Are you procrastinating?

“Think big, start small and deliver quickly.” I found this advice from a Vice President of Cisco Corporation. At the time, Cisco was one of the most profitable and fastest growing firms in the world. It struck me as the way we must all do business in this highly competitive global era. We must think big. We cannot just look at the world from our own petty perspective. We must view the world from the eyes of our customers, stakeholders and other world citizens. Things we do in New York affect the Amazon Rain Forest and vice versa. We must start small. Every journey begins with a single step. Every large organization or endeavor started out quite humbly.

It is no shame to start on the bottom and work your way up. We all must pay our dues. It is all too easy to see those who have achieved success and think they did it overnight. However, when you look closely at success, you see it came from very humble beginnings. Finally, we must be quick. Opportunities are like a window that opens and closes or like an elevator going and down every few seconds. Opportunities do not last long. If you do not seize the moment, someone else surely will. Nature abhors a vacuum and an opportunity is a vacuum just waiting to be filled. Opportunities are like the waves in the ocean and whenever one comes in, it is quickly spent but soon replaced by another one. You must pick the right wave and jump on it quickly or you will miss it.

I posted Cisco’s phase over my desk as a reminder. Thinking big reinforced the need for a vision worth achieving. Without a vision, we may end up building a molehill. We need a vision but we also need determination and speed. You need determination to have the stamina and patience to build your vision one day and one step at a time. You cannot know in advance if you will succeed. You will need determination to see you over the hills and valleys. You will also need speed. While you are still contemplating your great new idea, the chances are excellent that a competitor is also thinking about the same idea. Haste can make waste, but timing is everything and today you must act fast or lose the opportunity.

What good ideas do you have that you are procrastinating over? What opportunities are waiting for you to seize them? Why are you still waiting? Who or what could help you get started? If you are not sure how to get started, find someone to help you. You will regret it later if you do not act now.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 05:46:18

    John,
    As a known world class procrastinator, I feel especially qualified to respond to your essay. I have wasted quite a bit of time criticizing myself because of my lack of action, i.e. procrastinating, on some “bright” idea that entered my consciousness.
    I no longer beat myself up for procrastinating. I judge that my intuition is acting as a governor keeping me from wasting my time on a quest that may not in the end make my life neither more enjoyable, nor richer in a real sense, nor in general, better.
    For those of us who live full lives, the addition of yet another quest will take away that which we have already worked hard to achieve. Our intuition will tell us not to start because the process to attain this goal will interfere with the existing pleasures, and possibly in the end, upset the balance of which you have accomplished, and thus, my not be worth the life changes necessary to accomplish it, and once there, the life style needed to maintain it my be in conflict with how you currently see yourself.
    Trust your intuition, maintain your faith in God, believe that your life is perfect as it is, and that God will bring you to your goal, and your worth will be wonderful when placed in the eternal perspective.
    Your friend,
    Greg

    Reply

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