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. But if someone deterred us by speaking discouraging half-truths, we may stay where we are, without struggling.
In our life-journey, our mind often uses the second approach to keep us stagnant. Here’s how.
During our introspective moments, we often think of things we can do to improve our life and then resolve to do those things. However, our mind sabotages us using a sneaky strategy: procrastination.
If our mind outright forbade us from doing something important, we would notice its bossiness and maliciousness. And we would fight against it, as we would if someone physically tied us up. Pre-empting such opposition from us, our mind says, gently, innocuously, 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.” And we procrastinate.
If we look back at our lives, we can think of some good habits that we could have cultivated years ago. But the 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 it, we will 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?
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