I came across the above quote this past weekend, and I shared it with my sister and we kind of had a “A hah!” moment. It came to me again so I put it on twitter too. It’s a cautionary tale: if you’re not careful you could end up being someone who helps others achieve their goals without ever accomplishing your own! It isn’t a bad thing to help others but when you’d rather help others because it’s easier than trying to help yourself, that’s not good.
I can relate to this: I have dreams of my own, but the path to achieve them is not easy so I procrastinate and instead focus on what I can do to help others with their dreams. My friend and I are both planning to launch websites this year. My friend is a motivated person who lists her goals and works consistently and methodically to cross each goal off her list. I make partial lists of goals and procrastinate on doing every single thing on the (incomplete) list. When I realized that my friend had a plan and knew what she wanted, I happily offered my skills where I felt they could be used, and appreciated that she respected me enough to seek my input. I helped her do things for her own site that I haven’t made the time to do for my site, but it’s easy to help someone who knows what they want and where they’re going, unlike me.
My friend has been apologetic for asking for help (which is silly because I love providing the assistance and am totally inspired by her work and her plans!) because she knows I have these issues of procrastination and laziness. I guess part of me feels like as long as I’m working on goals, even someone else’s, then it’s ok, but this quote forces me to remember that it’s not.
So, it’s time to create balance: I don’t have to change the time I spending helping others, because I’m no Mother Teresa who gives and gives and gives, but I do have to stop putting my goals on the back-burner because dealing with them is harder than I want them to be. This is a generalization but my struggles with procrastination sometimes make me question my “Nigerianness” because to me, Nigerians are goal makers and goal achievers! I want to be one too!
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