DEVELOP THE DO-IT-NOW HABIT
by Tom Hopkins
really encompasses nearly everything in life. Do you remember in school
when you were given 30 days to write a term paper? Did you start it
that first night?
of us didn't. Instead, we thought about it every night. "Got to get
moving on that ratty project. But I've got almost a whole month
left--it can wait." As time goes by, worry about getting a failing
grade looms larger in our minds. At first the pain of starting the term
paper is greater than our concern about the failing grade, so after a
week we still haven't started. Two weeks go by. What are we doing every
night before we go to sleep? Worrying about that F. "I better start.
Tomorrow I'll get moving on it."
week before the term paper is due, the F is getting larger--but it's
still not quite large enough to offset the pain of working at
preventing it. All of a sudden there are only three days left before
it's due, and at last the F looms larger than the pain of working on
the term paper. So we start.
you lay it out you begin feeling some enthusiasm. "This isn't bad. I
may get an A if I do this and do that." When you walk in with your
paper you're happy, but you wasted 27 days worrying about starting. In
other words, you operated at a deficit emotionally for 27 days when you
could have been in the profit column the whole time. Move into the
emotional profit column right now; starting today, get your priority
tasks and actions handled promptly. Plan your actions, then act on your
plans. Apply this determination to every area of your life and it will
make an enormous difference in your income, growth rate in business as
well as your satisfaction and growth rate personally.
portrait of a man who was being called the Whiz Kid on Wall Street
appeared on the cover of a national magazine many years ago. He was one
of the first to put a conglomerate together, and some of the federal
laws affecting business in the early 70's came about because of the
trends that his creativity set off. At the time he was 42, he was
running one of the largest industrial combines in the country, the
conglomerate he had built himself. So the magazine had assigned a
journalist and a team of researchers to do an in-depth report on this
of the researchers went to the small city the dynamic executive had
left 15 years earlier. A few items turned up there about an alcoholic
with the same name who had been sleeping on park benches at that time.
The researcher passed this information along, and as the journalist was
concluding his interview with the Wall Street powerhouse in his plush
office, the journalist laughed and said, "Believe it or not, a man with
your exact name was sleeping on park benches and getting ousted by the
police when you lived in your home town. I guess the poor guy was a
real wino. Isn't that something?"
The president looked up and smiled. "That was me," he said.
The reporter was flabbergasted. "This can't be. You're kidding."
president of the conglomerate leaned back in his leather chair and
shook his head. "I'm not kidding. The wino sleeping off drinks on park
benches was me."
journalist stared at him for a moment and realized that the man was
telling the truth. He also realized that now he had a whole new story.
When his apologies were waved aside, he said, "I have to ask, what made
to what he said because so many people fit this mold: "When I was
sleeping under newspapers in the park 15 years ago, I knew that someday
I would do what I'm doing now. I was just waiting until I was ready to
you know how many people are like that? "Well, next year's my year. I'm
going to get to work then. You just wait and see--right after the first
of the year I'm gonna start shaping up." But of course the time to get
going never quite comes for most people. They have good intentions, but
are lacking the two most vital components of any good deed: the
motivation to begin and a strategic plan to keep them moving forward.
see, by not beginning, you're not risking failure, but you're also
confining yourself to the level of success you currently have. If
you're happy with that, fine. If not, make that plan and get fired up!
your potential for greater success is nagging at you, don't wait. Time
is flying by so fast. Start today to achieve the greatness you know is