Procrastinator’s (Precious) Pitfall

We all know what procrastinating means. Some of us do it daily, others less often but we do fall victim to scheduling our biggest goals for the never-coming tomorrow.

And we do know it doesn’t help. It doesn’t make us feel better. On the contrary, it only makes us feel worse.

Instead of doing that thing and getting it over with, we feel the constant pressure of deadlines. Or if the deadline is self-imposed or missing altogether, we just know, in anything we do, we should be doing that other thing we are not. That other thing we postpone but never remove from the to-do list. Ending up feeling like a failure pretty much all the time.

There are already so many sources out there on how to combat procrastination. Apps, the Pomodoro technique, mental games of rewards and punishments. So here I will not speak about that. I won’t focus on giving tips on how to stop putting things off.

I want to focus on one aspect I don’t see covered as much. I call it the Procrastinator’s Pitfall. It is especially pronounced in creative people, even though each postponer suffers from it.

It is the pitfall of starting something, leaving it for (quite) some time and then coming back to it, only to realize you are not the same person who started it.

Obviously, this is not the biggest issue you face if you are preparing a company’s annual report or a university presentation on perfect competition.

But if you are writing an article, a book, preparing a life plan, painting a picture, or doing anything else that requires the output first pass through your personal viewpoint, then you are a bit fucked.

How many times have I started writing something, then started another, then another, never finishing any of these? Then I try to come back finish the first piece but guess what – I can no longer remember/relate to the point I was trying to convey back then. So I think I’ve hit writer’s block. And I keep procrastinating. And I start more things I never finish. And I keep feeling like a total failure.

Now you might ask why would I want to produce anything that I can’t relate to. Of course, I don’t want to. But back then, when I had this fresh idea, I was relating to it. I had it all mapped out in my brain but then I lose the map. Sometimes I simply cannot remember where I was going with it. What a comparison/point I was trying to make.

And that feels so bad. Having something (possibly great) on your mind and then losing it simply because you were too lazy, too far from a comfort zone, too much of a procrastinator.

This is why I strive to finish anything I start in one sitting. I can always edit later. I can always throw that paper in the bin. But I will have the amazing feeling of achievement. Of having finally finished something.

It is true that the one-sitting approach can’t always work. Book writers, you’ve been dealt the poor cards. As much as you try, fighting physiological needs like sleep, eating and toilet would only work for a few hours.

But this is why you have a word count. A daily goal works just perfectly. You achieve it and then are free to do whatever. In your newly-achieved exhilarated state of non-procrastinator.

And guess what? You are then far more likely to come back write tomorrow. Because now you are confident you can. You saw yourself do it yesterday, so what would stop you today? Whereas never achieving your goal and feeling like a failure is not really conducive to future accomplishments.

Surely, in the case of writing a book or dealing with another lengthy creative process, you can get stuck for real. You may have no clue where you want to take the story next. And that’s okay, then it is indeed recommended you drop that thing and do something else.

So that you can actually come back not the same person who started it. So that you have a new perspective and tons of fresh ideas.

Sometimes a book is just waiting for you to grow and become the person who can write it. And it is willing to wait.

That’s where another important point comes. If you can’t finish in one sitting and you feel completely stuck and know you won’t do that thing, please remove it from your to-do list. At least for today.

As soon as you feel yourself postponing something that should have been done today and you know you are not doing it anyways, better not to force yourself do it late-night and at the expense of sleep and lots of frustration, ending up not finishing again.

This is by no means to tell you to drop streaks and hope for a better day. No, just have a productivity deadline.

You know at what time you want to be in bed. You know all the other things you would like to do today. This is why you always get the advice to do the hardest thing first. As because of it you are likely also not to do the easy ones. Wasting time “doing it” but actually distracting yourself with stupid stuff.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try today and if it works – great. If not, simply say you need a break and come back tomorrow. Tell yourself you need to be a different person to finish this.

And believe me, you can change so much in a single day. You can be bombarded by realizations, inspiring situations, anything you never thought would move your art forward.

So yeah – the idea here is not to beat yourself up. To try to avoid the loss of confidence due to feeling like a failure. If you really, really want it, you will do it. You must do it. And most of the time, you must force yourself do it.

Believe that life’s got your back and it won’t let that dream goal escape. It will give you the needed guidelines, but from then on – it is up to you.

If books would auto-write themselves… the world wouldn’t be such a beautiful place would it?

In Spite of Entropy

Entropy – the measure of a system’s thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work. Because work is obtained from ordered molecular motion, the amount of entropy is also a measure of the molecular disorder, or randomness, of a system.

