I’m convinced that EVERYBODY has a secret heart’s desire. It could be the degree you want to complete, the business or ministry you want to start, the new career you’re dying to pursue or the romantic relationship you’d love to develop.
Whatever your thing may be, you’ve dreamt of it forever. You get a brief rush of excitement whenever you even think of it. That beautiful goal has become your own personal treasure.
Sadly, it will remain a buried treasure until you actually DO something about it.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
But then that’s the weird irony, isn’t it? The stuff we HAVE to do (even stuff that starves our passion and bores us to tears) we faithfully do on a daily basis. While our secret heart’s desire keeps getting put on hold.
It’s usually not that we’re lazy or lacking faith and ambition.
It’s just that we’ve already got so much to do: bills to pay, mouths to feed, loved ones to care for and enemies to avoid. So the clock keeps ticking, days become months, and months become years while your dream goal quietly gathers dust.
The truth is, I have sometimes been more a procrastinator than a pursuer myself.
PERSONAL DISCLOSURE HERE
Years ago, my dream was to become a published author, writing THE how-to book on relationships for a new generation of African-American readers. I wanted it badly enough to taste it, but somehow my sincere desire didn’t produce any action for a very long time.
I had somehow bought into the idea that in order to sit down and write my book I needed to have: the perfect inspiration, perfect schedule, the perfect writing space, and perfect agent, publisher and contract–BEFORE I could even begin.
Procrastination is always about thinking there is still something more that we need before we can even start the process. We delay because, deep down, we believe we can never fail at what we never attempt.
Fear of failure is what makes we procrastinators always schedule the same start date: “Someday.”
MY LONG WAIT FOR “SOMEDAY”
I dreamed, hoped and pondered; I talked a good game but never got around to playing it. I sat idle and unproductive for months until I couldn’t stand my paralysis another minute.
Finally, motivated by misery, I pushed myself to start doing a little something, not Someday, but right now.
So, I bought the pencils and laid out the paper. I set a realistic deadline and started scribbling my scattered thoughts. I turned off the stupid TV – and my dumb excuses – and forced myself to produce at least three pages (even awful pages) each day.
At the start, my efforts seemed insubstantial, motivated more by guilt than inspiration. But even guilt can be useful if it jumpstarts you into action.
Slowly, but surely I came to realize that an object in motion – even slow motion – is likely to eventually arrive at its intended destination. And that the longer an object remains at a standstill, the more it tends to, well… stand still.
One long year after my “small beginnings” I completed How to Love a Black Man, which went on to become a national bestseller and one of my proudest accomplishments. The procrastinator had become a published author– without waiting around for a miracle to make it happen!
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Faith without works is dead; and talk is cheaper than ever. Before your own dream fades any further, and before you talk yourself out of ever pursuing it, simply commit to getting up and doing something purposeful starting now.
At the beginning your baby steps won’t impress you or anybody else; but it will be movement – not mere hopes and good intentions – but progress toward your very own secret heart’s desire.
Progress trumps perfection every time.
Now is NOT the time to wallow in regrets about the past or to dismiss your current efforts as too little, too late. Do anything that will move you even an inch closer to the fulfillment of your God-given goal, right now.
I’ve got great news…Someday is TODAY!