Often, we are faced with a situation in which we need to make a decision. However, we just do not know what decision we should make. For the most part it is unwise to rush into making quick, hasty decisions. However, I also want to say that too much delay can make a difficult situation, become even worse! When we put off things that need to be done, those things begin to weigh more and more heavily upon us. Pretty soon, we see that a simple chore or task which could have been faced and dealt with in a matter of minutes or hours has now eaten away at our productivity as well as our peace of mind.
Let me give you a prime example! Years ago, when I was much younger and more immature, I sometimes chose to get a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning after the alarm clock rang. One summer, a friend of mine and I were rooming together while taking a summer course that was part of our master’s degree program. He would always get up when the alarm clock went off, get into the shower, and begin to get ready for the day. (This situation occurred before I met Zig Ziglar and discovered it was not an alarm clock, but rather an “opportunity clock”, but that is a story for another time!)
One morning, I asked my roommate how he was able to get moving so quickly in the mornings. I told him I sometimes struggled not to hit the “snooze button” in order to get fifteen more minutes of sleep. I will never forget what he said to me. It was a major turning point in my life and in the way I viewed getting up in the morning. He said, “If I could turn the alarm clock off and go back to sleep for another hour, that would certainly make a difference in the way I felt, but fifteen minutes isn’t that much more rest. Besides, it only puts additional stress on me. I have to start rushing around to get things done in the morning and that does more damage to my health and my peace of mind than the extra fifteen minutes of sleep I would get. It’s just not worth it!”
Well, I had never thought of that before, but I began to think about it that day. It became one of the basic philosophies that I still use to this day, not only in getting up in the morning, but in other areas of life as well. If I will simply go ahead and do what needs to be done, it may feel a little difficult at the time, but by putting it off and waiting until later, it is only going to make matters worse. When I put off whatever responsibility lies nearest me at the moment, stress begins to increase, and pretty soon I find myself operating in a crisis mentality rather than a proactive mentality. I experience more unpleasantness in my work time as well as in my relationships as a result of postponing a decision.
Whether it is getting up in the morning or dealing with an unpleasant task that I do not want to face, I have come to see it is far better to begin to take action than to let matters spiral into disaster. I know from personal experience that even when I do not know specifically what to do in a situation, if I will just begin to wade through the issues, it will not be long before clarity begins to come.
As a boy, I watched a T.V. program called “Ramah of the Jungle.” It was a story about a man who lived in the jungles of Africa. He was always going somewhere with his machete, cutting down tall grass and limbs as he traveled. He also was always on the lookout for wild animals. As I was writing this Tip, that mental image came back to my mind. Often, we have to wade through a situation like we are cutting down tall grass and weeds and limbs from in front of us with a machete, so that we can try to make progress toward where we need to go. If we are going in the wrong direction, we will soon find that out, but staying idle or stationary where we are and not trying to do anything can become dangerous. That is when the “lions of life” start to sniff us out, and pretty soon we are in a serious situation.
Hitting the “snooze button” on the alarm of our life over and over really does not give us that much relief. It only makes matters worse by creating more stress and putting us in a frame of mind where we have to play “catch-up” in all that we do. However, when we stay focused on whatever needs to get accomplished next, we can soon watch how things begin to unfold as we walk through problems rather than letting them pile up on us. Getting up and facing what needs to take place is a far better way to go through life. I am finding it is really the best way to go through life!
This week, take a closer look at the things in your life that you do not want to deal with. Maybe it is time to move forward with those specific situations. It is not going to help you to let them pile up against you! It may even make matters worse. Consider making an adjustment by not delaying any longer to act in certain areas of your life! You will be the winner for it! Now turn off the alarm clock and get up!
Tip: Delay is rarely beneficial!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm