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Procrastination Good or Bad?

Procrastination is worryingly common and extremely damaging to most of the working and studying population – or is it? Depending on how you approach it, it is one of the main causes of low self-esteem and, in the worst cases, depression. In other cases, it is the springboard to creativity and getting more done. You get to decide what this habit creates for you.

procrastination books

There are many ways to overcome or approach this habit of delaying and get your work done, and avoid stress and self-deprecation. Motivation is the key when you’re planning to re-evaluate your ways and how you think about Procrastination. Obviously the motivation or inspiration you are seeking in the moment is missing or the fear you feel or the pain you are experiencing is greater than the motivation – talking you into waiting, pushing it off or not doing that dreaded task at all. The best and motivation comes from within yourself, however, more often than not, we have to settle for the outside motivation with the consequences of not getting it done. Here are some resources to inspire you, provide you methods, tips and tools as well as new ways to think about and approach this habit. If nothing more it will be a nice diversion.

Procrastination TEDx Talks

1.  Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator by Tim Urban

In this witty and informational TED Talk, Tim Urban brings an anecdotal attitude to the common yet irritating problem of procrastination. Both hilarious and educational, the few minutes of his talk will bring relatable content for serial procrastinators, but also a further understanding of their own habits and an incentive to quit them for a more productive and healthier lifestyle.

2.  An End to Procrastination by Archana Murthy

90% of teenagers are struck with procrastination. Procrastination creates a cycle of stress and anxiety. Archana Murthy shares her understanding of procrastination and its hold on her life. She talks about the types of procrastinators. She provides a solution that works for her, maybe it will work for you too.

3.  The vaccination for procrastination by Bronwyn Clee

Procrastination is the source of wasted time and energy. Bronwyn Clee provides 5 steps to put procrastination behind you and your procrastination.

4.  Procrastination is the key to problem-solving by Andrea Jackson

Head down and bum up productivity is demanded from today’s society. She has suffered from the guilt of procrastination until she realized it is a necessity to her creativity. Procrastination is not the enemy of success and achievement. So embrace productive procrastination.

5. The fundamentals of procrastination by Neel Deshpande

An 11th grade teenager on Procrastination. He provides quick tips and tricks guide to making your day-to-day business much more efficient.

Procrastination Podcasts:

  1. 5 Strategies to Conquer Procrastination by Jeff Sanders

This open-minding episode of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast is one of Jeff Sanders’ best ones so far, and not only because it tackles this universal problem. The five strategies shared by Sanders during the episode are straightforward, simple, and, most importantly, doable. With a motivational attitude and relatable anecdotes, this episode is definitely worth listening to if you want to bring positive changes into your life.

  1. Iprocrastinate Podcast

This podcast is sponsored by the Procrastination Research Group (PRG, who have been researching procrastination for over 20 years. The research comes from around the world with an aim to seek an understanding why we become our own worst enemy at times with needless, voluntary delay.

  1. Procrastination on NPR

Can procrastination make you more productive? Procrastination expert Timothy Pychyl and self-professed “structured procrastinator” John Perry discuss the latest research on this type of behavior and how to prioritize what’s really important.

  1. Stop procrastinating now

This podcast assumes you know what do and how to do it, your challenge is that you just don’t do it. I talk about that in my programming. This podcast is dedicated to mastering your mindset and getting around those excuses.

Procrastination Books:

10. Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now by Jane B. Burka
Burka is an expert in procrastination and she will change your outlook on your lazy and time-wasting ways. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a researcher, a doctor or simply someone trying to get a project done, this book is perfect for you. From an in-depth explanation of procrastination and its effects on the mind, to an attack plan to fight it, Burka’s book is the read that will change your way of looking at your own life.

11. The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done by Dr. Piers Steel (2010-12-16)

Piers Steel is considered as the leading expert on procrastination. He shares in his most popular piece of work all of his knowledge on procrastination and how to fight against it. The Procrastination Equation brings real psychological research into your daily lazy decisions, explaining the depth of the reasons why you put off important tasks and actions and waste precious time daily.

12. The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing by John Perry
John Perry shares his theory about Procrastination. Perry feels that he is more productive due to his procrastination so many other things get done in the procrastination process. He always gets the procrastination project done but also a host of other smaller projects and tasks that otherwise might not have gotten the attention if he was so focused in the original task.

