The thing about we humans is that we are always found doing, one way or another, we are engaged. You may want to say those who sleep through the days of the week on the bed are not doing anything but I will tell you they are doing; they are sleeping. My name is Michelle, and I want to share my change-story on how I began to finish tasks that I start even when they come difficult at the long run of engagement. Mind you, it is not all tasks we start that we finish but I am here to talk about how I tackled procrastination and getting fed up with tasks that seem difficult.
Why did you make that change?
The kind of background I have while growing up was one that placed life in my hands and left me to deal with it alone even while I was living in the four walls of my parents’ house. In summary, they were too engrossed in their day to day activities that they had lesser time for their kids. So, I grew up this way and obviously, I tackle my assignments alone but the thoughts that stroll through my mind whenever I pick those tasks up; thoughts like “if I had parents who had my time, this wouldn’t have been so difficult for me to solve” and the likes, would make me stalk countless of times and it would lead to half-done assignments or neglected ones. This attitude continued growing with me and I soon found it as normal and a way of life unfortunately, it was the beginning and launch of a lazy life.
I became steadfast in this habit that looking for excuses for not completing tasks or procrastinating them is never a difficult thing for me. It soon began to affect me when I am to hold an important position in group works or projects in school or social gatherings. Once I sense one or two difficulty, I get fed up and dump it on spot. How I managed to tackle my exams is still a miracle (who knows maybe my fear for failure was stronger than my laziness during exams?)
So, it happened that we agreed to go hiking in school. I checked my list of phobias, I realized fear of heights (acrophobia) was unchecked so, I was good to go see the world on the plain of a little mountain. We got there after being given orientation on the guiding rules and safety packs of hiking, we moved on to climbing from one stage to another. I realized I started losing interest because it was getting more demanding and other teenagers were really pumping hard their adrenaline to get to the top; even setting up a competition on who would be there first.
I got inspired by the attitude of determination they were all displaying to get to the top. And that day, I began to climb, setting up little heights as how far I have gone. To my utmost surprise, I found myself on the plain. I was so happy and my friends could not demystify the reason for such energetic joy.
We got back home, we were told to write a report on our experience before, during and after the hiking. I picked up my pen and began to write. I wrote till I began to consider the instructed length. I was amazed of such feat. I checked up the write-up again and again in awe that I could put all those together without getting fed up along the line.
The following week, I was grouped with a team of five to write a drama and prepare for its presentation. I realized I was so hyper that I volunteered to co-write and also take part in the presentation. I noticed a change in my mindset, I could identify a shift and since then, I always remember my experience of completing the hiking task and others that came after. I can’t say this is the number of tasks I have been able to complete in ten years. It was a real turnaround.
What was the transition like for that change?
Definitely it was not an asphalt movement change process. After the hiking and the group project that came around after that, I began to face personal tasks that I was the only motivation or push that was available for me to get them done. I would want to be relaxed when they get to the middle or almost done but, I keep my head straight and get them done.
There was a script someone solicited from me to write about life in terror dominated countries, how it would look like for teenagers, using a thirteen-year-old girl as the heroine who survived and found solace in a refugee camp in a neighboring country, where she started a new refined life. At a moment, due to the research dominated form the script comes with, I started feeling reluctant, I began to procrastinate when I would finish the script for submission.
Till one day, I was nudged by my mind that I should remember the hiking scenario and the victories that came after that. I caught up with that internal motivation and I realized a sweet sum from the script.
Top 3 actions you took to make this change?
- I dared my task. The mountain experience came as a full symbol to the change I got in my life’s experience because after I had successfully reach the plain by daring and conquering it, it has always been a reminder whenever I want to relapse.
- I broke my task into bits. I did not allow it to come so big and wide and unconquerable, I diminished it into bits and I was able to overcome and kept overcoming.
- I acted. I started taking those steps bit after bit till I got to the top. A symbol of a finished task.
What are the outcomes of that change?
I began to represent every difficulty that comes my way as a mountain I need to get to its plain. So, moving forward became a must.
It helped me in building my integrity with people, that I became known for getting things done by every means available.
It turned out that I began to manage my time and utilize it for things worthwhile.
What lessons do you learn?
- I learned how to use the positive energy of others to help me push forward.
- I found out that there is nothing impossible for whoever has a mindset of victory.
- I also learned not to get distracted by challenges when one is on a path to achievement.
I believe this story is not only applicable to achieving physical tasks, one could also apply this process into achieving emotional and psychological demands.