re doing what you’re doing
  • are motivated to act and go forward because you know exactly what you’ll get
  • can decide in an instant what to do because everything is clear in your mind
  • are less stressed by everything that goes in your way because you can process them easily and effectively
  • know what you need to go forward, and are less hesitant to ask for it

I see no reason not to want that (but if you do, please share in the comments!).

Gain more clarity

It is very difficult to get more clarity when overwhelmed with things and thoughts. Past a certain point, you need, at the very least, a wall to bounce things off. Here are a few things to get you started on the road to clarity:

  • put your thoughts on paper, see where they go
  • draw a mind map of your situation
  • ask a trusted friend and exchange with her your thoughts about your condition
  • try new things: a cooking class, a new sport
  • go for a walk in an unknown place.

Getting a new frame of reference will help you gain more perspective.

A life of uncertainty

If you’ve been tolerating something that’s not right for you for months or years, you’ll probably struggle to even acknowledge that you don’t need nor want that thing in your life. It’s easier to  make excuses than to challenge one’s whole life, it’s easier to tolerate and say “it’s not that bad”.

But it is.

Take any given situation in your life and ask yourself–“why?”  Is it giving you what you want?  If not, then why not? What can you change in your life to get what you want? Does your current environment support you in your goals? If not, why don’t you drop it?

Do you need help? Do you want help? Would you be willing to use it? Or would you rather listen carefully and then do nothing?

If you’re not ready to try anything different, acknowledge your fear, and deal with it before asking again. But if you’re curious enough and want to actually try, go for it!

Connections create clarity

Sometimes you can’t do it on your own. There’s no shame in that, on the contrary, knowing when to ask for help and actually doing it is a sign of wisdom and courage. The smartest guy in town is the one who populates his entourage with people more competent (or specialized) than he is.

Look for help, ask for help. Meet with a friend, a counselor, a priest, a coach, a mentor, read a book, watch a documentary, or a fiction. Whoever and whatever can help you get more acquainted with your situation and go forward.

Clarity is one of the most important tool when you want to be conscious about your choices and your life. It’s also one of the most overlooked. Too bad, because it’s very easy to know when you need it: in case of doubt, seek more clarity.

What do you need more clarity on today?