Brian Tracy, best-selling author and world class speaker, wrote in his book, Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, “Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” Tracy goes on to say, “Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.”
I love this analogy. And I love Tracy’s book on productivity. BUT, loving something, understanding it, resonating with a concept, does not success create. What moves us from intention to fulfillment is action. So, the question remains, “But how? I don’t like frogs. Bleh! It’s too hard. I don’t have what it takes. I’m tired…” The list goes to infinity and beyond.What moves us from intention to fulfillment is action. ~ Erin K. Robison Click To Tweet
Long before I knew who Brian Tracy was, I learned a lesson that helps me take that first scary step toward finishing the FROG.
Every high school year, we had to write research papers. Do they still do that? #uphillbothways #inthesnow
Although the mechanics of writing always came easy to me, research papers were a daunting task. A sense of overwhelm, a fear of failure and before you know it, paralysis and procrastination would ensue. But one day, the tide changed for me. And almost 30 years later, I’m still affected by the concept I embraced at 16.
Although I don’t remember the exact conversation with my boyfriend’s mother, I’m sure it started with me panicking about the looming deadline. Probably because, unlike my over-achieving boyfriend, I hadn’t even started. But out of the blurry mist of that memory, what stands clear is her poignant response: “Envision yourself accomplishing it. Think about how it will be on Friday, once you turn in your completed paper.” BAM! Like a lightening bolt, my life was forever changed.
In that moment, I was able to look forward, create a vision, a dream, for what success would feel like. That simple action, eliminated all the fear and worry and doubt that had held me prisoner. The realization that I would survive the next three weeks, regardless of how much work or stress or frustration I would experience, gave me the courage to move forward. It was an epiphany that has carried me through every daunting task since then.
In those few words, Mrs. DeKunder, gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself. To defy the voices that tell me I can’t do it. That it’s too much. That it’s not worth the effort. And for that I am eternally grateful.
There is something magical that happens when we cast a vision. When we choose to see our lives as they can be. When we believe in the possibilities. I will carry this with me to the grave; telling everyone I meet, “Just envision yourself accomplishing it. That’s where you start.”
Does this kind of imagery resonate with you? What mantras do you hold close? Have you been overwhelmingly impacted by something you learned as a teenager?