Check out my interview with John Perry on iTunes.

13. The Procrastination Cure: 21 Proven Tactics For Conquering Your Inner Procrastinator, Mastering Your Time, And Boosting Your Productivity! by Damon Zahariades

Do tasks build up and create overwhelm and frustration for you. Is this an ongoing challenge? Is procrastination affecting you and those around you? Good news! There is a cure! There are 21 proven tactics to boost productivity and do away with the procrastinator you once were.

Now you have a better insight into how to beat procrastination and boost productivity. You have been able to reflect on how the habit of procrastinating impacts you, how to use it to your advantage and how to avoid it and get around or breakthrough your procrastination.

Share with us your favorite resource or distraction.

10 Social Media Alternative Options to be More Productive

Social media is known to be a productivity killer. The average person will spend more than five years of their lives on social media, according to a study by influencer marketing agency Mediakix. That is derived from the daily usage figures below.

While there are alternative options, why do we turn to social media?

Some people are on social media to promote their businesses, but I see three major reasons we reach for social media. They are there to procrastinate from work or look for solace and connection.

Let’s examine each one.

1. Boredom:
If you aren’t clear what you are doing next why not jump into a social media app and read something to pass the time. People are not happy with down time so we seek stimulation. If we are waiting in line – check social media, stuck on hold- check social media, even in the bathroom-check social media. Sad but true.

Here are some more productive alternatives to fight off boredom and boost your energy and focus when you return.

1. Go for a walk in nature:
Getting out of your day-to-day environment and into nature is a great way to get your body moving, change your breathing and energize your mind.

2. Drink a glass of water:
As simple as it is, getting up and getting a glass of water changes your chemistry to break the pattern of thought you were having so that when you come back you can be in a different state of mind.

3. Learn/enhance a skill:
If you want a productive break, take the time to learn a new skill that will support reaching your goals faster or fulfill a personal desire with something you love.

4. Medivate:
I made up this new word to combine the benefits of clarity and focus of both meditation and motivation. The definition is to focus ones mind during deep breathing for a period of time on something inspirational that that creates intensity, direction, and persistence.

Two of my favorites from Tony Robbins are: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/priming-exercise/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smhzRqHkpZs

2. Need Inspired:

Just seeing a picture on social media may inspire you for a new meal idea for dinner or a moment but it isn’t enough to inspire you to consistently eat healthier and make a long term change in your life for the better.

When we need a boost of motivation to

Here is what I do to inspire myself:
1. Go outside into nature:
Getting out into nature is a great way to get your mind clear and open you up to new ideas. When we are in nature and move our body we can tap into more creativity. Stop doing if you want to get creative and inspired.

2. Watch a TED talk:
There are so many great TED talks available across various different topics. Who and What inspires you? Find talks from those people or topics and get a deeper boost of inspiration. Here is one I did a few months ago, perhaps it will inspire you. http://bit.ly/energyofthought

3. Listen to Music:
Music can be a beautiful inspiration and it isn’t really doing anything so you are also giving your mind a rest so you can recharge your energy reserves towards what you need to do afterward.

4. Connect to your goals:
When you connect to your goals and really appreciate why they are important to you, you can re-ignite your inspiration

For more check out this site https://tinybuddha.com/blog/50-ways-to-find-inspiration-create-explore-expand/

3. Seeking Connection:

One of our basic needs as a human is to connect with others. We know that babies die if they are not held after birth. We all have a deep seeded need to belong to a group and feel like we matter

One way of feeling like we belong is to click that picture that others have clicked. My peeps. We share a common interest. That isn’t the best form of connection but it is fast and easy and out brains are always looking for fast and easy. The greater the intensity of emotion the higher the connection. Of course, you want to seek a positive experience creating a positive connection.

Here are a few more productive ways to create connection for ourselves that is deeper and richer than social media provides us.

1. Compliment people
When we receive compliments it makes us feel good. Why not take a break and walk around passing out compliments and see that it doesn’t only feel good to get compliments but to give them as well.

