Often in the times of great adversity and even otherwise, I ask people, “When the going gets hard, what keeps you going?” When we feel the heat, the pressure of deadlines, expectations, responsibilities of things that simply must be done, how do we get them done?
Often we rely on fear and the last minute pressure to push us into finishing our tasks. This leads to excessive procrastination, binging on TV shows, movies or even food for entertainment, valuable time is wasted and the result is a compromised quality of work and high levels of stress.
I am an Engineer, so the cycle of procrastination and last-minute pressure is as familiar as it can be. Every semester, I’d make ‘The Plan’ that we’re all pretty familiar with, the one which is not at all followed. Through all eight semesters of pretending to study while binge-watching the next episode of some popular generic TV show, writing sloppy code while sharing coding memes like I understood them and repeating my fair share of subjects, never did I stick to The Plan. Now, I am sure that this is the norm with most people, but why do we do this?
When the deadline is far into the future, we use previous escapades with our all-nighters and close shaves as excuses to put off work. We come across several distractions and reasons to ignore what really demands our attention. The truth is, either our work is simply not fulfilling or we’re stuck in a vicious cycle of lies, we tell ourselves every day.
To get started with what must be done, we look for inspiration. Inspiration comes from everywhere: people, events, even from within. Inspiration is what gets us started, but what do we do when the going gets tough? We procrastinate. Sometimes, we quit. Those who keep going despite great adversity or simply boredom, are those with discipline and will. Inspiration is great, but pointless without the discipline to see something through.
Everybody has their own set of challenges and goals they set for themselves, no matter how hard or easy, we believe they must be accomplished. The truth is, great people are just people with greater willpower and self-belief. We are all we really need to accomplish whatever we wish to. Instead of looking for inspiration from another seemingly great human being, we should look upon those incidences in our lives where we faced a huge problem, no matter how trivial, and realize we made it through to be where we are today. We are the only inspiration we really need.
Life is too short to procrastinate finishing tasks we don’t care about. If one is to die the next day, they must not wonder what life could have been if they had just found their true calling and the meaning of their existence. Often, the tasks in our to-do list are menial and dull. Even if we know what our passion is, we might still have quite a few hurdles along the way, that we must cross, to be able to pursue what we long for. Passion and willpower walk hand in hand, they fill the pages of a potential autobiography, to make it a bestseller that flies off the bookshelves.
Written by: Achala Balgi
Edited by: Lipi Gupta