“Our fears are not caused by the things that we are afraid of. They are caused by our perceived inability to handle the things that we're afraid of.”
Procrastination is something we all struggle with, and it prevents us from achieving our goals and dreams. If you’re a human being, I know you can relate! We all put off things we know we need to do, no matter how important they are.
In today’s episode, I want to talk to you about four (4) of the primary reasons we procrastinate and propose four (4) solutions to these common challenges we all face. You’ll learn how to identify patterns that don’t serve you, get rid of the obstacles in your way, and find the energy to generate unstoppable momentum.
- Why procrastination is a perpetual mindset that can entrap us for days, months, or years.
- Why fear, lack of clarity, and lack of energy drive us to procrastinate.
- Why we almost always want to do what’s easy—and how procrastination can lead you into a perpetual cycle of self-defeat.
- How to understand and make sense of your fears, get clarity over your mission, get energized, and reorient your life around your goals.
- Why nothing can stop you but you–and why you CAN become unstoppable.
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Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
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Hal Elrod: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and as always, thank you for being here today. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for your valuable time and I hope you get a ton out of today's episode. Last week, we talked about four steps to improve consistency and we're following up on that today with how to overcome procrastination. It's something that we all struggle with on one level or another or in one area of our life or another. And today we're going to identify four of the primary causes of procrastination, and then we're going to address those with four parallel solutions to those four causes. And I think today will be a little different than you probably approach to procrastination, that topic and overcoming it in the past. I just hope that it's really valuable for you. So, before we dive into how to overcome procrastination, I want to take just a minute or two to thank our sponsors that bring you this show every week.
The first is our long-time sponsor, Organifi. And I want to talk about Organifi as it relates to weight management because one of the major challenges that you shared in a survey we sent in a while back that we're going to talk about today, which is why we covered procrastination but the other thing was losing weight. That was one of the most popular topics. And scientists have discovered that when some people lose weight, their blood suddenly shows the presence of pesticides that haven't been used in 40 years. And this is because the body stores toxins in fat cells. Fat cells are kind of like a dry sponge in this way. The more fat cells in the body, the more likely we are to store toxins. And this is why detoxing and weight loss go hand in hand and Organifi Green Juice is a delicious superfood blend with several superfoods shown to assist the body with detoxing. It's a great complement for any weight loss plan to help speed up the results and it tastes absolutely delicious, comes in a mint flavor, and then their new crisp apple flavor also has rave reviews. It's 100% USDA certified organic and non-GMO certified, and it will help support your body's natural detox process and reach a healthy weight much easier. Try it today. That's Organifi Green Juice at Organifi.com/Hal and then use the discount code “HAL” at checkout for 20% off your entire order.
And our other sponsor is CURED Nutrition. I've been blending CURED’s product line with Organifi to optimize my health and the two products that I love of CURED’s are Rise, which is a nootropic that I take first thing in the morning. I even just got back from vacation visiting my sister and these two products went with me. Rise to start my day and then what's called Night Caps, which is a blend of CBD and CBN oil. It's been really effective. I've been talking about their CBN oil and then their Night Caps blend that with CBD. So, head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal. Check out Rise to wake you up in the morning and Night Caps to help you relax and sleep solid. Get that deep sleep that you need to restore your body. Head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal and also use the code “HAL” at checkout for 20% off your entire order.
All right. Goal achievers, let's talk about it, procrastination. We all struggle with it and I want to help you today to overcome procrastination permanently.
Hal Elrod: Goal Achievers, members of the Miracle Morning community, welcome to today's podcast. We are going to talk about how to overcome procrastination, which holds so many of us back from our goals and dreams. We put off the things that we know we should do, we could do, but it's easier to not do so we don't do them. We put them off until tomorrow and then the next day, and then the next day, and often never the day that you need to do the thing or the day you do the thing doesn't ever come because procrastination is a perpetual mindset. Last week, we talked about how to be more consistent for strategies or steps to become more consistent. And so, these episodes, this episode today, last week's episode, and then a couple of weeks before that was how to make more money. These are all based on the survey results that I sent out to our community a while back where we got over 3,300 responses asking the question, “What is your number one single biggest challenge, personally or professionally, in your life right now?” And some of the most popular answers, the most common answers were, “I want to make more money.” So, that was the first episode that we did. And then last week we talked about being more consistent because that was a big challenge for folks. And then another one was procrastination. And we can all relate to procrastinating because we all do it.
And so, today we're going to identify four causes of procrastination and then how to overcome each of those. So, four strategies, if you will, maybe even more than four because overcoming these challenges, these causes of procrastination, there may be one or more strategies involved. So, that's what we're going to dive into today. This is something that if you're a human being, you can relate to this, right? As I said a few minutes ago, we all procrastinate. And even those of us that are if you're not a major procrastinator like you're pretty successful in your life or in your business, typically there's always areas that we procrastinate in, right? So, you might like on the surface of someone, you look at them and you go, "Wow. They're very successful. They've got a successful business or career. They're making great money.” They might procrastinate on health choices that they need to make or different areas of their life that you might not see on the surface. So, like I said, whether you are struggling in areas of your life, whether you are a high achiever in most areas or somewhere in between, today's episode I think will be relevant for all of us, myself included.
