By Zabrina A. Bakar
Recently I had finished a task which was supposed to be completed sometime ago. I thank my Lord for that. The feeling of relief that came after performing the much awaited assignment was absolutely incredible. It was like a heavy burden suddenly being taken off my shoulder. And at the same time, my mind was immediately freed from having to constantly thinking about it.
Being born in a free country and had never known what suppression meant, for the first time I could actually taste for a bit what freedom and liberation felt!
Ok, it’s an exaggeration at some level, but I really do feel good about it. Really good.
That very feeling of relief had me thinking. Why didn’t I finish off the work earlier? What was stopping me from putting that much awaited full stop to that task? Why did I choose to have the dot-dot-dot for a long time instead of getting that one absolute, definite and last dot; and put an end to all the potential dots?
I tried to think of the reasons of why I kept on postponing that one particular task.
Then, it occurred to me what I was doing. I was a- get ready for this – a procrastinator!
Yikes! I never thought I could be one, but, I think I just was!
I felt so foolish remembering this one quote by Baltasar Graciánn …
The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.
Yup, I know! This very quote had made me felt like kind of silly. It really does.
Mr. Graciann is totally right. If I had finished off the task as and when I received it, I could have saved myself from so much headaches and perhaps heartaches too. And get to become a wise person for once!
But silly me for listening to the whispers of the procrastinator-in-me and decided to put off doing that particular task. Thus, landing me on the much deserving title of a fool!
All these while, it had always made sense as to why that particular task was not included in my things-to-do-today list. It was always that other things are more important, crucial and critical to get done as compared to this one task.
This was when I remembered reading the words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),
“Lose no time to do good deeds before you are caught up by one of seven calamities awaiting you: a starvation which may impair your wisdom; a prosperity which may mislead you; an ailment which may damage your health; an old age which may harm your senses; a sudden death; the Dajjal (Antichrist); or Doomsday, which is indeed the hardest and most bitter.” [at-Tirmidhi, al-Baihaqi]
His advice was absolutely right on the dot. I knew I should have had the urgency to perform that task before any obstacles as above arises.
I felt so thankful to my Lord that none of the seven calamities actually ‘visited’ me during my procrastination period.
If it did, I can tell you that I would be the sorriest person on earth! I seek my Lord’s protection from them all.
As I pondered upon this silly behaviour of mine, I knew that I needed to find a remedy of how I could be a more energetic person every single day of my life and could leave the habit of procrastinating for good. I need help. I know I do.
Then, I realized something. I must take control of what is going on in my head.
The whispers of my own weak self must be change to a positive one if I want to get that much needed zest in my life.
It means that I have made that choice. Not others. Me.
Let me describe a picture I found at a flee market that explains how ridiculous I was as a procrastinator.
Before that, have you ever seen a picture frame that carries motivation messages such as ‘Teamwork – There is no I in TEAM’ and it has a picture of a group of people doing work together?
Now, imagine that you are looking at a similar picture frame concept.
But, this time, the frame has no picture in it. It is an empty frame. At the bottom of the frame, there is a caption that says ‘ Procrastination – I will find the picture to put here later’.
Funny, isn’t it? I felt that the picture frame is me at some point of time.
I do realize that I have some empty frames which are waiting for some pictures. So, I have decided to put some pictures into them right now. Not later, now.
I am so determined that from now on, every time I feel that I am slipping into becoming one lazy procrastinator, I would reflect on the picture above. And I am going to paint some pictures that are worthy of my frame.
First of all, let me go and look for all the empty frames I have been secretly hiding from public’s view.
Ahh…I found one already. Let me get a brush, apron and lots of colors.
What about you my friends? Is procrastination your middle name? Perhaps not all the time, but, sometimes? Are there any of your picture frames which are empty? Do you hide any empty frames in your closet like me? Do you think it’s time to take them all out now?
I am sure you already know what pictures should go with which frames right? Why not fill the empty frames?
Hey, I have an extra brush. Wanna do this together? Here, this is the brush and an apron for you. I can throw in the painter’s hat if you need one too! ☺
Let us fill up our frames with beautiful pictures and be a great painter ourselves!
As how Pablo Picasso once said,
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Let us all put the last dot in our dot-dot-dots…
This story is written and copyrighted by Zabrina A. Bakar, also known as Sis Zabrina, a ‘Life Storyteller’ and the author of a faith-based motivational book Life is an Open Secret. www.lifeopensecret.com She writes about daily happenings in life, viewed and analyzed from a unique perspective and blended with the spirituality and faith for solutions to the life challenges faced in the modern world. She maintains an active blog at http://wisdomthruwords.blogspot.com
Copyright © Sis Zabrina 2007