Friday, January 29, 2016

If Not Now, Then When?

I remember when I was growing up and being exposed to so many things that needed to be decided on.

I used to dither a lot on taking decisions even on things that would move me forward.

There will always be another opportunity used to be my mantra and I held unto that tightly like a mother hen would do to her eggs.

I remember that in Class 1, I was the youngest in the Class but was made the Class Prefect by the School's Senior Prefect who was then in Upper Six and who was my School Father. He tutored me on how to control noise making in the Class and also deal with unruly students; but like I said, I was the youngest in the Class and there were quite a number of older guys and even bigger and more grown up than I and so I found it difficult to control them. Instead of writing their names and submitting as instructed, I would shift it for another day after verbally warning them to no avail. Infact each time I warned any of them to keep quiet in the Class, they would threaten me and continually brought me down before the rest of the Class Members.

One good day, the Senior Prefect was passing by the Class and we had no Class so the Students were all playing and making noise, I was there and tried to control  the Class to the best of my ability but again to no avail, they just were not ready to listen to me; but as soon as he walked into the Class, silence fell on the room as if the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Apostles.

He asked me why the Class was so rowdy and if I had written down the names of the Noise Makers, I answered in the negative and he decided that since I was unable to control the noise making in the Class and did not write down the names of the noise makers, that he would take me as the noise maker and punish me accordingly and he did just that; not only did he give me 6 hot strokes of the cane on my buttocks, but he also mapped out a part of the grown field for me to cut.

After the School, he called me to his cubicle and told me why he punished me and that it was because I had refused to implement the instructions he gave me when he made me Class Prefect; he then put this question to me, "If you don't write down the names of noise makers when they are making noise, is it when the Class is quiet that you would write it?"

After wards, things were not the same again in the Class because I became very faithful in writing the list of noise makers, submitting it and getting them to carry out the appropriate sanctions. I did not have to ask anyone again to stop making noise neither was I threatened by anyone again. It became easy for my Class mates to call themselves to order when they are in the Class Room because that is where the order of silence was implemented.

And so I learnt not to postpone for tomorrow what can be done today and it has helped me through my life's journey so far.

Over the years, I have always applied that question my School Father asked me more than 50 years ago to any situation I find myself in, which I have put in rather this form "if not NOW, then WHEN?"

It has helped me to fight procrastination.

The natural tendency for human beings is to toe the line of least resistance and that is why there are many people at the bottom of the ladder than there are at the top because to get to the top, one must necessarily chart a course that has not been charted or tread the path that is yet to be explored.

The man who has mastered procrastination and overcame it is the one who knows when to go to bed and when to wake up, who knows when to be at his work desk and when to be at the beach front; who knows when to eat and when to dance; he is the  one who knows when to save and when to spend.

He might be impulsive but is not compulsive.

The man who asks this question "if not now, then when?" whenever he is confronted with a situation, usually flows with the tide and lands on shore well grounded whereas the man who plays the waiting game usually misses out of the fun of living because he is being very "careful"

How about you, do you have any story of how you overcame procrastination?

Or are you still battling with the mentality of shifting it to tomorrow?

Look around you right now, what can you see?

You are educated but no job, and you are still waiting for job but what else can you start doing to be earning while waiting for job? if you don't start it now, then when?

That skill that you have been planning to acquire to develop yourself and which you have been postponing for so long, if you don't queue in now, then when?

You have been wanting to travel but each time you remember the cost of airfare, you shrink back, this is the time to make that trip, you never can tell what is waiting for you on the other side

Just take a count, start doing, stop planning.

Take a deep breath and then launch out, be afraid yes, it is allowed but be hopefully afraid. One thing I do know is that as soon as you launch out on that which has been uppermost in your mind to do, Providence conspires with Herself to help you achieve.

So, when next something comes your way to do or to give or to say or even to think, just ask this question "If not Now, then When?" and you won't be wrong in your decision.

Let God reign Supreme

Dr. Oguzie Jerry - the First: JP



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