So, here we go. Let's dive right in. So, what causes us to procrastinate? Number one is fear. Fear, whether it's fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of making mistakes, there can be a variety of fears. But if we're afraid of something, whether we're afraid of the activity or we're afraid of failing to reach the outcome if we put forth the activity, right, that's a big one. If you go, “What if I try? What if I give it my all but then I fail? What if it's all for not? And of course, if you've read The Miracle Equation, there is a whole chapter in there on the real purpose of a goal which is derived from a Jim Rohn philosophy, that the real purpose of a goal is not to reach the goal. The real purpose of a goal is to become the person that is capable of reaching goals. So, it's about developing yourself through the process of attempting to reach any and every goal that you set, whether or not you reach them. Nobody reaches all their goals or I'm sure somebody does, but not very many. You set goals. Some you hit, some you don't, some you exceed, some you fall way short of, and some while you're on the path toward the goal, you realize, “Oh, this isn't actually the right goal for me. You know, either this isn't the right time or I'm headed in the wrong direction.” And so, then you adjust course.
But this fear of failure prevents so many of us from even taking the first step. But if you approach your goals and realize that the purpose is really to grow and to learn about myself, to learn what works and what doesn't, to learn who I need to be to achieve this goal and other goals, the rest of my goals, if you approach it that way, then the fear of failure can really dissipate and you go, “Well, I can't fail to become better. As long as I'm attempting goals, major goals, significant goals, meaningful goals, as long as I'm attempting these goals and I'm giving it everything I have, even if I don't end up reaching it, even if I fall short, the growth lasts forever.” If you make a bunch of money and that's the goal, well, you spend the money and you got to do it again, right? Only the growth that you experience on your journey toward achieving your goals lasts forever. But the first cause of procrastination is fear. And of course, in life in general, it's really important that we identify what is causing us to engage in a mindset such as procrastination or a habitual way of being, if you will, such as procrastination.
It's important that we are aware of the obstacles that are standing between us and what we want, who we need to be to get what we want, what we need to do. If we're not aware of the obstacles which most of us, like that's not something that we're typically taught how to do, how to identify the obstacle standing between you and what you want, who you need to be, what you need to do. Those obstacles, if you don't identify those, then you'll keep bumping up against them. And that's where life can be so frustrating because you go, "Why can't I change my life? Like, why? Why do I keep repeating the same patterns over and over and over and over again?” And very often it's because we're not aware of what is stopping us. What is holding us back? What are the obstacles that are standing between us and where we're trying to go and who we need to be to get there? And once you identify those obstacles and you become aware of them, now you can overcome them. They always say that the most dangerous enemy is the one that you can't see. The most dangerous enemy is the one that you can't see.
So, if you're not aware of what are the causes of procrastination, then, well, you're probably going to keep procrastinating and keep being frustrated. So, anyway, I should have led with that into this section of what caused us to procrastinate but there you go. So, that's the importance of this, of why is it so important to become aware of the causes so that we can then overcome them. All right. So, the first cause is fear, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of making mistakes, fear of wasting time, all of those fears.
The second cause of procrastination is lack of clarity. You may have heard I think it was Tony Robbins that said clarity is power. I think he says that a lot. Clarity is power. And to realize how true that statement is, I think it's helpful to look at the opposite, meaning, well, what's a lack of clarity? If there's a lack of clarity, if you don't have a clear picture of where you're going and which steps you need to take to get there, then you have no power. You have no power to do anything because you don't know what you even need to do. You don't know where you're going. So, if you understand that the lack of clarity is an absence of personal power, then you see that what Tony says is so true. Now, when it comes to where you might be lacking clarity, it's usually either the end result meaning like you're not clear on what you want. And I've seen a lot of studies and surveys where they ask you, "Well, what do you want in life?” and they go, “I don't even know what I want. I just want to be happy but I don't know what will make me happy.” Usually, people know what they don't want.
In fact, if you look back at that survey, what did I ask? The question I asked was what's your number one struggle? It's much easier for people to identify what they don't want, what they're struggling with, because it's top of mind, right? They're going to bed at night thinking about it. Because it's causing them stress and pain and frustration. So, it's top of mind. But often what we want might not be top of mind. If we haven't proactively clarified what it is that we want and written it down and repeatedly look at it every single day... I don’t know if you guys can hear my dogs barking in the background. He's a good protector. We got somebody coming to the house. But anyway, so lack of clarity. If we're not clear on the end result and where we want to go, then nothing's waking us up in the morning. We have no reason, no purpose.
So, a lack of clarity either over the end result and what you want can cause us to procrastinate or a lack of clarity around how to get there. If you might know what you want, “I know that I want to earn X amount of dollars this year,” but if you're not clear on the steps, then that lack of clarity is going to cause you to procrastinate. You wake up every day and I've been there before where I might have the end result in mind but I haven't clarified the steps. And so, I wake up and I go, “I don't even know where to start. I don't even know what to do.” And I always say that like where to start is to google where to start, right? Like, if you want to write a book and you're like, “I don't know where to start,” google how to write a book and there you go. There's your starting place. It's free. It's easy. It only takes a few minutes, right? You can gain clarity on where to start pretty quickly. So, lack of clarity.
