It’s hard to impress me with deep thoughts. As an avid reader and writer in the self-help genre, the wheels in my head are always spinning quicker than I’m able to create and work. When you mix that with my introverted nature, you get a deep thinker that regularly explores the depths of different ideas.
A couple of days ago I heard a man say something that stopped me in the wake of my path. It was something profoundly deep and irrefutable. He said, “Procrastination is the denial of death.” Phew. That’s a mouthful of wisdom that embodies the irrational essence of human tendencies.
Procrastination is the denial of death.
Think about it: When you procrastinate doing something, you’re assuming that you’re going to be alive in the future to do it. Not only are you denying your inevitable transition into another type of existence, you’re also dishonoring the existence you’ve already been given. Assuming nobody knows the full extent of the Higher Power that gives us life, wouldn’t it make sense that you’re not going to be blessed with more prosperous opportunities in the future if you don’t honor the opportunities you’ve already received?
In the self-development world, it’s common to hear about how the cemetery is the richest place in the world; it’s a place where countless ideas, dreams, and goals are buried with (mostly) unsuspecting people. Although it’s true, the problem with that ideology is that it’s based on facts about things that aren’t tangible. We can’t see ideas. We can’t touch dreams. And we certainly can’t verify the regrets of our family and friends that have passed; yet, you and I can agree the cemetery is mostly filled with unfulfilled dreams because we’re personally guilty of allowing procrastination to stop some of our most pertinent desires.
The reasons for procrastination are too plentiful to list. The medicine for overcoming excuses can be equally cumbersome to explore. But what must be mentioned is the greatest tragedy of procrastination: the people that are counting on you to pursue your dreams. People are literally dying because you, I, and countless other people have allowed fears and anxiety to stop our most intense desires.
Be honest: How many times have you received something that you didn’t know you needed until after you received it? Quite often, right?
I had one of these common occurrences today. My cousin and I were talking about how our family was impacting our lives differently. She broke it down in a way that I needed to hear. She said, “Our family is an unhealthy drug that is not good for either of us. I’m a functioning drug addict that sees the negatives. But you’re a non-functioning drug addict that’s mentally free and needs to free his body in the same way.”
I understand that you don’t know the full context of the conversation so it’s probably difficult to digest. But the point is this: I didn’t know how bad I needed to hear that perspective until I actually heard my cousin speak. There’s an old slogan in the legal community that says, “Good lawyers never represent themselves.” I’m nearly thirty years old and know the quirks of my family. However, my cousin unexpectedly short circuited my stress level and made my deepest thoughts more tangible.
This is important because a lot of people don’t know how desperately they need your influence. They won’t know their own potential until you begin to honor your gifts and nurture your talents. Likewise, you’ll never begin to know the extent of how your talents and skills will enrich your life until you stop denying death and recognize the tragedies behind each time you procrastinate. Take a leap of faith to learn how you have the power to inspire the world.
Do you think Chester Bennington knew how many lives he saved before Linkin Park fans learned about his untimely death in 2017? Of course not. I guarantee you that his voice carried multiple people through the darkness of depression today.
No worries, I’m not going to go down a long list of celebrities. Because at the end of the day, you’re a celebrity in your own way. You may not be a front-of-the-tabloids superstar, but you’re a hero to the child that looks at you for inspiration. You’re a celebrity to the store clerk that’s looking for your smile to be inspired. You’re a warrior to the offspring of the women that relies on your kindness to survive.
More than anything else, you’re a LEGEND for every ounce of courage you exert to embrace every facet of the human experience despite societal expectations and accepted norms.