No, this blog hasn’t suddenly turned into a physics hub. I just want to make a point and what better way than to use the second law of thermodynamics?

Which happens to say that “entropy always increases with time”.

In simple (or maybe overly simplified) words, disorder is taking over. No way to counteract it, this is a universal law.

And now we come to the very essence of the matter. What does this physics lecture have to do with living a fulfilling life?

Well, I guess you have noticed it too. Murphy’s law in real life. The sandwich always falling down on its topping side. You trying hard but still messing up.

The thing is, the Universe has been programmed with far more “disorder” than “order” scenarios.

So the probability of shit happening is kinda bigger than it not happening.

Stephen Hawking has illustrated this with a nice example in “Brief History of Time”. He says if we have a jigsaw puzzle in a box and shake that box, the chances of getting the pieces all around is much greater than getting them exactly in place to form the picture they are meant to.

Then, are all our attempts to create order, to achieve something, doomed? We are on our way of ruining the Earth, the Sun is bound to explode, the Universe might shrink back together… so why bother?

Here’s the thing. Despite all of the disorder scenarios, the order ones still exist. The chances of them occurring may be lower, but that doesn’t make them non-existent. (If they didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be reading these lines!) They are still here and they are worth the fight.

Despite all odds. In spite of entropy.

I feel a certain kind of release upon admitting this truth. Even a surge of entertainment.

It’s like screaming your head off with the words “Hey entropy, I know you are bigger and stronger and almighty and stuff but guess what? I’m not giving in!”

(mosquito quotes time)

“Don’t be afraid to bite on a giant, learn from the mosquito”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try going to bed with a mosquito”
― Dalai Lama

Even if you don’t achieve your grand plan the way you have imagined it to, you have at least tried to be entropy’s pain in the ass.

Isn’t it ever so slightly more motivating to fight against all odds? Isn’t this what all good stories are made up of?

No matter whether you win or lose, you remain a hero forever. Like the famous battle of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans against the Persians.
If nothing else, it made for a great blockbuster movie.

Of course, the point here is not to make a complete mess out of yourself deliberately.

But not to give up even if everything seems impossible.
Cause most definitely it isn’t.

I am sure you have heard of this another very famous movie – The Butterfly Effect. I don’t know about the movie, but in essence, this effect describes how a very small and insignificant action can have the power to mess up a huge, complex system.
The term, closely associated with the work of Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. (Wikipedia)

So yeah, if a butterfly can affect a tornado, imagine what you are capable of. I mean, we can already see the lengths the humankind is getting to. We just take them for granted, accept them for something normal. But all the big structures and edge-cutting innovations are something grandiose, come to think of it.

We just keep trying. To survive, to bring more order. Whether the world ends tomorrow or in billion years. We won’t probably be around to witness entropy completely taking over, so why give up now?

It is astonishing how whether you’ve tidied up your room or not is completely insignificant to humankind. And how whether humankind continues to be or not is completely insignificant to the rest of the Universe.

Yet if the tidiness of your room matters to you, then that’s all that matters. It’s your own battle with entropy. Your own crusade against the mess of life.

Keep trying and know if you get failures, it is simply because the world is wired that way. Because its creative director’s juices flow on the side of disorder. Because it’s having more fun trying to mess with you. So why don’t you have some fun trying to bring some order to ma’am entropy?

One more thing to note.

If you tried only once and succeeded, you wouldn’t try again, right? You wouldn’t try better.

And this last point I have saved for the end, cause it basically undermines everything I said so far. (Oops)

The truth is, the more you try and the more effort you put in, the more energy you give off, you are kinda assisting entropy do its job.
I know the article became messy, but did someone just say enough physics for today?

Now you have a choice.

Not giving up is the only option, but you decide whether you want to feel like David against Goliath or like the almighty’s ally.

In spite of or because of entropy.
Keep going.

Meant to Break

So many people stumble upon the meant to be feeling, don’t they?

But how many of them move on to the meant to be reality?

Many times, what felt like it was meant to be, was destined to be meant to break.

But here’s the thing.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

To be honest, I haven’t tested if diamonds are forever, but I know nothing much really is. Everything comes and goes, so what makes love the odd one out?

Most definitely, love that’s meant to be, exists. I am not here to deny that.

I just want to acknowledge love that’s meant to break is just as significant and beautiful part of life.

Aren’t the break of dawn, the butterfly breaking the chrysalis some of the most beautiful parts of life?

