Saturday, October 10, 2009

Be Stern With Yourself -- Now! Now! Now!

Life is boot camp. Not lolling about like a dandy fellow with a fob. Look alive! It's time to get up, out, and doing something.

I could sit all day, if that were my way, adrift in the haze of my reverie. But that's not my way. My way is the way of goals, drives, and getting to it. Now! Now! Now!

There are those times, like if I'm running a fever or something, that I sit and look at the walls. I'm engrossed in the little things of life, watching dust motes drift lazily around the room. But for the most part, I put all that behind me and I'm alive and with it.

Whether it's the day to day tasks that have to be done, cleaning up after my dog, tending to Grandma's mental and physical needs, keeping the lawn whacked down to size, or my own personal goals, reading, learning, consolidating my gains, formulating self-esteem teachings, etc., etc., I know it's not going to do itself.

Step by step, I have to have the discipline to look at a task and do it. Yes, I think it through (quickly), how it can be done most efficiently and in the best way. But once that thought has come -- and even if it doesn't -- I dive right in to get it accomplished.

There's some procrastination, always depending on priorities and urgency, but I do not put off what must be done now. It's all go-go-go, drive it right up the middle, cold turkey-do it, without complaint and with purpose.

Being stern with yourself is an important aspect of having self-esteem. And the reason is clear. If you have the will to do what needs to be done, you're going to feel better about yourself. If things pile up, things that need to be done, it's going to be more debilitating to face a mountain later than a molehill now.

And having personal confidence? Having personal confidence is a matter of acting confidently right now, not postponing it to some other time. The more you act confidently the more confidence you have. Whether it's confidence in your abilities or attitudes. Nothing saps confidence like having a job you know you can't possibly get done.

As for me, I'm a stomper. When I need to be. I have responsibilities and that means something. It means no one else is going to do it for me. So here's one biggie, stomp through it. Here's a little fire flaring up, stomp it out. Here's a little job that will be bigger if I wait till later, stomp it down to size now. Now! Now! Now!

Am I putting off anything till later? Yes, I am. But I'm stern with myself on the matter of time. I know how much time it will take to stomp through it later, and I know when that time gets here, I will be ready to do the stomping. I know I will not fail, because, come hell or high water, I will get it done.

I do speak kind words to myself, like I wrote about the other day. It's a good thing. But sometimes the kindest word you can speak to yourself is this: Enough kind words! It's time to hustle! It's time to work! Now! Now! Now!

Your task may be unappealing -- like just today I had to clean up after my dog, who apparently got massively sick out the back end. It happens to all of us. But a dog doesn't have a toilet and doesn't clean up after itself. Should I put it off till noon? No! Now! Now! Now! That's my kindest word for myself. I'm not going to look at dog crap till noon.

It does wonders for your self-esteem. And, get this, it's kind of like The Karate Kid movie, which I haven't seen for years. But you have the old master directing the young kid to clean the floors. That's what my morning was like. A strict time of meditation and spiritual pursuits. I'm on top of the world, you see, for that hour. ... Then the next thing you know, five minutes after, I'm cleaning dog crap off the floor in a different room. And I had to smile while doing it. From the heights to the depths ... and yet it's all the same thing. This is spiritual too. But at this task I'm stomping lightly ... no reason to get it on me if I can help it.

You want personal pride, confidence, self-esteem? Be stern with yourself. Drive yourself through life like a panzer division.

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