2. Pet some animals
There is something peaceful in animals that bring out our unconditional love. It doesn’t matter that we haven’t met this animal before, you give this animal your love and attention and they give it back in return. There is a reason animals are supporting people with stress emotional disorders, they have a healing nature about them.

3. Wow someone
Someone coined the expression “Giving is living”. When you give or do something special for someone, it makes them feel good and you feel good too! Start giving more and bring more energy to everything you do.

Turning to social media isn’t always the best chose for one of these needs. The reason being is it still requires a lot of stimulation at a time we need to recharge. Time management tips can also be about what to do in your free times, breaks and transitions to better manage your energy when you are working. When you want to recharge energy your best source is not going to be with further stimulation with social media but focus on rejuvenation of the mind, body, and spirit.

5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

Business man figuring a way to stop procrastinating

Would you be surprised to know that our brain is wired to support procrastination? It is. Your brain simply wants to avoid pain at all costs. It is painful to doing something boring, work that you aren’t connected to, something you don’t see the value in, a difficult conversation and so on.

It is the discomfort that we perceive that keeps us from actually doing it.

The avoidance continues until the pain is greater not to do the task because the consequence are more dire.

Let’s not confuse someone who gets things done and assume they are not procrastinators. Some people accomplish an amazing amount of work, just not the tasks that they’ve been procrastinating on. Perhaps they are completing the least most important or urgent tasks that they need to get done. You know who you are.

It reminds me of an interview I did with John Perry around his book The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing.

He actually argues that procrastinators get more done because they put things off. They accomplish a whole host of other tasks while they’re procrastinating and then due to the pressure of putting things off they also accomplish the thing that they been procrastinating on. Really…

John speaks of celebrating his accomplishments from his checklist that is primarily made up of things already completed and includes getting out of bed and making himself a cup coffee. Click here for more from John Perry

AND thеrе are реорlе whо think thаt thеу аrе рrосrаѕtinаtоrѕ but thеу асtuаllу аrе not. Just bесаuѕе thеу do nоt have thе аbilitу tо ѕеt rеаliѕtiс goals for thеmѕеlvеѕ аnd they do nоt ассоmрliѕh thеir ‘tо-dо’ list in a single dау – does NOT make them a procrastinator. They just need to learn to plan better and set more realistic goals and milestones.

Also, let’s not confuse people who set priorities as procrastinators. There will always be more to do what’s possible to get done and therefore Setting priorities isn’t everyday reality. It doesn’t mean that we are procrastinating on getting certain tasks done, it simply means these tasks are not the highest priority.

Of course, you need to look at the various different options of how to accomplish those tasks in another way. But at the end of the day, if it isn’t the highest priority, it doesn’t get done. Often these people overwork themselves into probable burnout as opposed to learning how to Let go of the attachment of lower priority items, learn to communicate and set better expectations with others and yourself. If you work in an emergency room- It isn’t just first come first serve it is the more critical cases first. Because this rule system is already established, doctors and nurses don’t stress over it. They just go ahead serving who ever is next and focusing to the best of their ability on one case at a time.

Habitual procrastinators experience fееlings ѕuсh аѕ guilt, shamefulness, inadequacy, ѕеlf-сritiсiѕm, lоw self-esteem and ѕtrеѕѕ. The more times we make excuses the more acceptable those excuses become. That is the vicious cycle and we tend to feel those unproductive emotions that also keep us from taking action.

For some it’ѕ a fruѕtrаting habit and for others it is they revel in it and wear it like a badge of honor.

No matter what you are telling yourself, procrastination keeps you from the very things you want such as bigger deals, financial security, a loving imitate relationship, joy and happiness, health and wellness, spiritual connection and more.

Hоw саn you brеаk the viсiоuѕ cycle thаt рrеvеntѕ you from асhiеving mоrе? Start with awareness.

