Struggle and Solving Procrastination

Gears of War 3

Put the controller down. Get to work.

Do you procrastinate?

If you do, that’s because we evolved to conserve our energy. We wear jackets to conserve energy when we are cold. We eat when we are hungry to replenish energy. We resist working to save energy.

Organisms have evolved over millions of years surviving off the principle of energy conservation. Now refueling our bodies has never been easier. The convenience of modern technology gives us the opportunity to replenish our bodies whenever we need. We don’t have to chase our food, risk eating poisonous nuts and berries, or settle on leaves and insects for nourishment.

In the wilderness, animals struggle to survive. Finding food is difficult. Weather is harsh. Animals fight to maintain their territory. Humans are not unlike animals. Our survival follows the same rules. To survive in our world, we must struggle. We share this fight with animals, although ours is different. Technology sets us apart. Brazilian capuchin monkeys use stones to dig for food. We turned stones into shovels, buildings, arrows, and jewelry. Technology’s transformation provides us with a luxury of convenience.

First-world citizens have forgotten the discomfort of survival. As technology evolves, our definition of survival evolves. In the beginning we were comfortable with food, shelter, and water. Today, these necessities are innate. As a result, we redefine the necessities of life. We want to eat at expensive restaurants. We want to live in Malibu mansions. We want to drink fancy Italian sparkling water. Everyone wants to be successful. The new definition of survival is success. In order to survive, we must thrive.

Before we can achieve the height of success, we must learn to fly.


Learning to Fly


Starting something new is difficult. Baby birds flounder before flight. As babies, we stumble and fall learning to walk. Learning new tasks lead to struggle. It is an essential medium of success. Struggle is hard because it is an inherent difficulty. Struggle begets appreciation. Without struggle, our work is worthless. Appreciating our reward becomes nonexistent. Eating is worth the satisfaction. Building a shelter is worth the protection. Working to support your family is worth the happiness. Success is no different. We must stumble, strain, fight, and limp our way to success.

Struggle shows us how much our goal is worth. Wanting to run a 5K and getting off the couch and doing it are two different things. The successful individual gets up, puts on some shoes, practices, and runs the 5K. This act demonstrates the importance of their goal.

Are you prepared to deal with struggle? Is your goal worth it?

Dealing with Struggle

“Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

-Richard Nixon

No one climbs to the top of a mountain easily. It is a cold, dangerous fight.

We procrastinate to avoid struggle. It is easier to avoid our challenges than conquer them. We must recognize this habit in ourselves and confront it immediately. An awareness of procrastination leads to two choices.

The first choice is to continue procrastinating. This will delay our projects and goals.  Procrastinators are people without self-control. They lack purpose in life. A major difference between animals and people is our ability to develop self-control.

Our second choice is self-directed action. It is better to do than to defer, but action is not a magic wand that eliminates struggle from success. By doing, we get closer to our goals. Action brings us to the entrance of the Staircase of Success. From the entrance of the stairwell, we can see our goal located on the top floor. Before our goal dwells the temptation to quit, settle for less, and distract. The preceding floors are our opposition; the final our goal. Our first challenge is to start climbing. Standing still accomplishes nothing. As we ascend the Staircase of Success, self-control is our weapon. Resistance is the enemy. There are no shortcuts to success. As we start to climb the staircase our body and mind tire quickly. We must be careful. We are tempted to stop, relax, or live in the “moment.” The later is an excuse. Each step of the process we risk tripping over this temptation. The temptation to stop, watch a movie, hang out with friends, or settle for less never ends. Life’s temptation to take shortcuts is relentless, but it can be mastered.

1. Take it step by step.

2. Recognize your habit of procrastination.

3. Change your habit.

4. Use self-control as the power to create that change.

5. Combine your awareness and self-control to create self-directed action.

6. Destroy procrastination. Use self-directed action to achieve your goals.

Most of us aren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths. For this we should be grateful because we know the worth of a dollar, the meaning of an hour, and a sympathetic understanding of how the world works.

The best way to achieve prosperity in the long run is by ensuring you put forth the necessary energy and effort today. Yes, it is hard; but that’s why it’s worth doing. The struggle for success is the greatest opportunity of the 21st century. Be grateful. Your struggles confirm you are working towards something great.


Here’s a short clip of a Capuchin monkey opening nuts

Are you grateful for struggle? Have you destroyed procrastination? Has the desire to succeed replaced the need to survive? Please share your thoughts below.

About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.


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