Haven’t the broken hearts of humankind produced some of the finest things life has to offer – poetry, art, maybe even wine?

In the end, love is love. Nothing more and nothing less. Even if it didn’t last, even if it ended all in tears.

Sometimes love means destruction, simply because we still have to learn how to build.

Sometimes love means to break both of us, so that we can see we are whole even without it.

So that we can finally notice our own cracks and tend to them, not try to cover them behind a shiny armour.

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

I know what your fear is. I really do.

You are afraid a crack might mean you pour out completely. Become utterly empty, just a shell of yourself.

However, a break through your walls, more often than not, leads to a breakthrough if you’d let that happen.

So yeah. Since the very beginning, some loves are only meant to break us.

And that’s okay. Completely okay.

Should you look better after it next time? Should you handle it with extra care?

Maybe, or maybe not.

Remember, it is not love that’s fragile. It’s you.

So look after yourself. Go pick up those broken pieces and put them back together.

Next time love pours in, it will stay.

Because it genuinely means to.

Don’t anticipate a break or just assume love’s pefect and it will never break.

Love may or may not be perfect, it’s not on me to tell.

But you, and the people you love, and will love, are not.

We have our shortcomings, and that’s okay.

It’s okay to have a love meant to break so that you can learn to spot a love meant to last.

You wouldn’t want to miss that last one, would you?

Comfort Zoned

Have you ever been after that one dream, that one thing you’ve always wanted?

Have you ever gotten so, so close, you were convinced you are totally gonna make it? Like, you need just one more step and you’ve made it?

No doubt about it.

And then it all falls down.

Crumbles right before your unbelieving eyes. The most unexpected “unexpected” happens, the stars are not aligned, fate hates you… This can’t be real, can’t be really happening, right?

You’ve been comfort zoned.

Life has just brought you right back where you’ve started. From scratch, everything all over again… Will you have the strenght to do it?

This is the moment most people give up.

They decide they suck, they will never be enough, they should have never tried, to begin with.

So is that the end? The end of your happily ever after and all of your dreams?

We human beings are kind of fragile.

Even if our packaging does not come stamped with “Please, handle with care”.

We get a single tiny crack but we feel like we are down in pieces.
Like we could never be stitched back together again.

Even if we only have this small crack, we would already feel like rubbish. Like something completely unworthy.

Well, as much as you can only feel like this, it is far from the truth.

You see, life is just a bit selective.

It doesn’t simply grant wishes (as far as I am aware).

It would like to test you. To watch you prove you are a fighter who is not quitting at the first challenge encountered.

It wants to see you learn, it wants to see you grow. To become stronger and aim even higher.

The fact you are back at the start can only inspire you to be better this time.

Falling down after being high is a scary thing.

It kills your will for standing up back again. It is far easier to complain and blame it on everything else, right?

Far more comfortable to just give up.

And pretend you never wanted that thing that much anyways. To leave it all behind, blame it on naiivety and go back to the “real” world. To settle down.

In the comfort zone.

But the comfort zone is not that bad, is it? It feels so comfortable…

Leave it. Just get up and go. Yes, please. Listen to my message. Don’t do it for me. Do it for yourself.

Go out of your comfort zone. Do it once. Then you will see it is not that hard to keep doing it.

It fuels your life. It gives you a spark you know you want. It makes you more of the person you want to be.

So please, don’t tell me that you can’t. That it is too complicated. That you would like to but…

Those are all excuses.

There is always, always a starting point. Going out of your comfort zone does not mean jumping straight away into your biggest challenge. Unless you are ready for it, of course.

But as a beginning, just do something. As small as it may seem.

Ask a stranger for directions when you are sure you need some and they will save you time and hassle looking for a place on your own.
Get up and close the window when you are cold at your new job instead of waiting on somebody else do it.

There are many ways of challenging yourself.

Don’t look at me as if this is not the truth.

Don’t tell me there is nothing you can do at the moment.

You have to wait to be promoted, right? To finally pay attention to your own personal growth.

You have to wait to lose 5 kg, right? Before you could ask him out. You have to be a pro, right? Before you start your own business. And you have to be a super crazy person to go on a trip without knowing where you’d sleep the night after, right?

Stop telling yourself who you need to be in order to get what you want.

Start asking what needs to be done so that you get there.

And then do it. Little by little, one step at a time.

Look for your opportunities, because they can’t always find you.
Especially if you hide so successfully in your comfort zone.

Do this, or stop dreaming.

Yes, you read that right.

This is the alternative. There is no in between.

