“DO It Now!, “Do IT Now!, “Do It NOW!” I shouted with enthusiasm countless times stressing different words since Week 2. I wondered if my subconscious mind would listen.
In Week 3, Mark J. shared with us, “All fear at its root is SLOTH!” Wow! What an earth-shattering statement because it’s the truth!
My color is white according to the Color Code. My tendency was to do everything to achieve peace in my life. I resisted change of any kind. I just sat and hoped for the best. When my peace was at risk due to changes in my life, my tendency was to be paralyzed by the thoughts of fear: fear of failure, of success, of being laughed at, of being disliked, of others’ judgment, of others’ opinion of me, of my appearance, of my height, of my weight, of my ethnicity, of my past, of my present, of my future, etc.
I allowed some “real” but mostly “imagined” fears to have a firm and unrelenting grip a me. When I felt the fear, I froze and stopped doing what I was supposed to do. I procrastinated and eventually quit doing my work and hoped that things would turn out okay. They never did. In fact, fear is the reason life gave me a penny and not more because I was satisfied with the penny and didn’t ask for more. It stopped me from reaching my full potential.
For instance, I emigrated to the US when I was eighteen years old. Seven years later, I joined a public speaking club called Toastmasters to improve my English and public speaking, but I quit after only a few meetings because a fellow Toastmaster remarked, “Tuan, you used to have a thick accent and now your accent is disappearing. You sound more like an American now!” Instead of taking it as a compliment and be glad that my work paid dividends, I took it as a mean putdown and I quit. Looking back, Toastmasters would have instilled in me with much more courage and confidence had I stayed.
Truth be told, I quit because my ego was too big. I didn’t like of the critiques that I received after my speeches. I didn’t want anyone to offer me their assistance. I didn’t want to hear any corrections from the fellow Toastmasters who had my best interest at heart and wanted me to improve. My ego was too big and it got in the way of my dream. Instead of acting as a novice and soaked up guidance and instruction, I was a know-it-all and refused all help. The only way to improve at anything is to have someone to help us. I was too blind to realize that. I thought I was perfect and beyond reproach, and so just leave me alone.
“All fear at its root is SLOTH!” Mark made me realized that I just simply did not work hard and enthusiastically enough. Industriousness and Enthusiasm are two of the cornerstones holding up the Legendary Coach John R. Wooden’s the Pyramid of Success. Without these two cornerstones, the pyramid crumbles to the ground.
Deep down, I quit Toastmasters because I was too lazy to do the work and to hone my speaking skills. No one is a born public speaker. No one is a born salesman. No one is a born anything. Talent is not enough. Industriousness trumps talent. We must put in the work, the practice, the trials and errors to achieve the results that we deeply desire. Even for native Americans, speaking in public can be a daunting task, let alone a guy who came to America from Vietnam with only a handful of English phrases like, “Good morning!” and “How are you?” Who am I to expect instant perfection when no perfection can be found even to the best professional public speakers who speak for a living?
Unrealistic expectations cause inaction and procrastination, and they, in turn, cause unhappiness, unmet goals and dissatisfaction in life. I was living a “life of quiet desperation” like Henry David Thoreau alluded to.
I was known to be a quitter because I quit so many activities and coaching programs I undertook.
That was the reason why I enrolled in this Master Key Experience to replace my fear with faith, vanquish quitting, and become a finisher.
Thank God I have worked hard during the last three weeks to turn my life around. While on vacation in Florida from last Wednesday to this Wednesday, I still did all the exercises faithfully. This morning, I stared at the two pieces of empty luggage set aside for storage, in the past, I would have said, “I’ll put them away tomorrow,” all of the sudden, an invisible force welled up within me and thundered, “DO IT NOW!” I immediately obeyed my subconscious mind and walked all the way down to the basement from my apartment on the second floor to put away the luggage. I was proud of that.
My diligence paid off, and yes, in fact, my subconscious mind listened to my suggestions.
“Words have power!” as the picture suggests.
I consider the simple act of putting away the luggage a major victory even though it may look small because “A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step!” is true.
However small we feel our action is, just do it. For when we begin, things get easier and easier, and soon, we become unstoppable!
So, next time, when we hesitate to do something noble and good, just obey the command, “DO IT NOW!” and do it!