Dear Dr. Norquist:
I can’t seem to get myself to do the work that I need to do. I have a project that is due in four months and it requires consistent daily effort if I am to finish on time. My livelihood is dependent on it so it is no small thing. Despite how critical it is that I finish this work on time, I can’t get myself to focus on it. I work from home (unfortunately in my case) and I have the option of surfing the net (which I do for hours), watching TV or just sleeping in. I’m becoming more and more behind in my work. This makes me anxious but not enough to get me to apply myself to my work tasks. What can I do to get myself to get my work done?
Dr. Norquist responds:
How much do you want it? Does completing your work well and on time matter enough to you to change the bad habits that impede it? The bad habits we create eventually enslave us. Past actions exert a controlling influence over present actions. In this way we create who we are and reap the consequences, for better or for worse. The more you exercise the bad habits that keep you from your work, the more powerful of an influence they are in your life. It is a law of nature that the dominant quality tends to attract more of the same quality. If avoidance is dominant in your life, it will tend to increase. Like attracts like.
To shift the increasing power that these bad habits are exerting in your life you must exercise your willpower and be persistent with your efforts. Good habits bring happiness, as surely as bad habits activate misery. Are you willing to work for your own happiness?
Fortunately, the mind is very pliable and it will serve as a tremendous asset once you choose to use it for your benefit. Start by deciding on new good work habits to initiate. With these new positive work habits in mind, create an enlivened, visualized, palpable intention fused with your will and your desire. See yourself engaging in these new positive habits. See yourself bypassing the negative pull of the old habits. Use your mind, your will and your vision of the happier life you are creating for yourself to empower and direct your actions and your whole being. Decide who you want to be and act accordingly. Through your habitual thoughts and actions you are creating your destiny. Choose to use your will to shape your own desired destiny.
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.)Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanya.com or by e-mail at email@example.com, or by fax at (201) 656-4700. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. 2012 Chaitanya Counseling Services