Either work for real towards your goals or stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself that you give up. Say it out loud that you are no longer going after what you most wanted in this life.

No, you are not gonna do it tomorrow. Stop fooling yourself. Just don’t do that anymore.

From now on you are a person without any dreams and aspirations. Do you really deserve achieving your deepest desires if you never moved a finger to get even a centimeter closer to them?

Now close your eyes and imagine.

Imagine how you delete everything on your bucket list. Imagine how you let go of the visions of successful you. Yes, also wave goodbye to those hopes of real love.

And now tell me, how does this whole thing feel? Does it make you lighter, happier?

If that’s the case, then congrats.

Those dreams were not yours to achieve. They were somebody else’s instilled in your brain somehow. But not in your heart.

However, if you feel like there is no longer point in existing, that life has suddenly lost its meaning, then you should already know, right?

That quitting is not an option. And that it never was.

You don’t want that feeling of emptiness and failure to follow you around your whole life. You don’t want to burry those dreams along with your dead body. You don’t want to live the last days of your life in regret.

So here it goes. Do it while you still can.

Change is not easy, nobody said it was. But leaving your comfort zone and doing the work to make things happen is worth it any pain you will encounter on the path.

Of course, you will often forget about your wins (maybe even now you are unaware of some of them!). You will be lost without any focus and directions many more times than you can count.

But this is all part of the process. All part of the challenge. Of proving you are worthy of what you claimed.

Would be cool if they would hire me as a developer with a starting salary of $150,000 USD without any knowledge and experience, wouldn’t it?
But to get that job, I need to prove I am worthy of it and that I will actively contribute to the company. So this is when I should provide my small wins – certificates, CV, just my skills – to show I am worth the shot.

You will apply for many jobs throughout your lifetime (i.e. many dreams).

Most of these might go unnoticed, but every now and then, life will throw an opportunity your way. It will invite you for an interview. And it is your own responsibility to prepare and to impress. To be persistent and to show you deserve that chance.

So think again before you quit. Before you come up with yet another creative excuse.

Leave your comfort zone.

Stay with your dreams.

What About

And what about the realization that you will be the first person to ever, ever NOT step on the Moon, not invent the Internet, not create leggings for dogs?

But have the once-in-a-countless-lifetimes privilege to be you, YOU, so unapologetically you?

How would that feel?

And not only the first person ever, but also the last one.

Do you even come close to the understanding that only you and nobody ever before and ever again can achieve what you can tomorrow?

If this is not the highest achievement, I honestly can’t imagine what is.

Do you realize you hold that power, that miracle?
Accept it and live it out loud, and you will be the greatest hero of all times.

But how? Simply living an ordinary life?

Being born, going to school, getting married, having kids, writing a book, creating own business… No, no, these are small negligible things cause someone already did them, you would think.

Wait. Sit down and calmly consider what nobody has ever done and nobody would ever do.
(Hint: Nobody could be you.)

As much as they tried, as close as they came.

They might have the same clothes, went to the same university and got the same diploma, maybe even have the same business idea you have. They might even get your spouse and kids if you let that happen.

So what makes you stand out?

It’s the way you perceive all those things and live through them.

The unique angle and outlook on life which no one can duplicate.

Because the lenses you see the world through are yours and only yours to have.

Even if technology is now fast advancing and AI can mirror humans up to a crazy extent. It still cannot be exactly like you. As it will be a copy, and you are an original.

“But still, who would ever want to be me?”, you might say.

Now stop and think.

Describe to me how it feels to be the pioneer, the discoverer of new territory? And at the same the last man who ever had the chance to see it, to live through it?

It’s like you were the first and last person to step in sea-engulfed Atlantida.

It makes it double special and impossible for anyone else to achieve.

I believe there are no impossible things but this one is – for anyone else but you.

Other people can have your clothes but not your style.
Your house but not your home.
Your spouse but not your marriage.
Your job but not your work.
Your circumstances but not your life.

Each one of us is an infinitesimal, yet at the same time, an infinite walking phenomenon.

A masterpiece in progress.

Have you ever looked at yourself as the wonder you are? Have you ever seen it?

Have you ever thought that you are a unique mixture of past experiences, current thought patterns, and future expectations?

I agree some stars shine brighter.

And some might even not be stars but just a reflection of them. But this all depends on size and distance and they are so many, so unique. And each one has its own destiny and path.

Wanting to be another and being sorry that you are you is a waste of life.

It’s like humankind refusing to exist simply because they don’t live on the biggest planet. Oblivious of the fact it has no water and air.

