The Secret That Is Not A Secret At All
By Stan Lewis
The purpose of this article is to discuss habits and what can happen, over a period of time, when we put things off or when we don't finish the tasks we have started. At the end of this article, you shall discover a potentially life changing secret, that is not a secret at all.
When we continuously put things off or don't finish a task, it can become a bad habit. Habits can be either good or bad. When things become a habit, we do them without even thinking about them. This is great - when the repetitive actions are positive. However it can be bad - when the repetitive actions are negative. It matters not the occupation of a person or if they're a leader. Each person should seek to create repetitive actions which are positive and create good habits. Additionally, each of us should seek to stay away from repetitive actions that are negative and create bad habits.
Now each of us have procrastinated or put things off for various reasons. And to be honest, sometimes it is necessary to set things aside for valid reasons - like family emergencies. True emergency situations do not need to be justified. However, it is when we become like the person in Proverbs 6:9-11 that it is not alright. This Proverb talks about the foolishness of indolence. Indolence means being lethargic and not showing any interest or making any effort. Proverbs 6:9-11 says - "6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, 8 provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. 9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep 11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man."
The ant is self-motivated. It has developed good habits that cause it to do what is necessary to survive and thrive. Those who always put things off will drift away from what's necessary in order to feed their bad habits. They become like the sluggard. A little sleep here, a little slumber there, and a little folding of hands to sleep and poverty can come upon you like a prowler. This "lack of action can treat you with the cruelty of an armed robber if you do not do what is necessary to create positive habits. In turn, positive habits will produce and develop physical, mental, and spiritual growth within you.
Another problem is that many of us have trouble following through with a task. We start projects or tasks with great energy, but never follow through on them. Again, there are valid reasons not to finishing a project or task. Emergencies and strange situations do pop up from time to time. However, each of us should endeavor to finish what we start. Proverbs 12:27 says, - 27 the lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man's precious possession." What a waste of both resources and time. This guy went through all the trouble of hunting down his game, but will not follow through with the task of feeding himself. He is so close to the ultimate goal he set out upon, but in the end - he missed the mark. This is like practicing for a 100 yard dash and when the race starts - the runner quits at the 50 or 60 yards mark. No injury or mishap - not at all. It's just that the runner has never developed the positive habit of completing a race. The hunter has never developed the positive habit of finishing the job and feeding himself.
The diligent - those who are persistent and hard working - are a different story. The diligent do not put off until tomorrow - what can be done today. The diligent, also, finish what they start. The diligent value their resources. The diligent not only value their time, but the time of others.
So, what are you putting off? Where are the areas in your life that you are not following through on? Once you have answered these questions; then you will know what you have to work on. These are areas where you need to be diligent. But remember, you did not develop bad habits over night, but over time. Nor are you likely to change your bad habits on your own. In order for you to develop the positive habits that will promote your physical, mental, and spiritual growth; you will need to seek out a mentor to walk this road of change with you. Whether you find an elder or leader in the church or a big brother or sister figure; find someone to hold you accountable. And here is the big secret that is no secret at all: Admit your bad habits, set goals to change them, create action steps (something you can do daily), and find an accountability partner/mentor. It's not a secret at all, that you can be the best you that you can be - if you trade out your bad habits for good ones.
About The Author
Stan Lewis is a Christian Life & Leadership coach. He is happily married to the ultimate lady and love of his life - Barb. He has two children. He is a former Naval Officer & has developed and trained leaders for 18 yrs. He has worked in the Royal Ranger ministry for 20 yrs. He has a passion for training, ministering to, and developing leaders.