Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Motivation follows action. . . but what about passions/wants?

So as a longtime PAer I know the motivation follows action. It's generally a good idea to DO something rather than waiting until you feel like doing it.

But what about long-term things? I think most of us would agree that it is best to "do what you love". But what do you do when it doesn't really feel like you love very many things?

Let me explain further. I always "wanted" a Phd. But I never really thought about WHY I wanted it- mostly to show off. Which is a really bad reason. People who get Phds in say, physics, do it because they LOVE physics.

So here I am, 24 years old, with no degree, and now no idea if I even truly want a degree for the right reasons. I'm all about doing what I love, but the problem is I don't know what I love (other than my beautiful son of course <3 ).

For anyone who has figured this out, can you tell me how you did it? I feel like I should know what the bloody heck I am doing with my life by now :(

(I think this does belong in this forum as this plays a role in my procrastination, and surely I am not the only one!)

translating motivation from work to home

not sure if that is a good title. . .and not sure this is totally the right place, but feel better since it is my thread anyway.

I work in what I consider a fast-paced, sometimes stressful job. I am a server. Lives do not depend on me, but often I am juggling ten things at once. I think I do a pretty good job. I literally CANNOT not do anything when I am stressed because then nothing would ever get done. And let's face it, money is a pretty good motivator. Most of the time if I do a good job, I get compensated for it, so it is pretty easy to stay motivated. (I also enjoy meeting new people, etc)

I would love to know how I can "channel" my productiveness in this setting to schoolwork/personal goals. I have tried rewards systems and failed. Surely that must be part of it. But if anyone has insights or practical solutions, I'd love to hear some thoughts.

advice needed!

lol not to sound needy. but if anyone has advice, lmk!

@Katia re: using workplace productivity/motivation @home&school

Hi Katia,
That's a great question ... how to "channel" your successful productiveness in your fast-paced workplace setting ... into your schoolwork/personal goals.

For me, what helps is to set "hours" that I will work on my homemaking and other unpaid projects. I have a start time, a clean-up time, and regular breaks. And I make myself take the breaks even if I'm "on a roll". Especially meal breaks. I find that this helps me feel "safe" in that I won't overdo it on my home projects -- because I know there's a designated time that I can "punch out" of my imagined timeclock of homemaking chores. Note that the hours you set can be whatever works for you, even if it's a 15-minute chunk here, and a 2-hour chunk there -- whatever works.


(oops. duplicate post).

Re: balance between today's tasks and tomorrow's dreams

I have been procrastinating following my true dreams.

The procrastination disease causes me to dread all failures along the way.
The procrastination disease tells me that it's inevitable to fail at the end.
Recovery tells me that failures are a normal part of the process of succeeding.

The procrastination disease has me feeling unworthy of a happy future.
Recovery has me remembering that higherpower's vision isn't for me to be miserable.

The procrastination disease has me *assuming* that my dreams are impossible.
Recovery has me remembering that higherpower knows that I can become who I truly already am underneath -- a dynamic joyful person.

The procrastination disease has me *assuming* that it's *impractical* to dream.
Recovery tells me that being "practical" for today -- is briefly daily reflecting on my higherpower's vision for my future.

The procrastination disease has me always worrying about today's tasks and emergencies, whilst ignoring the hopes of the future.
Recovery tells me that being "practical" for today -- is taking time weekly to do a few small practical steps towards higherpower's vision, no matter how small the step or how far-off the dream may seem.

Step Eleven of the "12 Steps" tells me to
seek to improve my conscious contact with HP (higherpower) --
-- [whatever/whoever/however I understand my HP (higherpower) to be] --
using an appropriate spiritual/inspirational method ...
to ask only for knowledge of HP's will for me and the power to carry that out.

