10 Rules for Success

If you’re anything like me, there will always be a compelling reason why now is not the time to act.

It’s too early. It’s too late. You’ve not done enough preparation. You’ve done too much. They’re not ready to listen. They’re bored waiting and have moved on to greener pastures.

Either way, you’ve missed the boat. The next one’s a week on Friday …

Hey-ho! Like me, perhaps, you find yourself drawn to the words of this song:

Our modern ears might detect a dash of national stereotyping in there but, hey, Miss Peggy makes procrastination sound so appealing – sexy, even! – that by the end you’re all set to do sweet nada but sit out in the noonday heat beneath a great big sombrero …

From that kind of chilled-out perspective the song could be viewed as a delicious critique of the uptight, clock-watching, unforgiving world we actually live in. And weren’t machines supposed to usher in a brave new world where we’d all be freed from the drudgery of work to pursue meaningful hobbies and play constructively with our children?

What went wrong? Did I miss a meeting? (Several, but don’t worry, they never told you they were having them. Ed.)

No, but you see, I do worry! I worry that my urge to procrastinate stops me achieving anything much. Putting the occasional blog post together – although I sometimes whinge on about it – is the least of my problems. Without deadlines and directions, I tend to flounder. And to continue the fishy metaphor, you could say I flip-flop around.

A friend of mine once accused me – amused, I think, rather than annoyed – of having what he called ‘a shopping-trolley mind’. His idea was that I tended to pull things off the shelves, so to speak, at random. I reckon his real complaint was that this made me difficult to argue with.

I’m rarely short of something to say. If anything, problems lie the other way – I produce too much and lose focus, so that my writing tends to peter out having lost its way. I should edit, of course, to sift the wheat from the chaff but … well, you guessed it … I am prone to postponing the process.

Perhaps there’s a therapy group somewhere. My name is Dave Kingsbury and I’m a serial procrastinator … 

I hope they’ll be kind to me. Not like the originator of this brutal little list that I nicked off of the interweb and cleaned up for respectable readers like your good self. Can you imagine – the ‘f’ word in every sentence? It sounded like Bob Geldof!

 1    Do the work. Don’t be lazy.

 2    Stop waiting. It’s time.

 3    Rely on yourself. The universe doesn’t care.

 4    Be practical. Success is not a theory.

 5    Be productive early. Don’t mess around all day.

 6    Don’t be a baby. Life’s hard. Get on with it.

 7    Don’t hang around with time-wasters.

 8    Don’t waste energy on things you can’t control.

 9    Stop pretending. It’s embarrassing.

10   Stop being a people-pleaser. It’s sad.

 

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Image: deviantart.com

 

20 thoughts on “10 Rules for Success

    1. Haha, reminds me of one of my favourite jokes –
      Masochist: ‘Hurt me!’
      Sadist: ‘No!’
      I wonder if there’s a causational link between an indifferent universe and a desire for quantifiable pain?

  1. Procrastinate?
    Today?
    Sounds too much like hard work.
    I’ll do it tomorrow.

    Today I’m going to be kind. To everyone. Including me.

    Thanks, Dave. Mike.

    1. Quite right, Mike, and as for worrying about being a procrastinator – well, that just adds to the workload! I like the sound of today’s resolution, especially the ‘me’ at the end …

      1. You’re on!

        I actually think you’re onto something there. To get stuff done we need accountability partners. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes you’re too embarrassed to say that you haven’t done anything, so you do something, even if it’s just a little something so that you can say I did xy and z or just x, and it feels good to give that report back.

        Have a fantastic day Dave.

        1. Thanks, Debbie, you too!

          Having posted this, I feel duty bound to get on with things. The thought that others like yourself are making the same efforts actually does help. And of course that we are all writing for others and not just for ourselves, though self-expression is a big part of it …

          It all comes down to identity and relationship, I guess.

  2. Sorry, can’t follow many of your ten rules, I think I share your ‘shopping trolley’ technique of thinking. Actually, like you, I’ve found that’s been more of a hindrance to other people than to me. Besides, now that our part of the globe is heating up I feel we should be embracing the siesta attitude. Nice argument. I’ll probably sign up, if you ever feel motivated to promote this manifesto.

    1. Yes, on reflection, those rules do seem rather hysterical – find myself agreeing with K from memadtwo about not beating oneself up. Many productive writers emphasise the value of being idle and daydreaming – Robert Graves comes to mind. And as you say, climate change suggests we should all do, er, less. And there’s that clever Buddhist phrase – ‘Don’t just do something, sit there.’

  3. I used to be a pro at the big P, Dave. Still am I guess. But now it’s a lot harder to get in trouble, being retired and all. I used to like the A, B, and C method. As had to be done, Bs were for when you got the As done, and Cs were simply shoved aside until they came back and bit you in the butt. Then they became As. Many things, I discovered, happily went off and solved themselves.

    1. I really like the sound of the ABC method, Curt! Just the business of sorting priorities would be beneficial. I’m amused by the idea of Cs that either disappear or turn nasty. I find that retirement allows natural impulses to surface, bit like a second childhood – now I’ve just got to discipline myself to produce something worthwhile!

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