We’ve got our own small piece of Universe and we’ve got to do the best we can with it.

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” (John Wooden)

Oh, and by the way, you can still be the first person who invented the teleport.

Promise we won’t complain.

FEAR = Fake, Erroneous, Absurd Restraint

If I asked any of you what fear is, I would get tons of different answers as we all perceive it in our own way.

From all the quotes I’ve read over the web (I love quotes, so you will definitely encounter some here) I saw fear can be described as pretty much everything.

Just like the way we can fear pretty much everything.

So what is it really?

Fear is a biological mechanism that keeps us alive.


It keeps me from bungee jumping without the bungee.
It keeps me from trying to be a bestie with a shark.

Maybe we should thank fear for the existence of mankind. If it wasn’t for it our predecessors might have gone extinct because of trying to be besties with mammoths.

Fear is simply a part of us; it is a survival instinct which animals possess.

When something scares the shit out of you, some stimuli are crossing your body back and forth, most often telling you to run. And you normally run except if you panic.

But I’m not competent enough and I’m lazy enough to speak of the physiological aspect of fear and Wikipedia is free for all, isn’t it?

So now I’m going to share another secret with you.

You think fear keeps us alive?

Well, you’ll have to think again.

While it is true that fear can save our lives, most of the time it does exactly the opposite.

Fear can be a real badass.

Quite often it tells you to run from things you actually shouldn’t be. There are so many things in this life you have to face, but fear comes in and you go out of the battle.

And that’s wrong.

That’s so wrong.
Instead, “as soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it” (Chanakya). Otherwise, it will destroy you. Do you still think fear is your savior?

Fear is a killer.

It has killed so many possibilities for happiness and countless number of dreams.

Fear keeps us dead.

It keeps us so well encaged into our comfort zone, that it would actually be easier to escape Alcatraz.

It is fear that stays in our way of living life to the fullest. It is exactly because fear is anything and because we fear anything that we end up fearing life.

And you know what the ironic part here is?

We ourselves are the ones who fuel our fears; we make them more powerful than our faith.

We put ourselves in a cage, lock it, and then we drop the key in our pocket. And it is so sad sometimes we won’t dare leave the cage for the rest of our lives.

However, there are times when fear actually keeps us alive.

And that’s when we overcome it.

Isn’t it exactly then that we feel like the world is ours? Like we can do anything because we are not afraid anymore?

“Use fear as an engine, not as a brake.”

Use fear as a trampoline for jumping over the walls of your comfort zone, because what lies on the other side is truly amazing.

Your dream world awaits you, full of colour and light.

And full of freedom.

That same freedom you took away from yourself when you locked the cage. Remember YOU got the key?

I agree that overcoming fears is not an easy task.

I fight that battle every day and most of the time I come out defeated.
Oh, but when I come out as a winner!

The feeling is indescribable – you have to try it yourself. And it is quite addicting. Once you’ve taken even the tiniest of fear down, you finally begin to believe in yourself.

And suddenly winning the next battle no longer seems impossible, even if the battle is bigger.

The opportunity to kick fear’s ass should never be missed and if you are anything like me – still miles away from being fearless and you miss opportunities just like I miss the morning bus, don’t be afraid. Every new day is a new opportunity and if you actually tried, then you haven’t missed it. You are now one step closer to your goal.

Is being fearless my goal?

Yes, it is.

To be fearless does not mean that you will no longer feel fear. It means that when fear blocks your way, you give your best to find the detour. It means that you are no longer caging yourself; you are not a fear’s hostage anymore.

I don’t know if there is a clear-cut difference between being fearless and being reckless. But sometimes we need some craziness just so that we can feel the thrill of living.

All the people who are safely grounded into their comfort zone will label anyone who dares to escape it crazy. And all the people who were brave enough to do that will call crazy the ones who weren’t. Simply because they chose safety over adventure and they are receiving boredom instead of excitement.

In the words of William G.T. Shedd, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” And a human is safe in his comfort zone, but that’s not what humans are for.

We are here to learn, to explore, to achieve what yesterday was thought impossible, and to inspire others do the same. The history is full of examples.

There is a brave warrior in all of us who is here to fight for our dreams but we put Fake, Erroneous, Absurd Restraints on him.

They are fake because it is only us who have the power to make them real.

They are erroneous because they shouldn’t be there.

They are absurd because we are crazy to restrain ourselves from what we want in life just for the sake of being safe.

If we want to live we shouldn’t fear death.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” (F. D. Roosevelt)