The sweet seduction of procrastination and its nasty after taste.

​You may delay but time will not, and lost time is never found again.

Benjamin Franklin

I love to tell myself that I am a planner. I write lists, make notes, write vision boards during my productive spurts and then if time permits I’ll take a nap or unwind with some mind numbing TV after expending all of that energy. Of course, Hardwork deserves a reward. I also like to take stock of where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished and what remains to be done. This is where the real reckoning normally unfolds. I have discovered that in my personal space I am a flagrant procrastinator.

In my professional pursuits, time is money and you simply, in this competitive marketplace, would be foolhardy to play fast and loose with productivity, which is the only true capital that matters in the workplace. 

However in my personal space, well that’s an entirely different matter. My mom used to tell us as children all the time that there are two things you can never recover “the spoken word and wasted time”. Be careful of the things you speak into being because you cannot unring a bell and time wasted can never be regained. That is not to say however, that corrective measures cannot be employed.

I have recognized that my procrastination is a function of laziness and fear. Yes, I am LAZY..and sometimes poorly motivated. Thankfully, knowing is half the battle. Fear is the other half. Fear is one of the single greatest threats to success. We actively undermine our opportunities and ability when we yield our gifts and dreams to Fear. 

I often look back at my younger, highly motivated self and wonder what went wrong? Where did all my drive go? Well life happens, get over it. When did I have to get this done morph into, but it’s ok if i do it tomorrow…and know how that story ends, lol.

In my days at UWI, i had a simple rule. Any number of hours spent focused  on any non-degree activities must be matched with equal time studying or reading. I didn’t always stick to that mantra but ultimately it yielded positive returns. 

It may feel great in the moment to postpone today’s goals until some later time. After all why do today what you can do tomorrow. Until tomorrow is 5 years later and you are stuck on a hamster wheel bound to nowhere stifling on the fumes from the heartburn of despair and broken dreams. 

Delayed is not denied. However, if you cannot harness the wherewithal to pursue your dreams inspite of the challenges, then you will be stuck in a perpetual cycle. Courage it is said, is not acting in the absence of fear but acting inspite of our fears.

Procrastination has a potent lure. Why stress and work hard when you can lounge and relax. C’mon put off going back to school it’s just too much work, after all a dead-end job is not that bad in the scheme of things. Why bother to seize that opportunity that could change your life when you can remain comfortably stuck at this stage of surviving rather than thriving.

A new year is fast approaching. It is the time when people typically take stock of where they are in time and space. I can’t promise anyone that I won’t procrastinate but I will constantly remind myself that tomorrow is not promised to any man. So live the best life you can live today.

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Finding your path after losing yourself ..

Many years ago i started reading for a Ph.D in Biotechnology at the University of the West Indies. A journey that was fraught with challenges and epic failure. At the end of that journey i graduated with a master’s degree in Biotechnology and a new understanding of how the world works. 

I left academia as a shell of myself, lost and fractured i turned to  music for solace. The unthinkable happened and my mother lost her battle to illness and moved from this earthly realm to the next. I flat out gave up on who i was. I was good though, brilliant, i dare say. I led those who knew me to think the person who inhabited the shell was whole. I peered into the void for hours trying to find out who i was and the answer that came back from the nothing was a clanging echo. A lost soul inhabited the shell.

Fast forward 5 years to present day reality and i find myself confronted again. I am a talented liar. I told myself i was ok, knowing that i was not. As the skies weep around me i am confronted with the stark reality, that i gave up on myself. I gave up on the idea that i could be more and was deserving of more.

I found solace in negativity. Sigh…i guess that’s all i was meant to be. The funny thing though about hitting mental rock bottom is the inability to block clarity. You can’t stop that ray of light the peeks through the gray skies on a dark depressing day. Your eyes, having gotten accustomed to gray, will automatically hone in on the light. 
Many of the greatest stories of triumph in history are riddled with epic failures. There is a Buddhist saying that goes “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”. That is true and your teachers may come in many different disguises. I also believe that sadly, sometimes when you are mired in misery, you simply cannot listen. You will hear but can’t listen. I’ve heard many things but i wasn’t in a state to listen. 

Settling or adapting is sometimes a child of necessity it is also a cowards respite. why struggle again to stand out when it is so easy to fit in. Finally, i think i’ve managed to listen to what the universe was telling  me. 

Be gentle with yourself, healing is a process but it requires commitment and effort. Never settle for less than you are even if the idea that you can be more scares you. Each man is ascribed a purpose, stepping into that purpose isn’t supposing yourself better than another it is accepting that universal order. If you can think it, you can  do it, but it requires faith, persistence, courage and resilience. life is inherently get over it. Hanging on to the hurt of the past only blocks the space of the blessings of now and your future. 

I am a work in progress but i am ready to be.

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Freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequences.

As a child I had a razor sharp wit and a clap back that would assault the very scorched sensibilities of a sailor. Emboldened by the laughter it elicited, I would undress any charlatan who dared to to test me, with a fluid descriptive laced with multi sylabbic words I was all too proud to use. Liberally peppered of course, with every claaat and colourful description the mind could conceive. I never cared an iota that it wasn’t acceptable, of course, until my mother discovered my penchant for  misadventure and it went begrudgingly to the place where all bad childhood habits go to die…the subconscious.