  1. Change your Self-talk
    What are the excuses you used to use? Write them down and diѕсоvеr hоw it аffесtѕ уоu, When you hear yourself say them to yourself, say “NO”. Rе-рrоgrаm уоur brain frоm the excuses or negative ѕеlf-tаlk to positive productive self-talk.
    Try rерlасing it with positive statements to move you to action such as “just do it”, “What is next?”, “5-4-3-2-1 gеt started” This last one is a brilliant, simple Trick from Mel Robbins: The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. Her 5 Second Rule is a simple strategy that has impacted millions of people worldwide.
  2. Viѕuаlizе thе End frоm thе Bеginning                                                                                                                                                 You are the сrеаtоr of yоur оwn dеѕtinу. When you diѕсоvеr thе imроrtаnсе оf envisioning yourselves doing what you hаvе ѕеt оut tо dо, аll оf sudden it appears rеаl and асhiеvаblе. Create an imаgе of what it is likе tо complete a specific task or goal and see yourself on the other side of completion. Make the pleasure great enough to out weigh any initial pain (it is suggested a 3:1 ratio). Whаt bеnеfitѕ are уоu rеарing? What are уоu feeling when achieved? What is now true for you?
  3. Identify уоur Pеrѕоnаl or Prоfеѕѕiоnаl Gоаlѕ                                                                                                                              Set your SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Time Driven. Know why they are important to achieve (previous point). Mаѕtеr the art оf brеаking big task intо ѕmаll раrtѕ, so уоu саn соmрlеtе thе tаѕk stress-free. Schedule time for those important tasks to be sure you are continuously moving forward. This is the recipe for success.
  4. Make a Publiс Commitment                                                                                                                                                         Tеll ѕоmеоnе сlоѕе tо уоu thаt you hаvе tо complete a ѕресifiс tаѕk аnd thеу can hоld уоu ассоuntаblе, by dоing ѕо I guаrаntее it will givе you the pressure уоu nееd to kеер gоing. Yоu wоuldn’t wаnt tо lеt them down so this will offset the pressure of the pain that might make you procrastination. Consider it an insurance policy.
  5. Stаrt right now                                                                                                                                                                                                      If in doubt, do it first. Doing it now will create momentum. This is an important ingredient to breaking your old behavior and speed your success. Discipline уоurѕеlf to use time wiѕеlу аnd рriоritizе. You will see it was easier than you thought. An immediate start mоvе you frоm рrосrаѕtinаtоr tо producer.  Nike is best known for the slogan “Just do it”.
  6. Rеviеw your progress                                                                                                                                                             Aсknоwlеdgе your ассоmрliѕhmеntѕ аnd monitor уоur рrоgrеѕѕ, this hеlрѕ уоu ѕее that уоu are mаking progress in exchange will еnсоurаgе уоu to continue tо fосuѕ on уоur gоаlѕ as wеll аѕ build соnfidеnсе. Mоѕt importantly уоu will сrеаtе and mаintаin whаt I саll ѕuссеѕѕ cycle. If уоu аrе feeling dерrеѕѕ,ѕаd, unѕuссеѕѕful оr juѕt down right lоѕt. This ѕtер will save уоur livе аnd give you thе motivation уоu nееd tо PUSH forward. Yоu аrе growing and lеаrning tо ensure a successful futurе. Bе patient!

Finаl Thought                                                                                                                                                                                                           Whеn уоu fоllоw these time management tips, you will see thаt thе thingѕ you set out to do are nоw ѕuddеnlу еаѕiеr tо асhiеvе. These time management tools will help уоu сrеаtе new HABITs thаt will сhаngе уоur lifе in so many wауs.

Nоw thаt уоu have еmbrасеd сhаngе, gone from dеniаl tо awareness tо соmmitmеnt tо finаllу mаking it happen уоu will bе оn your way to bесоming ѕtrоngеr, brаvеr, mоrе diѕсiрlinеd, mоrе driven, mоtivаtеd аnd mоrе focused. With this, you will not only achieve your goals but FASTER!


Procrastination Quotes and 3 Ways to Stop Procrastination

Blackboard writings "Procrastination is the thief of time"

Who Doesn’t Love Procrastination Quotes?

Many people struggle with putting off tasks until the very last minute. For some it’s snoozing their alarm 10 times, leaving them with just a few minutes to get ready. For others, it’s having three weeks to work on a project, only to start it the night before it’s due. Can you relate? How do you procrastinate?