The third cause of procrastination is lack of energy. Lack of energy. And that often shows up, we use different language sometimes to describe that. For example, in that survey, I saw two words over and over and over. I saw unmotivated or lack of motivation, “I'm not motivated,” and I saw, “I'm lazy,” or laziness. I saw those two words a lot. And we might do episodes specifically on those, I'm not sure. But around that question where I said, “What's your number one struggle in your life?” and people said, “I'm unmotivated or I'm lazy,” or, “I don't have the energy,” like I'm feeling tired. So, here's the thing. The lack of energy shows up in all of those ways. If you're feeling tired, that's a lack of energy. But if you have a lack of energy, you also are unmotivated. How are you going to muster up motivation if you're tired, if you don't have physical or mental, or the emotional energy? And if you're emotionally drained, that's an important distinction on energy is it’s not just physical, right? There’s physical energy, there is mental energy, and there is emotional energy. And it's been a long time. I did an episode on energy, I don't even know, probably years ago where we talked about these different types of energy.
But you think about it like if somebody is emotionally drained, right, that means their emotional energy levels are depleted. If you're mentally drained, maybe because you've been emotionally drained might be that you have been going through a difficult, traumatic time in your life. You know, you're crying a lot or you're really struggling in your relationships. That can drain your emotional energy. Mentally, if you've got too much on your plate and you've got too many projects that you're working on and your mind is racing from when you wake up until you go to bed, that can drain and deplete your mental energy. And then, of course, your physical energy and this is a big one, but your physical energy, there are many factors. If you're not getting enough sleep, of course, that's an easy one. That's an obvious one. But another one and I've done episodes on this as well. I did an episode a long time ago, years ago called Eating for Energy. And I want to take a minute. Well, actually, we'll cover that when we get into the solutions to overcome procrastination. But anyway, so that's the lack of energy, whether it's physical, mental or emotional, being aware that all three of those or any one of those can cause you to procrastinate. “I don't have the energy. I'm too tired, so I'm going to procrastinate.”
And then the fourth cause of procrastination is doing what's easy. You may have heard me say that before. That's one of the most profound yet simple philosophies that I've ever learned in my life. I learned when I was 19 years old from a mentor, J. Brad Britton. He taught me, he said, "The key to success, it's really simple.” He said, “Do what's right, not what's easy.” Most people do what's easy. They take the path of least resistance. What's right is whatever you know you need to do that will enable you to reach your goals, that will enable you to create the life that you really want. He said, "It's never easy. The right thing is never the easiest thing.” It might not be that hard but the problem is if we do what's easy, if we make a habit of doing what's easy, then we will always procrastinate when it comes to doing what's right. You're faced with, "Okay. I can either do nothing or I can read this book. I can either do nothing or I can get on the phone and make calls to prospects. I can either do nothing or I can write my book. I can either do nothing or I can go search for job applications.” And by the way, do nothing, it could also mean, I can either watch Netflix. I can either play games on my phone. That's the easy thing. Or I could do this thing that takes effort where I might feel, where I might not have total clarity.
And what's interesting about these four causes of procrastination is the first three very much lead to the fourth. What do I mean? If you have fear, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of making mistakes, fear of wasting your time, then you're going to be more likely to do what's easy, to think whatever doesn't have that fear attached to it is what's easy and we're more likely to do what's easy. The second cause of procrastination, lack of clarity. When we don't have clarity, then we're much more likely to procrastinate and do what's easy. And number three, lack of energy. If we don't have energy, then we're much more likely to do what's easy. You follow? But if you have no fear, you're more likely to do what's right. If you have total clarity on what you need to do, where you're going, and what you need to do to get there, you're more likely to do what's right. And if you have a ton of energy, if you've an abundance of physical, mental, and emotional energy, you are more likely to do what's right versus doing what's easy. So, that fourth cause of procrastination is really a byproduct of the first three, if you will.
All right. So, let's dive into how do you overcome procrastination. How do you overcome all of these obstacles to doing what you need to do to get where you want to be in your life? So, number one, the number one cause of procrastination is fear. So, how do you overcome it? You've got to face your fears. And this is something that we talked about quite a bit. I've done, I think, three episodes in the last six months on one was called How to Become Fearless. And then I think I did a part one and a part two called How to Overcome Your Fear. If you go to MiracleMorning.com/Podcast, you can search any of those. But in terms of facing your fear, here was the big distinction and this is the distinction that was the game changer for me around fear. Before I share the distinction, I'll share this. I'm sure you've heard before, right, that courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing the thing you're afraid of, even though you still feel fear. That's courage. So, it's not that you're like, well, once I can get rid of my fears, then I can become courageous, right? No. Courage is doing the things you're afraid of, even though you feel the fear. And then, of course, I talk to my kids about this all the time. It's such an important lesson for all of us. It doesn't matter what age you are. I need to remind myself of it often.
But when you do the thing you're afraid of, right, the fear disappears in the midst of the action because you go, “Oh, I was afraid. I did the thing anyway. Even though I felt fear, I just did it. I just dove in. I just jumped in. I took action. And nothing horrible happened, right? I handled it. I was able to handle it. I was able to do it. And now I'm not really so afraid anymore. I might still be a little afraid like giving a speech. Great example. You know, the number one fear is public speaking. I don't know if it still is but for many decades that was always touted as the number one fear, even higher than death. I mean, death is number two on the list. Number one is public speaking. So, here's the thing. If you go give a speech, you're probably going to be terrified. But after you give that speech, you're going to have less fear and more confidence. But it doesn't mean the fear is completely gone. So, when I say the fear disappears, I think it's more accurate to say the fear dissipates. It dissipates. It lessens. It doesn't go away. I can tell you as a professional speaker, I've given hundreds of speeches, I'm still a little bit afraid every single time.