Skip ahead many years, to my attempt to  read for my doctoral thesis. I ran head first into my greatest challenge and what would become, the source of my most monumental failure in this life. I ran into a power broker who held my fortunes in her cruel grasp. For the first time i had a birds eye view of the power driven seedy underbelly of academia. I wont adjudicate the case in this post, suffice it to say..navigating a minefield would have been a more pleasant memory. The treatment meeted out stirred in me the fiercest, bile inducing, reaction possible. If i didn’t say my piece, my tongue would drop out of my mouth.

Ahh but…..Jamaicans have this saying..

Hand inna lion bout tek time draw it the midst of a crisis navigate your exit with care. 

Young, brash, bright I did not care, after all, i have  the right to my opinion and the right to equitable treatment. Unfortunately, that is how I learnt one of my harshest lessons, freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequences.  While I am in no way suggesting that anyone should be quiet in untenable circumstances or surrender your right to personhood in the face of injustice. I submit that it ought to be after having weighed the consequences and determining if your ass can cash the cheque your mouth just paid. Colin Kapernick is a perfect example of  doing his due diligence in contemplation of the consequences and choosing to go ahead and taking your stance. 

I lost that battle and as the saying goes “Jackass seh di world nuh level enuh and puss and dawg nuh have the same luck” is inherently unfair. But that in no way determines the course of your journey or completes the chapters of your story.

I have learnt from that experience that “when people show who they are believe them.”  We all have choices. Do you play the game until you’ve attained the outcome of choice? Do you go barging in like a bull in a china shop? Do you strike a healthy medium? At the end of the day do whatever fits your personal conviction. 

Obviously, this is not a catchall and there are cases that I will absolutely encourage you to fight like hell. If you are being abused in any way or your fundamental civil rights are being undermined, fight like hell. However there are several other cases where taking a sledgehammer to a case that a skewer could fix is  doing yourself a disservice.

I will say it again “jackass seh di world nuh level and puss and dawg nuh have the same luck”. Assess your situation and act in your best interest. At the end of the day sometimes the best thing you can for yourself is fight. For some however, the most courageous thing to do is to walk away. 

Never allow anyone to steal your dreams and delayed is not denied. At the end of the day..the greatest revenge is success! 

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Distractions, procrastination and redirection 

After a gruelling day of interacting with John Q public I often come home to unwind on my daily diet of mind numbing TV. Furiously channel hopping between the latest editions of SVU and the most palatable Real Housewife of wherever on Bravo. Recently, both of those have been eclipsed by my daily diet of political indulgence, CNN, MSNBC and FOX (for the sheer outrageously partisan perspective). Armed with my libation of choice (more often than not the utterances from the stoop these days demand consulting with the spirits…distilled spirits), I tuck in.

I’ve noticed however that this routine while it used to serve as a tool for decompression has firmly reshifted my focus. What the hell am I feeding my brain with? I believe unequivocally in balance, work hard and play hard. However at some point we have to monitor the diet of distractions that we feed our minds with.

When I take stock of where I am in time and space and actively challenge the direction of my life, I’m forced to recognize that the agent of my decompression has become an accomplice of

my procrastination.

Veg out and breathe, we all need that from time to time. However, that cannot be at the expense of your dreams or pursuits. The people on the screen are in the process of actualizing their dreams, while you suspend reality and disbelief and tread water on your dreams.

At university, I vividly remember a friend challenging me to a concept, for every hour you spend “lyming” equal time must be spent studying. Every hour your spend gorging on the diet of mindless TV you need to spend an equal amount of time feeding your mind and advancing your dreams.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”..The journey to self begins with the courage to define your place in time and space and the conviction to change it.

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what lies behind a smile

Many years ago a friend of mine told me to” smile, the world isn’t responsible for you having a bad day”. In my day to day sojourn I’ve recognised, especially in this society that many people are uncomfortable with emotional honesty. So slap a smile on your face, a mask of sorts, that you’ll don to protect yourself from the eyes of the world decoding what lies within.

Smiling does have the potential to lift your mood and involuntarily cheer up another. After all who wants a “debbie downer ” sucking the cheer out of the room. But on the flip side of the coin, don’t we truly miss an opportunity to truly share the challenges of another? Are we not our brother’s keeper? Have we become so afraid that we’ve traded compassion for pretence. If you mask it then the world doesn’t have to face it.

I’ve learnt over the years that not everyone is worthy of your fears or your tears, but everyone can benefit from a smile. So sometimes it is more important to limit what lies behind that smile to those you can trust and limit the world’s access to what lies within. Access to your fears, tears, triumphs or cares is powerful stuff, that you. simply must guard.

So keep on smiling..the world doesn’t always need to be privy to what lies behind that smile. Beyond that a smile signals your defiance, resilience or resolve to be bigger than your challenges. It is an internal challenge to yourself to not be bogged down and reminded that nothing lasts for ever. Like the biblical symbolism of the rainbow, the smile, your smile is your affirmation of faith in the fact that it will get better, though your not sure of when, of you are certain that it will.

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