For years I had a problem with not being as productive as I would have liked to be. In order to improve, I read countless books about organization, time management, goal setting, and how to get things done. I was frustrated because I never seemed to be making much progress. It didn’t seem to matter how many books I read or how many times I read the books, how many notes I took, or how inspired and excited I was. I just didn’t make as much headway as I wanted.
What was my problem? It sure wasn’t a lack of desire to learn and change. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand that I had a problem and that solving it would great help me in so many ways.
I was like a guy going to a restaurant, looking at the many tempting items on the menu, seeing what I would like to eat and making my order. Here’s the picture. I decide to start with smoked salmon garnished with field greens, capers and shallots. Then a Caesar’s Salad. For my main dish I order chicken breast tenderloin sautéed with garlic, leeks and tomatoes, and a glass of their best white wine. To end the meal I ask for a creamy baked custard, caramelized with sugar top. Sounds good, doesn’t it.
Once the food is brought in I sit there looking at it, admiring the way the chefs have creatively made every dish a work of art, smelling the rich aroma, dreaming of how good it will taste, but I never take a single bite. Pretty stupid if you ask me, but that pretty much amounts to what I was doing with my personal development. I was reading how I could improve my time management. I was studying ways I could be more organized. I was going over book after book on goal setting about how I could more easily reach the objectives I set for myself.
Do you notice something that is not right with this picture? Do you see what my problem was, what I was doing wrong? I was looking at what I could do, future tense. I was admiring the food, but I was not taking a bite. I was always looking for how I could get better someday, rather than now, in the future, rather than today.
Anthony Robbins puts it this way. “Someday is a road that leads to a town called Nowhere.” That’s the road I was on for years. If it sounds familiar to you too, if you realize that you are not headed in the right direction, first make sure you’re in the driver’s seat and not just the passenger. Then get off the road at the first exit and look for the road called Now. That’s when driving gets exciting, and life becomes a great adventure that will take you to any goal and destination you want.