Procrastination: The Power of Two Words

Perhaps you started this conversation with me last week. We continue looking at the power of these two words: “what” and “if”.

Remember, power provides us the ability, strength, and capacity to do something; to take action.

A question is simply a request for information, when properly framed it will help us stop and explore for truth. The power of a question comes from the truthfulness of the answer. 

Photo by Celesteh

Truth Brings Freedom

What do we need to move forward? Truth, facts, and reality.

Without truth we remain stuck in fear.

Questions help us stop and think.

When we give careful thought or reconsider previous actions, events, or decisions we find the path to freedom.  Feedback is that factual, truthful answer; when embraced, it can set us free to experience even greater success. 

Reflecting on “the story” using open-ended questions provides the ability, strength and capacity to

  • Change unproductive behavior(s)
  • Improve performance
  • Make a difference in our world.  

That’s power!

Big Picture, Assessing Risk

Asking “What if?” can give us the power to take a risk and set us on the adventure of a lifetime. Consider Pablo Picasso’s perspective on risk-taking:

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. 

The use of “What if?” sets us free to explore potential which usually involves some level of risk.

This nation was built by men who took risks – pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, business men who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action.                                                                         -Brooks Atkinson

Asking “What if?” may be the self-evident application of this powerful, little question.

Reversing Procrastination, taking Action

Procrastination, you’ve heard of it, right?

It’s that inclination to postpone doing something, taking action…habitually.  Remember, power provides us the ability, strength, and capacity to do something.

So with further thought, what happens if we use “What if?” in the everyday, ordinary stuff of life, not just the adventure?  

What might happen if we ask “What if I go ahead and get this done…now?”

Perhaps the simple question that begs for an answer will provide the “power” to “do something”?

Consider Cary’s comment from last week’s blog:

I’m glad I asked myself, “What if I take a moment I don’t think I have to read Steve’s words of wisdom.  And what if, I told him how meaningful they were to me this very day?”

Thank you, Steve for some much-needed inspiration!

My reply to Cary follows…

What a great illustration. You applied asking “What if?” to the everyday, ordinary decisions of people with people journey…beyond the so-called “game changer” situations.

Thank you!

Now in light of your response (taking action) may I give you the answer to your 2 questions?

– I am humbled that you read what I write and it gives support to your day, today
– I am encouraged and determined to keep listening, writing, and passing along what I receive

Yes, your response to the possibility and opportunity has affected my life; thank you!

What might happen when you ask: “What if…” when

  • inclined to hit the snooze button
  • click the postpone button on that task reminder, again
  • that prompt comes suggesting you reach out to another person offering positive support

Do you desire power to invite your risk-taker to show up and take action?

Do you want power to tell that procrastinator to get lost and take action?

What if . . . ?

What if you forward this to a friend?

What if you post a comment and engage in the conversation?

I’d love to hear your voice. 


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Tags: , , Posted in Motivation, Performance Improvement, Productivity, Results, Risk |

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm and is filed under Motivation, Performance Improvement, Productivity, Results, Risk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.