Do The Thing That Needs to Be Done

You know what that Thing is.

Yes, you do. Don’t go all coy on me. I know you do.

It’s been haunting you, nagging away at the edges of your conscience as you’re busy doing the things you think are more important, more pressing, more practical.

And maybe they are, in the short term. You need to go to work, you need to do the grocery shopping, you need to get your oil changed. Fair enough.

So do those things, by all means. But then what?

The Thing That Needs to Be Done will still be there, tugging on your sleeve and staring at you with those big, round eyes it has. And it will be there tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that — waiting patiently, but persistently, until you finally Do It Already.

Because things won’t be quite right until you take care of it.

And you know this.


Why You Aren’t Doing It

It’s too hard.

It’s too complicated.

It’s inconvenient.

You don’t know where to start.

You’re afraid you might fail.

You’re afraid you might succeed.

It’s too important.

No one else is doing it.

Once you do it, there’s no going back.

Feel free to insert your own excuses ad nauseam. It doesn’t matter what they are, really. Because The Thing That Needs to Be Done won’t listen to them anyway.

And thank goodness it won’t.


Why It Needs Doing

Because it’s overdue.

Because no one else is doing it.

Because you can.

Because you’ve always secretly wanted to.

Because everything else just feels like an exercise.

Because things could be better.

Because you have it in you.

Because you owe it to yourself.

Because you owe it to the world.

Because you’re the only one who can to it.

Because the time is now.


What’s Your Stalker?

What’s the Thing that’s been stalking you?

A business you want to start? A dream you want to pursue? A journey you want to take?

Or maybe it’s something simpler: A person you keep thinking you should make amends with. An e-mail you’ve had in your draft folder but haven’t summoned up the courage to send.

Whatever it is, chances are there’s something, some idea or hope or dream or conviction, that refuses to give up and go away no matter how many times you ignore or postpone it.

There’s a reason for that: It needs to be done. (Tweet, tweet!)

So, what are you waiting for?

Image: Flickr

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  • Very true, and I often use the excuse that I have to do what “needs” to be done before I can do the thing I “want” to do. That thing has been everything from short-term changing a shower curtain liner to long-term weight gain or simply switching up some meds. Sigh…thank you for the reminder.

    Just out of curiosity, what’s your stalker?

    • My non-written Novel. I keep focusing on drafting blog posts, doing household chores, dreaming up new projects…when in the back of my mind, the Novel I swore I’d write in 2011 keeps reminding me it needs writing. Time to stop ignoring it and putting some of those other “needs” on hold for the time being.

      • Good call. Just for the record, I made a couple phone calls I needed to make but had put off–thanks to the push from this post 😉

  • Ah, yes, yes indeed.

    • Chelsea of the smack talk! A comment from you always makes me squeal. Just a little bit. Not in a girlie embarrassing way. Just in a “how awesome that awesome people are reading me” way. 🙂

  • Greer Carlson

    This is the push I needed…thanks Cordelia!

  • Chris Barba

    Well written thoughts Cordelia. I especially like how under Why it Needs Doing you have “Because you can.” It’s a scary thing, venturing into the unknown, but we can do it. If we believe that, then we can create brand new realities – ones we have always wanted but never entertained because of its inherent impossibility.

    I also LOVE the idea that “you owe it to the world.” Each and every one of us has a unique gift to give. To remain dormant in fear would not only be a disservice to yourself, but your community. I think about that anytime I need a kick in the butt to get to it.

    Great post Cordelia – and I love that picture.


    • Thanks, Chris. This post was a pep talk to myself as well as my readers. I’m oh-so good at making excuses, putting things off, telling myself I have more “important” things to do. But in the end, that’s all a load of bull.

      We all have certain talents and messages inside us, and we *do* owe it to the world to deliver on that. It’s easy enough to say, “I don’t feel like doing that today,” or “what does it really matter if I put it off one more day?” But when you stop to think that somewhere, someone is waiting and hoping to discover exactly the thing that only you can give to the world…well, that’s exactly the kick in the butt I need too.

  • Here’s a strange observation I’ve made several times over the years when it comes to those tasks we *should* do but keep putting off. One example for me is how I *hate* doing my tax returns – so I literally leave them till the last minute. I couple of years ago I submitted it late and had to pay a fine. Why? Was I too busy? Nope, I just procrastinated.

    The weird thing is that when you finally pull your finger out and *do* whatever it is that has been nagging at you, suddenly there’s an amazing feeling of freedom. Of “what was I worried about?”. Of feeling mentally more free because this thing is no longer chipping away at you. Quite frankly of a buzz.

    So if doing these things feels so good, why do we put them off? Or is the fact that we put them off so long what makes them feel great once they’re completed? Opinions?

    • I think there are two kinds of things we put off: things we have no desire to do (like taxes) and things we really want to do but still can’t bring ourselves to (like writing, for me).

      For the tax-type things, I’d have to say the great feeling of completing them is largely a matter of “oh thank God that’s over” kind of relief. But for the writing-type things, I think we put them off largely because we’re afraid of starting them. We’re afraid we don’t do as well as we want to, we’re afraid we’ll get stuck halfway through, we’re afraid we’ll do them and people will laugh at us. Getting past these fears and doing the thing you secretly want to do feels wonderful in those cases because the act itself is truly something you enjoy–it’s just all the hangups and fears that keep us from jumping right into it.

      Or at least those are my two cents. 🙂

  • I really needed to read this today. Actually, as a writer and a freelancer, I feel like I really need to read this every day. I make my own hours, so I need the self-discipline to do whatever The Thing is that day and not dither over household chores and Facebook. I don’t always have that discipline. So thank you! Thanks to you, my editor will have copy by the end of the day. Maybe even before then.

    • Glad I could help! I too feel like I could stand to read this every day. It is sooo easy to get distracted by things that seem more fun/easier/interesting, even if The Thing is something you really DO want to do, deep down underneath all the procrastination. I’m happy I could help give you a push today–can’t wait to hear the latest update on your novel!