But here's the difference. I've done it so many times that I know that even though I feel the fear, if I just go out there and get on stage and do it, the fear dissipates and I get a result. I give a great speech, right? And so, everything in your life, you can apply that to that if you do the thing you're afraid of, the fear dissipates and it's replaced with confidence. And the more you do it, the less you feel fear, the more the fear dissipates and the more confidence replaces it. So, that's one important distinction around fear is that you've got to do the thing that you're afraid of, and that's how you gain courage. And it is like a muscle. First time you do it, right, you're lifting really light weights. Actually, that's an interesting analogy. Actually, the weights might even feel heavier in the beginning, right? And then they feel lighter as you get stronger. But the point being that the more you face your fears, the more fearless you become. And then the second distinction that I want to share on how to face your fears and this is the one that I've addressed in the last six months on the podcast, which is I personally had a breakthrough and I realized, "Oh, my fears aren't caused by the things I'm afraid of.” So, think about that.
Your fears, our fears, we might have different fears, I'm sure we share some of the same, but our fears are not caused by the things that we are afraid of. They are caused by our perceived inability to handle the things that we're afraid of. So, let that sink in for a second. So, it's thinking, “Oh, my God, what if this horrible thing happens to me?” And then we imagine, “I can't handle it. It'll be too painful. It'll be too difficult. I won't be capable of overcoming that. I haven't even overcome something like that before. It's completely new for me. It's out of my comfort zone.” But if you develop the belief and beliefs are something that you can change, you can evolve, you can develop, you can get rid of. But if you develop the belief that you can handle anything that comes your way in life, then there's nothing to fear. Take an isolated incident. Let's say you go, okay, this thing, if this happens, for example, a fear of mine is always perpetual ever since 2008 when I was a blind optimist and then I lost half of my income and I couldn't pay my bills, ever since then, I have this deeply rooted fear of that happening again, especially with a recession coming. That's a fear and I've talked about it very openly on the podcast, but it's one that you might share as well. Most of us have a fear around finances and losing our finances.
Now, if you've never experienced any financial adversity, you might not have that fear, right? I don't know that I had that fear so much before I experienced a major financial crisis. And then that fear really it became deeply rooted. And so, that's a fear of mine. But the real fear isn't that I lose my income. The fear is I won't be able to handle that. I won't be able to handle it mentally and emotionally. I won't be able to handle it logistically. And I'm not affirming that I won't be able to handle it. I'm telling you that is the fear, the fear that I won't be able to handle it physically or mentally, emotionally, and logistically. So, how do I combat that? And how can you combat your fears so that you don't procrastinate? And here's how. It's you develop the belief that you can handle anything that life throws your way. It's a universal belief that can universally bring a sense of fearlessness to your life, to everything that you do.
So, for me, whenever I feel fear and I start to catch myself being afraid of something, whatever it is, sometimes it's the thought that cancer could come back. What if cancer came back? Oh, God, that would be horrible. I already dealt with it for the last five years if it came back. That's a fear. But I don't indulge the fear. Whenever I feel a fear, I replace it with, “Hey, no reason in indulging that fear. I can handle anything that comes my way. I can handle anything that life throws at me,” and say it over and over and over until you believe it, until that fearlessness becomes your reality and fearlessness is kind of a bold word because I don't think anyone's ever fearless. Fears are healthy, right? That fear is what keeps us alive. The difference being that the fear that is part of our DNA, part of our psyche that used to keep us safe from literal threats on our life like the tiger or lions, tigers, bears, like kept us safe, that fight or flight that we're all born with, that's healthy. But now, that fight or flight, that fear is attached to our goals. It's attached to the things we want in our life. We have fear of failure.
But failure's not life-threatening. Do you follow? This is why our brain doesn't know the difference. Your brain doesn't know the difference between the fear, the chemical that causes fear, it doesn't know that your life's not in danger when you fail at that goal. The chemical response in your body is the same. So, there's a part of your psyche that faints. Fear if I fail. Failure equals death. The threat of failure is the same as the threat of death. What's going on inside of us, you often can't distinguish between the two. And that's why we would procrastinate, right? “Oh, the fear of failure equals fear of death equals I'm not going to even try because I'm so afraid of that.” But again, realize, A, failure doesn't equal death. We already talked about that. But, B, that what you're really afraid of is this narrative in your head that you're telling yourself it's going to be too difficult for you. You're not going to be able to handle the thing that you're afraid of. So, the solution is to affirm over and over that you can handle anything that comes your way. That's number one, how to overcome procrastination is to face your fears. Do the things you're afraid of and affirm that you can handle anything. So, there's nothing to fear because if you can handle it, it's only that if you can't handle that you're afraid. There's nothing to fear if you can handle anything, right?
Second way to overcome procrastination is to gain clarity. Now, remember, in terms of lack of clarity, it’s either over the end results. So, you’re not clear on what you want for your life, on where you’re going, or it’s a lack of clarity over the steps to get there. So, of course, the opposite of that would be to gain clarity in both of those areas.