On that note, here are some funny procrastination quotes as well as some anti-procrastination quotes. Hopefully, these will help get the ball rolling for you (or maybe, allow you another excuse to procrastinate even longer):

“One of these days I’m going to get help for my procrastination problem.” ~Anonymous

“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.” ~Anonymous

“If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” ~Anonymous

“Hard work pays off later. Laziness pays off now. I’ve always been one for being in the moment.” ~Anonymous

“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.”~Joan Konner

“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot fun until you get the bill.” ~Christopher Parker

“I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” ~Anonymous

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” ~Mark Twain

“The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.” ~Anonymous

“Warning: dates on this calendar are closer than they appear.” ~Anonymous

“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” ~Robert Benchley

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” ~Spanish Proverb

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” ~William James
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” ~Olin Miller

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.’” ~Martin Luther

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~Stephen King

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ~Karen Lam

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” ~David Allen

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~Napoleon Hill

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James

“You may delay, but time will not.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.” ~Eva Young

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” ~Victor Kiam

What quotes about procrastination would you create? Have these procrastination quotes sparked some inspiration in you? Perhaps you have realized that procrastination, while seemingly harmless, has been what’s holding you back from the very thing you want all along.
Here are 3 ways in addition to procrastination quotes to see how procrastination isn’t the best choice.

  1. Reduce stress:

Is it worth the stress you create for yourself? Who else is affected when you procrastinate? Often you are not the only one affected by your procrastination. Maybe looking at who else is affected by the stress you create can cause a shift in the way you look at this behavior.

  1. Create a new identity:

Don’t define yourself as a procrastinator – this will keep you caught in that procrastination trap. Decide this is not who you really are and connect to a different way of defining yourself. This in itself can create a huge shift.

  1. Challenge your excuses:

Listen to the crazy excuses in your procrastination quotes and challenge them as BS. Excuses don’t get results. Decide that you won’t accept the excuses anymore. Focus on the anti procrastination quotes and find a way. Where there is a will there is a way. You will get more creative when you don’t take no for an answer.

“The worst form of procrastination is reading a procrastination quote, feeling the guilt and not doing anything about it.” ~Anonymous

Go forth and be productive.







Getting Unstuck By Timothy Butler

Getting Unstuck Book Cover Getting Unstuck
Timothy Butler

We all have those points, impasses in our lives where we feel stuck. Getting stuck is easy, getting unstuck is not as easy. Timothy Butler teaches us how to better understand and identify being stuck and some practical exercises to get unstuck. His deep dives to describe real situations and insights was extremely valuable.

Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths
by Timothy Butler

Focus: Health and Wellness – Healthy Mindset/Positive Outlook; Career – Career Change

Consider This:
• “Psychological impasse,” though unsettling and uncomfortable, is an important milepost in life.Dead_End_TOWWT
• Many people mistakenly regard an impasse as checkmate instead of an open door.
• From impasse, you can chart an entirely new vision and path.
• Most people do not move ahead in life in a straightforward, sequential manner.
• Established patterns and habits are comfortable, so people resist change.
• To embrace change and move valiantly ahead, you must let part of your old persona die.
• Consider all the options available to you; don’t let fear hold you back. You can get “unstuck.”
• Use an intuitive, not an analytical, approach to contemplating a new direction in life.
• Impasse must lead to choice, then action. Anything else is fantasy.
Never make a serious life change without first testing it out as thoroughly as possible.

What You Will Learn
You will learn:
1) Why psychological impasse is often needed to achieve a meaningful life turnaround;
2) How to use mental exercises to move beyond a frustrating impasse; and
3) How these exercises and other steps can help you chart a new, rewarding path.

Crisis Time
You are going along great, then suddenly everything blows up in your face. Maybe you got fired. You lost your money in the stock market. Whatever it is, you now are in deep crisis. Even if you haven’t been struck with a disaster, perhaps you’ve been feeling a deep sense of unease. You are not sure when, how or why, but you somehow made a transition from feeling happy to being worried and depressed. In short, something is wrong and you are not sure what it is. You are stuck in the mud and don’t know how to get out. You are scared to make a move. You are stuck and at an impasse. Mustering old strategies to deal with new emergencies is normal. You feel the need to act fast, somehow, whether it helps or not. But now is not the time for bold action. Don’t make a move. Slow down. This feeling is uncomfortable, but don’t turn away – and don’t be afraid of the impasse. In mythology, the dark can be useful. In the dark, your senses become more acute, so trust your senses and your intuition. Do not flee. Instead, embrace the impasse. See it as a portal out of the dark, and into a new, better life.

