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Question: Acharya Ji, why do we procrastinate?
Acharya Prashant Ji: When we love what we do, procrastination is out of the question.
Procrastination is a challenge we have all faced at some point in time. If you find yourself procrastinating a lot, if you find that you have fixed a schedule and you can’t stick to it, then that is a clear indicator that you have filled up your life with things you don’t love. A clear indication that the climate in the mind is that of suffering and irritation.
One does not postpone Joy.
One does not postpone Freedom and Love.
One only postpones suffering.
And that is ‘procrastination’.
“We will do it tomorrow!” What does it tell us about the quality of our life? We are not in love with what we are doing. We don’t find joy in it and hence, there is a tendency to lose time.
A few words go along with Intelligence — Joy, Freedom and Love. They happen only when there is Intelligence. They are not carried forward from the past; neither Love, nor Freedom. They are always in this moment. But misery, boredom, inattention, repetition, habits are all carried forward.
Whatsoever is unworthy is always carried forward, taken ahead.
And whatsoever is really worthy, lives and dies in this moment.
Relationships are carried forward, Love cannot be carried forward.
Pleasure can be carried forward, Joy cannot be carried forward.
It is right now, in this moment. And as the moment goes, Joy will also go. You may have to rediscover your Joy again in the very next moment. There is no inertia in it, only matter has inertia to it. Freedom, Love, Joy, Truth are without any inertia.
Procrastination is not about laziness. We often think that lazy people procrastinate. No, it’s not about laziness, it’s about the climate of the suffering mind. You want to escape the misery, so you are sending it away. You are saying, “It need not happen right now, it must happen at some other time.”
So let’s not ask, “How to end procrastination?” Let’s simply live in a way in which there is no need to procrastinate, in which the very thought of procrastination does not arise. Can one live in that way? Is that kind of a mind possible?
Procrastination is always about the future. A mind that is immersed in the present, will not procrastinate. And a mind that is continuously thinking of the future, will do nothing but procrastinate.
Awareness is not some magical trick. Awareness is just about looking at your daily actions and seeing – ‘This is my life.’ Life is not some imaginary quantity somewhere. What you do from morning till evening, is life. And if your life is full of delays, procrastinations, gossips, worries, tensions, then that is what you are living.
And nothing good can come out of this kind of climate.
Misery begets misery, miserable decisions will lead to more miserable decisions. As is the seed, so is the fruit. You will have to look at the seed – that is extremely important.
Find out what is it that makes you want to not procrastinate, and give more of that to yourself.
Allow yourself to have more of that.
Procrastination is like saying, “Don’t get hurt today, get hurt tomorrow.” But ultimately you are admitting that hurt is inevitable. Today or tomorrow, it will happen. Instead of this kind of a dejected surrender ask, “Is it really inevitable? Why don’t I like something? Why don’t I like anything? Why is it so that I feel bored always?”
Find out that to which you can dance.
Find out that which you can do even without being paid.
I am not saying that don’t get paid, but find that out which you can do even without being paid.
Find out a loving way of life.
Excerpted from an article published in one of the leading website on spirituality. Read here.
Edited for clarity.
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