I’m actually interviewing an author, Ben Nemtin. Ben Nemtin is going to come on the podcast here in a couple of weeks. And he wrote The Bucket List Journal, which is fantastic. He sent me a copy. I just cracked it open on the plane ride home this last weekend, I got back from visiting my sister in California and I cracked open The Bucket List Journal on the plane. And it’s fantastic.
It helps you to gain clarity on what do you want to experience in your life. If you couldn’t fail because that’s where you’ve got to start, you have to start with removing that fear of failure, which stops you from even writing down the things that you want, if you couldn’t fail, what would you attempt? What would you pursue? What would you create in your life? So, that’s the starting place.
You’ve got to gain clarity over what you want for your life. And there’s a great quote from another one of my early mentors, Mark Lovas, and I don’t know if this is his original quote, but I heard him give this in a speech 20-some years ago. He said, “When you commit, the how reveals itself.” Let that sit for a second. When you commit, so when you set a goal, you commit to the goal, you got to know how I’m going to do this. I mean, I don’t know how I’m going to reach this, but I’m getting clarity, this is what I want for my life. This is what I want for my life.
Once you commit to that, you go, I’m committed. I don’t know, I’m going to figure it out. The how reveals itself. And maybe not on day one, it typically reveals itself slowly, like driving in the middle of the night with your headlights on, all you can see is 200 feet in front of you. So, the how only reveals itself for the next 200 feet, but then you keep going and it continues as you take one step forward after another after another toward your vision that you’ve gained clarity on. Then each step tends to reveal the next. You might hit a roadblock. You might lose clarity.
But then you jump online, do a little research, talk to some friends, talk to some mentors, get some feedback, take a trial and error. You figure things out, and then you gain more and more and more clarity. Once you commit, the how reveals itself. So, start by clarifying what do you want for your life. And if you want, The Bucket List Journal is a really great resource to do that. But of course, all you need is a piece of paper to just write down, what do I want for my life? And for me, it’s always helpful. I use the Wheel of Life, which has the 8 to 10 areas of your life that matter, the different categories.
So, what do you want in terms of your health? What do you want that to look like? Your ideal, your level 10 health and level 10 fitness. What do you want your financial life to look like? If you couldn’t fail, what would it look like? Set these goals. Write these things down. And once you commit to them and you really commit, not just one time, commitment isn’t a single act. It’s a daily act. Once you commit, you get clear on what you want in the areas of your life that matter most – your relationships, your health, your finances, your career, your contribution, you name it. You get clear on what do you want in your life and then you commit. I’m committed to making these things happen, even if I don’t presently know how. That’s where clarity starts. It’s the big picture, the big vision. And then from there, you work backwards and you go, okay, what’s the first step to make this a reality? Physically, I want to lose 20 pounds. What’s the first step?
And as I mentioned earlier, if you don’t know the first step is you just Google. What’s the first step to losing 20 pounds? What’s the first step to improving my marriage? What’s the first step to being a better parent? What’s the first step– whatever you want in your life. There is an abundance of information more than you could ever consume on achieving the things that you want. But you’ve got to gain clarity on the vision, the big picture, what you want, and then you’ve got to gain clarity on the steps to get there.
And by the way, I know some of what I’m saying, you might be going, yeah, that’s obvious. I know that, Hal. But there’s a big difference between knowing what to do and living what you know. We follow that big difference. In fact, it’s so often when I’m reading books, I’ll catch myself. I think one of my mentors taught me this a long time ago, but I’ll catch myself dismissing something because I already know it. Yeah, that’s what it was. It was one of my mentors who said that some of the most dangerous words in the English language are, “I already know that.” Four words. Four of the most dangerous words in the English language, “I already know that” because when you think that to yourself or you say it out loud, you tend to shut off your critical thinking. You shut off the critical thinking where you go, I already know that, and you dismiss it versus am I living that? So, that four much better words replace “I already know that.”
In fact, whenever you think that “I already know that,” when you hear something you know or you read something you know, replace the words “I already know that” with “am I living that?” Those are four much more empowering words. And very often, when I read something, I’ve personally read hundreds of books and gone to lots of personal development seminars and had mentors and hired coaches and you name it. So, there’s not a lot of, or I shouldn’t say there’s not a lot of new stuff, but a lot of what I read or learn, and I’m sure you can relate to this, it’s repeat. It’s like there’s only so much information. There are only so many keys to success.
You can say them in different ways, but they’re all typically the same fundamental truths. And so, I catch myself almost dismissing something and then going, oh, wait, I know it’s a basic strategy or a basic truth that I learned 20 years ago. But am I living it? And very often, I am not. Very often, these things we’re talking about today, I might not have total clarity on where I’m going or how I’m going to get there. So, that’s something we’ve all got to do if you don’t have clarity, and it’s something we do repeatedly, right? Not just once, but you regain that clarity because as your life changes and you change and you grow and you evolve, well, what you want changes and where you’re going can change.
And in terms of having clarity on where you want to go or what you want to accomplish but not knowing how to get there, like I think about the Miracle Morning mission. The Miracle Morning mission is to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning at a time and one person at a time that it used to be change one million lives, one morning at a time, and then the Miracle Morning impacted over a million lives. And we went, okay, we got to elevate or change the mission. It’s got to be bigger because we’ve already accomplished that one.