At a Standstill
You feel bewildered and perplexed. Impasse is a time to reflect, a time of self-examination and the needed prelude to growth. Without impasse, many people would continue to put one foot in front of the other, never trying new paths. But impasse stops people cold. It says, “Your old way hasn’t been working. Isn’t it time to try something new?” Be aware that change, in whatever form, will not come easy. Your ego will try to keep you fastened to your old habits. The ego hates change and will fight it. You can look closely at the old fears that rule your life – then find a way to move beyond them.

These ghosts and fears often represent the voices of people from our early lives: our parents, a sibling, a teacher, someone in authority. When their messages are negative, your task in life is to move beyond these voices. Putting those voices aside can take a lifetime, but you must do it. Unfortunately, most people cling to what they know, even if it is painful. Sigmund Freud called it the “superego.” By whatever name, it is the brake that stops you from trying new things. It tells you not to trust your instincts because they are worthless. But impasse is not a box. It is an open gate. You can go through it, and find a new and better “you” that didn’t previously exist.

Let It Go
An impasse is an epiphany. It enables you to put aside your “mental models,” to look at the world differently and to see new possibilities. The most effective way to do this is by using a mental exercise known as “free attention.” Sit straight but comfortably in a chair. Place your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap. Gaze straight ahead. Become aware of all of your sensations, internal and external. Focus only on them. Do not muster your feelings, thoughts and judgments. Let them develop spontaneously. Now, focus on your right hand, specifically, the palm. Don’t look at it. Focus your mind on it. You will become aware that thoughts and perceptions are interfering with your focus. Ignore them. Think only of your palm. Make it the entire world.

Now reorient to your right kneecap. Hold your attention there. Think about your breathing. Your breath is all there is. As you focus your attention, you may experience a sense of sadness or fear. Do not fight it. It is the ego, retreating from the new perceptual frontier you are creating. When you engage in free attention, you clear out a space for perceptiveness that is central to your being. In so doing, you can begin to sense that some of your thoughts aren’t valid. Free attention puts you directly in the here and now. It helps you become “unstuck” and shift to a new understanding of things. This impasse may be a sign that you have not been attentive to the primary tensions and themes in your life. Stop. See them for what they are. Smell the roses. Do not analyze your impasse experience. Trust your intuitive powers to help you discover a fuller, more all-encompassing meaning than anything provided by mere analysis.

Picture of dress shoes with Business Starts Here written aboveAnother way to get in better touch with yourself is the “100 jobs” mental exercise. It can help you identify your primal life themes, and is particularly good if you are at a career impasse. First, read through the following list of 100 jobs. Operating instinctively, select the dozen that interest you the most. You may find the idea of being a “music composer” exciting even if you have a tin ear. Rank your choices 1 through 12. Review your list for themes that encompass several of your choices. Try to find “dynamic tensions” in jobs that seem to be exact opposites. In a free attention mode, attempt to experience spontaneous images that develop as a result of listing these 12 jobs. Note all the images, themes and dynamic tensions that occur to you. Do not assign the images to categories. The point is to expand your understanding of the primary themes that affect you, in your work and your life. This enables you to understand your essence, what you hold most important, and what you find most engaging. Most crucial: It tells you about the self that awaits discovery.

