Nod, if you have heard yourself or anyone you know says – ‘I would do this when I turn 30’, ‘I will take up —– after I have attained a certain position in my company, ‘I am waiting to have at least X amount in my savings before I pursue my dream.’
Ok, you can stop nodding now.
Now it’s time to think! Have you wondered why people say such stuff? What can’t they pursue the dream or passion they talk about all the time right away? What is stopping them from taking action?
Guess what, I have thought about the above questions and I would love to share my thoughts with you and you would learn why procrastination kills dreams.
Procrastination kills dreams: Why people always procrastinate on their dreams?
There are many psychological reasons for procrastination which explains why some people tend to not get started on the things that need to be done. But I believe that most of it are due to the two reasons I have explained below why I believe people put away their dreams for a later day and this procrastination kills dreams as well.
Imagine that you are already in a steady well paying job. You have a loving wife who takes care of the home and you have a fixed 9 – 5 schedule, watch Netflix every night on the weekdays and on the weekends you go for games or spend time with your kid. This scenario looks like it is directly from a Nicholas Sparks book, isn’t it?
Here is a caveat, your dream is to become a musician. You keep thinking about it every day. It is an itch you want to scratch. But to pursue your passion you would have to alter the reality around you.
If you choose to follow your dreams, you may not be able to watch the games and drink beer on the weekends or you would have to alter your weekdays as you may have to give up relaxing in front of the TV while watching Netflix.
This alteration of your reality/comfort zone paralyzes most people from trying anything new in their life. The below tweet summarizes this perfectly.
Getting out of your comfort zone is the first step towards a well-fulfilling life.
Another common emotion that people feel when thinking about pursuing their dreams is ‘Fear’.
Fear about not being successful in their pursuit. Questions like – What would happen if I fail? Would I be respected in the community if I return as a failure? Will my family be okay with me being a failure?
Fear about not being able to go back to their earlier reality. Once you change your direction then there would be many concurrent changes that sometimes will present a scenario where you may not be able to go back to your earlier life. You fear that you would lose your life if you fail in your venture.
You see the common thread here – Fear of failure.
As more and more commitments you start accumulating in your life, the greater the fear will be when you finally decide to work on your passion. This does not mean you should shy away from commitments, but you should have a mind strong enough that you believe that you will come out good on the other side is really important.
If you remove fear and still feel like you are procrastinating, then you can practice productive procrastination and learn how to leverage it to maximize your usage of time.
Brad Pitt sums it all in one scene in Fight Club, ‘Know that, someday you are going to die’.
Remove the possibility of failure from anything you do, then the fear is nonexistent. Train your mind to think that failure is nothing but a time to reevaluate your process or change your game plan. Kobe Bryant put this beautifully.
The perfect time to start does not exist:
There are many people, including myself, who keep waiting for the perfect time to start their journey towards their dream. One day, I stopped and asked myself, How would I know when I am ready to pursue my dreams? Is it after I have completed a course on something, or is it after I have a certain amount of savings or if I reach a certain age?
I had no answer to this question. But the more I thought about this, the more I realized that I would never be ready to pursue my dreams until I actually start working on them. The more I work on my passion, the more confident I become. As I gain more confidence in my craft, the better decisions I can make about how to take this further.
There is also an Edward Young Quote – Procrastination is the thief of time.
There is no such thing as a time and place to acknowledge whether you are ready for something. It is a process and it begins by starting to work on your craft little by little every day. Here is a quote from James Clear that sums this section up:
“There will never be a perfect time to do something that stretches you.
That’s true whether you are starting a business, having a child, changing careers, or wrestling with any number of challenges. That’s not a license to be reckless and never think things through, but at some point, you have to embrace the uncertainty because it is the only path forward.
If you were ready for it, it wouldn’t be growth.”James Clear
All this boils down to a simple thing – ‘Waiting to pursue dreams is the main cause of regret’. There would be more problems to overcome once you start working on your dreams, but procrastination kills dreams.
If you have any comments or questions on the ideas I mentioned above, please do let me know in the comments section and we can both grow and learn together.
If you want to know why passion pursuits are discouraged, check this article out.