And so, elevating the consciousness of humanity, it’s a big task. It’s a catchphrase, it could be right, but for me, it’s real. And the way that I look at it and I talk to my team about this all the time, the Miracle Morning, our team, I always say that, look, three million people may practice the Miracle Morning or they’ve read the book. But that means there are eight or nine billion people that we have not yet reached. And I’m committed for the rest of my life to do everything in my power to reach as many of those eight to nine billion people, and it might be more at one point as I can.
Do I know how I’m going to reach those people? No. I have ideas. I’m implementing things every day, but I can’t tell you that these are the six steps or ten steps to reach eight to nine billion people. I don’t have it figured out yet. I’ve only got the headlights in front of me showing me the next 200 feet. We’re getting Miracle Morning in schools. The Miracle Morning for Seniors book will come out next year. The Miracle Morning update, an expanded edition is coming out either this December or early next year as well.
So, I’m constantly driving forward with the headlights on knowing that once you commit to something, the how reveals itself, and not all at once, but 200 feet at a time, one step at a time, one inch at a time. But you continue moving forward toward your big picture vision that you have clarity over, that you’ve decided, this is what I want for my life. This is what I want. I don’t know how I’m going to get it. I don’t have every step figured out, but I am not going to let that stop me from getting started.
And by the way, that was another answer in the survey that was very popular, was getting started. I can’t get myself to just get started working on these things I want in my life. And again, why? Because fear, lack of clarity, lack of energy, all of these, doing what’s easy. All of those causes a procrastination, prevent people from even getting started.
All right. So, number one, how to overcome procrastination? Face your fears. Number two, gain clarity both on the big picture. That’s where you start. And then start working backwards and going, okay, what’s the first step I can take to move in the direction of the vision that I have clarity on? Number three, well, the third cause of procrastination was lack of energy. So, how do you overcome it? You’ve got to generate energy.
And what we’re talking about, here’s what’s interesting. Some of these steps that we’ve already covered will generate energy for you, mental energy. When you gain clarity, that tends to generate mental and emotional energy for you and even physical energy. We’ll talk about that in a second. But you think about that. If you have no clarity, you’re like, I don’t know where I want to go in my life and I don’t know what to do. I just feel like life is the way it is. And I’m just taking whatever life throws at me and I’m just trying to survive every day.
And by the way, I’m not trying to mock that. I think it’s a very real state for a lot of people, if not the majority of people. So, lacking that clarity, I don’t know what I want, I don’t know what I need to do. Well, that’s going to hinder your energy level. But if you gain that clarity and you go, wow, yesterday, before I listened to this podcast, I did not have clarity on where I was going to go. I didn’t have clarity on where I wanted to go, what I was committed to, and what I need to do to get there. But I didn’t just listen to the podcast and then do nothing with it. I hope that you won’t do nothing with this podcast. I hope you’ll actually take action on these steps. I hope you’ll sit down and you’ll gain that clarity of where you want to go in your life and what you need to do to get there and revisit that. I’m sure you’ve done this probably at times, but maybe this is the point for you to revisit and reexamine where you’re going. And the path that you’re on and if you’re on the right path and if you’re making progress, maybe now’s a good time to check in with yourself.
But when you have that clarity, now, you have energy, you go, I’m excited again, I’m energized. I got clarity. I sat down for 30 minutes and I just wrote down what I wanted for my life in the areas that matter most to me. If I could not fail, if I could rub a lamp, and sometimes that’s how I like to think of this exercise, if you could rub a magic lamp and the genie popped out and said, “Hey, what do you want for your health? What do you want in terms of your physical body, your fitness? What do you want financially? I’m a genie. I can grant your wish.” You go, “Wow.”
So, the reason I like to use the genie context is it helps remove fear because if it’s a genie that’s telling you, tell me what you want, I’ll give it to you, well, there’s nothing to fear because in that case, you don’t have to work for it. And while granted reality, you have to actually work for the things that you want. That genie exercise can help to remove the mental blocks that are preventing you from dreaming again, from imagining what you want your life to be like.
In terms of generating energy, getting that clarity, step number two, gaining clarity will help you to get the mental and emotional energy in terms of the physical energy. I’m going to give a quick kind of refresher course on eating for energy. And like I said, we’ve done entire podcasts on this in the past. But when it comes to eating, most of us choose the food that we eat based on the taste and based on texture. And it’s a very emotional choice. I want you to think about that. If you go to eat somewhere and you’re looking at the menu and you’re going, oh, you’re practically salivating. You’re going, oh, my God, that pizza looks so good. That’s emotional. Like think about that. You’re excited. There’s nothing wrong with that, to be excited about what you’re going to eat. That’s great. I get excited about food.
But here’s the problem. If you choose the food that you eat, if the criteria that you use to choose the foods that you eat every day are purely based on taste and texture, independent on the consequences of those foods, then you’re most likely going to eat foods that cause you to be fatigued, and then not to mention all the other health problems. They might be cancer-causing or high in cholesterol or bad cholesterol or tons of sugar or have pesticides and toxins, you name it.
So, if you’re choosing your foods based purely on taste and texture, it’s most likely not going to be the optimal foods for your body to function at its best. So, instead of choosing foods based on the taste and texture purely, what I would encourage you to consider is making the number one criteria for the foods that you eat to be the energetic consequences of those foods, the energetic consequences and the health consequences as in the long term.