The 100 jobs are: “1) marketing researcher; 2) child-care worker; 3) computer software designer; 4) sports coach; 5) manufacturing plant manager; 6) retail store salesperson; 7) social services professional; 8) high-tech products salesperson; 9) litigator; 10) psychotherapist; 11) retail store manager; 12) public relations professional; 13) advertising executive; 14) TV talk-show host; 15) theologian; 16) speech therapist; 17) newscaster; 18) secretary; 19) auto mechanic; 20) electrician; 21) entertainer; 22) optometrist; 23) actor; 24) hospital manager; 25) fine artist; 26) school superintendent; 27) product development team leader; 28) religious counselor; 29) financial analyst; 30) TV or film director; 31) personal finance advisor; 32) human resources director; 33) graphic designer; 34) economist; 35) business strategy consultant; 36) homemaker; 37) senior military leader; 38) CEO; 39) librarian; 40) R&D manager; 41) real estate developer; 42) music composer; 43) veterinarian; 44) ad copywriter; 45) manufacturing business senior manager; 46) nurse; 47) ship captain; 48) research sociologist; 49) information systems manager; 50) investigative reporter; 51) medical researcher; 52) CFO; 53) office manager; 54) police officer; 55) investment banker; 56) restaurant manager; 57) entrepreneur; 58) vacation resort manager; 59) electrical engineer; 60) high school teacher; 61) professor of political science; 62) theoretical physicist; 63) computer systems analyst; 64) fiction writer; 65) newspaper editor; 66) university professor; 67) military serviceperson; 68) diplomat; 69) venture capitalist; 70) military strategist; 71) logistical planner; 72) city planner; 73) accountant; 74) bank manager; 75) architect; 76) carpenter; 77) manufacturing process engineer; 78) firefighter; 79) marketing brand manager; 80) surgeon; 81) investment manager; 82) stockbroker; 83) director of nonprofit organization; 84) event planner; 85) administrative assistant; 86) credit manager; 87) elected public official; 88) motivational speaker; 89) mayor; 90) community charity president; 91) real estate salesperson; 92) professional athlete; 93) clerical worker; 94) foreign trade negotiator; 95) bookkeeper; 96) emergency medical technician; 97) statistician; 98) mutual fund manager; 99) proofreader; and 100) civil engineer.”

Your Passion Points
When you understand your primary interests and passions, you’ll do better at predicting what types of work environments, activities, lifestyles and people you would prefer. If you are at a professional impasse, consider your passions when planning which new job to pursue. Ten primary personality “archetypes” reveal a great deal about an individual: 1) “the engineer” likes to know how things work; 2) “the numbers cruncher” enjoys analysis; 3) “the professor” needs constant intellectual challenges; 4) “the artist” has to create; 5) “the coach” enjoys mentoring; 6) “the team leader” is comfortable managing people; 7) “the boss” likes to run the show; 8) “the persuader” uses ideas and cause us to lose language to influence others; 9) “the action hero” is a hands-on problem solver; and 10) “the organizer” tries to create order. These categories apply to jobs and life. They target dimensions of personality, passion and meaning. To be happy, to move beyond impasse, let your passions guide you. At a crossroads, listen for that interior voice that reminds you what you truly love. An impasse is a stressful time, but that is when the difficult task of self-assessment returns maximum dividends. If you know who you are and what you like, it is easier to know which direction to go in and what to do.

People, Achievement, Power
To some degree, you can determine what will make you happy by considering where you fall on the spectrum of the three “social motivators”: the need for accomplishment, the need for personal ties or the need for power. All three will apply, though one usually dominates. Are you an “Alpha” type who needs to be in control? Are relationships important? Is accomplishment your key? In short, know thyself. People often hit impasses because they are mismatched on the job or in life.

To understand yourself better and end an impasse, map the insights you have uncovered about your personality. Write a list of categories of life and career concerns. Capture highlights in each area: career and life interests, social motivations, plus the theme of the tensions in your life. List these categories, and then fill in the blanks as they apply so you can really understand the patterns in your life.

Self-knowledge is important to moving beyond an impasse. But you cannot move along if you are afraid to act. In fact, if you do not act, you will simply stay in the same mental quagmire that bedevils you now. The nature of your action depends on the problems that caused your impasse. Maybe, to get “unstuck,” you need to buy the building materials for your delayed construction project. Whatever it is, you must act, but do so intelligently. If you plan to pursue a new career, talk to as many people as you can who work in that field. If you want to move to a new city, travel there first to find out what it is like. Don’t make an uninformed decision. Trust your head and your heart.

Whatever form your personal action takes, it represents movement into unfamiliar territory. Now you can change based on the hard work you have done, the mental exercises you have applied, and the self-assessment you have undergone to learn about yourself and what makes you happy. Often the choice you make will be a hard one. Do not compromise. Be bold and brave. Make the decision that in your heart you know is right. An impasse is a door that you open to enter a brand new life. Open it.


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