Do it! – while you can.

Posted by on March 23, 2009 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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This last week I found myself and my family rocked by two deaths in our circle of influence. One, a family friend went from a physically strong and healthy building contractor to multiple organ failure if three months, all as the result of medication that was incorrectly prescribed in November last year. The other was my mother-in-law’s second husband’s son’s father-in-law. Well, some distant relative.

What struck me were two things:

1. How quickly people pass away, and

2. The legacy we leave.

During our motivational workshops, we often make it clear that one of the biggest hurdles in motivation, and in getting motivated, is procrastination. For many people, getting something done – particularly something unpleasant like the doctor’s visit, making a “cold call” in sales, or even telling your new life partner that you love them and would like to get married – often get put off until later.

If procrastination is the devil of motivation, then an attitude of “doing things NOW” is part of the recipe for success. Of course there is no better reason for doing something now, rather than later, than the prospect of not being around to do it later. Do it now for no reason other than the possibility that you may not be around to do it later.

We get two distinct types of people on our training seminars and team development programmes. The young ones, often referred to as “generation X”, come along and speak to us during breaks. We hear them talk in a distinctive style, and what they say is just as distinctive. We hear about their goals and dreams, about climbing that mountain, taking the trip, making that date, and the idea that will make them the first million. They start their conversations with “One day I will…”

The other type of people we see a lot of, are the older folks – those in their late 40’s and older. They also talk to us during breaks, but we hear them say very different things.

The older generation tells us about their dreams too – difference is that they tell us about the dreams they’ve given up on. They reminisce about the trips they should’ve taken, the mountains they wanted to climb, the ideas they held onto only to see someone else do it. These folks start their conversations with “If only I had…”

You see, the sad thing is that something happens between the ages of 25 and 55. “One day I will…” becomes “If only I had…” The really sad thing is that nothing happens – most people just age. It is because they procrastinate!

So when you’re not feeling motivated and not getting results you want, decide what you need to do, then DO IT NOW because tomorrow might not be there! Live everyday like it’s your last!

The second thing that struck me about the funerals was the number of people, or lack of people, at the funeral of the distant relative. Upon observing the people attending, it became obvious that there were only family members attending the service and the internment.

Did this man not have many friends? Could others not be bothered to attend? Did this man touch people’s lives in a negative way? I don’t have the answers – and they’re not really important. What is important is what we can learn from it.

I firmly believe that we were put on this earth for one reason, and one reason only. We need to leave a legacy. Think of people who have achieved this. Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, JFK, Adolph Hitler… have all left legacies, some bad, but mostly good.

What are you doing to leave a legacy? Do this little exercise – write your own obituary. Not that I want you to pass away, but I want you to think about the legacy that you are leaving. I believe that leaving a legacy is about positively influencing the lives of the people around you. What have you done today to make someone else’s life better? When last have you influenced someone positively? Go ahead, DO IT. Why? Because you can.

Want to get motivated? Do these two things everyday:

1. Do things today and not tomorrow. Get going. Practice GOYA (Get off your …) Activate yourself.

2. Do something to positively influence the lives of the people around you. Smile at others – even if you don’t like them. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone. Spend just a little part of each day focusing on others instead of yourself.

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