So, energetic is kind of the short term, like when I eat this, is it going to give me more energy or is it going to drain me and make me feel like I’m in a food coma? So, that’s the first consideration. What are the energetic consequences? And for me, I learned this, I mentioned Tony Robbins earlier. I went to Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within when I was like 20 years old, I think, maybe 21. I was 20 years old, and I went to the Unleash the Power Within in Florida. And Tony Robbins has an entire day dedicated to health. It’s called Health Day, or at least he used to.
And Tony brought this device out. He talked about– and I don’t remember the specific numbers. So, I’m going to give you the general idea. But he brought this device out and he was able to measure how many megahertz of energy foods were emitting. So, he took this device and he put it on a chicken breast, cooked chicken breast. And again, I don’t remember the numbers, but let’s say it put out 175 megahertz of energy. Now, he talked about how many megahertz of energy it took to digest that chicken breast. And it was something like, let’s say, 230 megahertz of energy. It was more than it was actually putting off.
So, the idea was that if you ate the chicken breast, it gave your body 175 megahertz of energy, but it required 230 megahertz of energy to digest that chicken breast. And now, when you were digesting that chicken breast, your body was in an energy deficit. This isn’t bread. Bread was, I think, even worse. It gave your body no energy. It was just dead, but it required a good amount of energy to digest. So, if you think about it, if somebody goes now with a chicken sandwich for lunch, and then they go back to their work and they’re wondering why an hour or two after they ate, they’re just dragging.
And we can all relate to this, by the way. That’s why the 5-Hour Energy commercial used to say, you ever feel tired around two o’clock in the afternoon, have that two o’clock slump? And it’d show somebody their office desk like falling asleep and just struggling to maintain their focus. And everybody relates, they’re like, oh, yeah, that’s me. Well, have a 5-Hour Energy. What they should have said is, think about what you ate for lunch. That chicken sandwich that you ate, that bread gave you almost no energy, and it required a lot to digest. That cooked chicken breast gave you a little bit of energy, but it also required even more to digest. You are now in an energy deficit.
Digesting food is one of the most energy-draining processes that your body can go through. I want to say that again. I want you to remember that. That’s really important. Digesting our food is one of the most energy-draining processes that we put our body through. So, you want to give it food that gives off more energy than it takes to digest, which are typically raw, living, organic foods.
So, going back to the Tony Robbins event, Unleash the Power Within, he then took that device and he put it on a piece of raw broccoli. Actually, I think it was first cooked broccoli, and the cooked broccoli gave off like 400 megahertz of energy, but it took less energy to digest than the chicken because it was easier to digest. It was high in fiber. So, it only took like 80 megahertz to digest. Again, don’t quote me on these numbers, I’m totally making them up off of memory. It’s just the general, more or less, the relative aspect that’s important.
So, the cooked broccoli, it didn’t give you a whole lot of energy because the energy was kind of cooked out of it, but it took less energy to digest than it gave you so you were now in an energy surplus. And then last but not least, you took raw broccoli. I think he did with a few different fruits and vegetables but took raw fruits and vegetables, and they were giving up thousands of megahertz of energy. And they took a hundred or a couple hundred to digest.
So, from that simple, I don’t know if experiment is the right word, that example, though, you see that when you’re eating raw living foods that still have the life force that was in them while they were growing. That’s why the best thing you could eat is something that you cut right off the vine and then you eat it. The longer that produce is staying in a store for days or weeks or months, that energy is depleting.
So, this was a game changer for me. I left that event. And I go, I want to start eating for energy. And so, I became what I now call vegan by day and paleo by night, where in the morning, I have a raw vegan smoothie that has unpasteurized almonds and Brazil nuts. Unpasteurized, by the way, means that they are not cooked. Normally, they’re cooked just like pasteurized milk. They cook it, they heat it to kill bacteria. And when they heat it, it kills the natural enzymes, the energy, if you will, in the food.
So, in the morning, I have a raw smoothie, and then for lunch, I have a raw salad. So, it’s raw, organic, vegan. And that way, it’s easy to digest and it gives my body a surplus of energy. And then for dinner, I eat paleo, which is quality meats, like pasture-raised chicken, grass-fed and grass-finished beef, wild-caught fish, that kind of thing. Whatever my wife makes for dinner, she makes dinner, and we’re on the same page in terms of it being a healthy dinner. But definitely, the food is cooked, for sure. So, there’s less energy. And in the evening, I’m not as concerned with having an abundance of energy to focus because that’s the thing, when you have physical energy, it lends itself, it contributes to your mental and emotional energy.
Think about it. When you feel energized, is it way more easy to be motivated and be excited? So, physical energy leads to mental and emotional energy and vice versa. If you gain that clarity, your physical energy can also be increased as your mental and emotional energy are increased, they’re all intertwined and they all impact one another. So, that’s the third way to overcome procrastination is generate an abundance of energy. Mentally and emotionally, utilize that clarity every day to remind yourself, this is what I’m committed to. This is why it’s important to me. This is the next step that I’m taking today, and I’m excited about that. You’ve got to generate that excitement. No one’s going to do it for you. Every morning, I wake up, I go, I am excited for today, even if I’m not. Like I’ll fake it till I make it sometimes. I generate the excitement.
