The mind is a perpetual procrastinator – it postpones our resolutions to someday, then some decade and then some lifetime
Suppose we wanted to go somewhere important. If someone physically tied us up, we would struggle to break free. Yet if someone deterred us by speaking discouraging half-truths, we may stay where we are, without struggling to break free. That’s how our mind deters us.
In our life-journey, we resolve to do things that can improve our life. However, our mind sabotages us by using a sneaky strategy: procrastination. If our mind outright forbade us from doing something important, we would notice its bossiness and maliciousness. Leading us to fight against it. Pre-empting such opposition from us, our mind says gently, innocuously, and nonchalantly: “Yes, this is important; you must do it. But why now? You are tired; you have many responsibilities; you have many dreams to fulfill. You can do this later.” Leading us to procrastinate.
If we look back at our lives and think of a good habit that we could’ve cultivated years ago, we often notice how our mind made us put it off for one day – and that one day became one week, one month, one year, one decade. If we keep listening to the mind, we’ll keep delaying for our entire lifetime, maybe even several lifetimes. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (18.28) cautions against the perpetual procrastination that characterizes those who function in ignorance.
If we want our life to improve, we need to reject the mind’s procrastinating rationalizations – and reject them now. Even if that rejection takes the form of just one baby step, that’s enough; the key is not how much distance we cover, but how much resistance we muster against our mind.
Think it over:
- To sabotage us, what strategy does the mind use? Why?
- In our journey toward self-improvement, why is even one baby step enough?
- What rationalizations does your mind use to make you procrastinate? How can you counter those lies?
18.28 The worker who is always engaged in work against the injunctions of the scripture, who is materialistic, obstinate, cheating and expert in insulting others, and who is lazy, always morose and procrastinating is said to be a worker in the mode of ignorance.
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