Brendon Burchard, I once heard him say at one of his events, he said, people are like power plants. If you go to a power plant, it doesn’t have energy. It generates energy. You as a human being must take responsibility for generating energy. You can generate energy by simply getting your cell. I mean, literally, like right now, I’m getting myself excited. I’m feeling energized in this moment. Right now, I’m moving my body. Like, if you saw me, you’d see my hands, like, kind of pumping in the air. I just got energized and I feel more energy than I felt 30 seconds ago. I generated that energy. You’re responsible for generating your mental, emotional, and your physical energy. And again, so I encourage you to consider making your highest priority when it comes to the foods that you choose, eating for energy first, and then taste second.
And the last thing I’ll say on that is I only eat foods that I love the taste of. I shouldn’t say only, but 95% of what I eat, I love the taste. My smoothie in the morning tastes amazing. My salad at lunch tastes amazing. In fact, I tweak it until it’s got every ingredient, it’s perfect. I try new things. I’m always experimenting. I want food to taste amazing, but the first priority is that it gives me energy and then it contributes to my long-term health.
And then, last but not least, do what’s right. Remember, the fourth cause of procrastination is doing what’s easy. So, the solution is to do what’s right. Doing what’s right is whatever activity, whatever action moves you in the direction of your vision that you’ve clarified in step two when you gained clarity. You clarified your vision that you want for your life. You clarified the steps, or at least the first step or the next step that you need to take to get there. Doing what’s right means taking the action, even if you don’t feel like it. Taking the next step, even if you don’t feel like it.
Now, granted, if you’ve faced your fears, if you’ve gained clarity, and if you’re consistently generating energy every day, then the odds are you’re going to feel like doing what’s right. But that is the fourth step. And similar to how the first three causes of procrastination – fear, lack of clarity, and lack of energy, all contribute to the fourth cause, which is doing what’s easy.
In the same way, all of these solutions to overcome procrastination, the first three contribute to the fourth. When you face your fears, you gain clarity, you generate energy. Now, you want to do what’s right. Do you see how the first three causes contribute to the fourth and the first three solutions contribute to the fourth? Do what’s right, not what’s easy.
How do you do that? I’ll give you two really simple strategies. Number one, schedule it. If you don’t live by a schedule, my life is scheduled. And if it’s not, I don’t know what to do. Every day is scheduled in advance. And for those who are like, oh, that’s too uptight, I need freedom. Yeah, guess what? I schedule freedom too. I schedule every day. I have an hour of TTF, total time freedom. I schedule family time, I schedule exercise time, I schedule– but my schedule every day from when I wake up till I go to bed is planned in alignment with my vision that I’ve clarified. But I put it in my schedule, I don’t just keep it on a to-do list. I do have a to-do list and I have an hour scheduled to review and prioritize my to-do list, but then I put it in my schedule.
So, I pull things out of my to-do list and I schedule them, I pull things out and I put them in the schedule so I know exactly when I’m going to do this activity and which activity is coming next. What’s the high priority? I put that in the schedule because we have a to-do list that’s got 10, 20, 30 things on it. Very often, it’s overwhelming. So, schedule your to-do list.
And then the last tip I’ll give you is act your way into feeling. I’ve shared this over the years. It’s one of my favorite strategies from John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward. He teaches. Most people want to feel their way into action. Oh, if only I was more motivated, then I would do the right thing. If only I had more energy, then I could do the right thing. But I just don’t have the motivation, I don’t have the energy, I don’t have the clarity. I don’t know what to do, I’m afraid.
John Maxwell teaches don’t wait to feel your way into action, act your way into feeling. It means you simply do the thing that you know you need to do, the next step that you’ve clarified, whether or not you feel like it. And then here’s the secret. When you do it, the feelings that you need, the motivation that you need, you’ll generate it through the activity. Movement creates energy. So, when you act your way into feeling, or I’ve also called it moving your way into motivation, move your way into motivation. Pick up the phone. Dial a number. Great. Now, you’re making your phone calls. Open your computer. Start typing, even though you’re not sure what you’re going to write that day. Now, that first step. Once you take the first step, you generate a little bit of momentum that will push you forward and enable you to do what’s right, not what’s easy. So, schedule everything, take things out of your to-do list, put them in your schedule, and then act your way into feeling.
All right, quick summary of today’s podcast, the four causes of procrastination – fear, lack of clarity, lack of energy, all three of those lead to people doing what’s easy and procrastinating on doing what’s right. To overcome those, face your fears, gain clarity both on the vision for where you’re going and the steps to get there, generate energy, which isn’t a one-time event, it’s an everyday thing, and then do what’s right, not what’s easy by scheduling it and then acting your way into feeling each and every day.
And then even if you don’t feel like it, you just do it. Just like even if you feel fear, you do the thing you’re afraid of. And when you do the thing you’re afraid of or you do the thing that you don’t feel like, you empower yourself to be able to do anything that you commit to doing that will get you where you want to go in your life. And there is nothing that can stop you but you. So, don’t be the one to stop you from creating everything that you want for your life.
All right, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, those are my four steps to overcome procrastination. I hope this is helpful for you. I hope you’ll implement them. Don’t just listen to this and then forget it. And like you got to make sure you do those steps that you affirm that you can handle anything that comes your way so there’s nothing to be afraid of – gain clarity, commit to choose foods that contribute to your energy versus only tasting good, and then live by that mantra, do what’s right, not what’s easy. All right. I love you all. Thanks for tuning in today, and I will talk to you next week.