The procrastination disease has me doubting my ability
to learn to discern the difference between three types of dreams/visions:
a true dream from higherpower,
a selfish desire,
or a random distraction.
Recovery assures me that I can practice contacting higherpower and practice attaining this discernment -- and that this will be imperfect and I will make mistakes ... but I will gradually improve at developing this "alignment" with higherpower.

The procrastination disease has me making a big ordeal out of daily meditation/reflection.
Recovery reminds me that it's fine to do this for only a few minutes, that awkwardness is okay, and that I can have a sense of humor about this.

I seek Higherpower's vision of a rich life full of meaning and purpose, that will help me radiate that joy that can been found within me, which will cause upliftment of others, too. I seek Higherpower's encouragement to consistently take little steps NOW along that path.

reviewing these affirmations ...

* I will gradually improve at developing this "alignment" with higherpower.

* higherpower's vision isn't for me to be miserable.

* higherpower knows that I can become who I truly already am underneath -- a dynamic joyful person.

* being "practical" for today -- is taking time weekly to do a few small practical steps towards higherpower's vision, no matter how small the step or how far-off the dream may seem.

* radiate that joy that can been found within me

hi katia this is a really

hi katia

this is a really interesting topic. I am lucky enough to be doing what I love after many years of not. I still procrastioanate at the thing I love but it is gradually getting less painful. The thing that jumped out for me in your post (and of course here's the disclaimer about not knowing you and not wanting to make assumptions) but the times in my life where I have truly not known what I want to do and particularly what might count as a happy life have been times of depression for me. I remember one misserable time where I wrote out a huge list of options from huge plans to little ones like "speaking to a friend" and none of them seemed in any way appealing. 


Re: similar wants question


This is a good topic for discussion. I'm further along in age, but still have not resolved this question either. I have one passion that I've always wanted to do something with, but my attempts have not been successful in the big way I had once hoped. I'm still hopeful though. But I too have trouble just getting up each day. Dealing with life tasks and the fear of them has really sidelined my efforts for the one passion. 

I agree that it's not a matter of if we really wanted to do it we would. If we are avoidant, then the issue is with that and not the lack of wanting, because we are actually goal-oriented to the point of perfectionism, which is part of the problem. We are only okay with the end result (perfection) and not the process and arduous tasks involved with gradual progress. 

I thought I'd go back to school to pursue my passion, thinking it would help me take action on it, but all it did was put me in student loan debt forever! I'd say ask yourself first if you really "need school" in order to do your passion. If you can find a way to do it without school, I'd try that first. Going to school for me for this passion ended up being yet another way to avoid directly doing it because of my fears. But that's me. My particular passion does not require schooling but I had convinced myself that it did at the time. Yet I don't regret the experience itself entirely because I'm not wondering anymore. 

I don't know if that helps at all, but another thing I've learned is that you can't be too obsessed with this notion of "doing what you love" ... I think that it is great if you can, but it's not a requirement to making a living. Yes, I think you should at least "like" what you do for a living, but it seems another perfectionism thing to expect to love everything in life. I think one can do what they love without necessarily making it a full-time income (maybe part-time at least would be good!) 



Thanks so much for your insight. I was in a dark dark place earlier!

My "do what I love" goal right now is to open a particular type of business, so I'm not planning on doing school (although I still want to finish my degrees eventually). But it will require a great deal of $.

There is a workshop in another city that I think would be incredibly helpful, but I am thinking "well, if you spend the money on that katia, you better follow through with it". And that thought is SCARY! Going "all in" as the poker players say.

So there has been some self doubt lately because I'm saying "katia, if you really want this, why are you so afraid? does that mean you don't want it?"

I appreciate your response :) I also hope you can fulfill your passion someday!!!



Hi Katia, you're very welcome! :) I can totally relate ...



similar wants question

I figured this was a decent enough place to put this.

Someone recently posted on Facebook a photo that said "If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse."

Is this true? I have often felt that if you want something badly enough, you'll find a way to get it. But I want a few things very badly but I often can't get myself to do it because I'm afraid. But that doesn't mean I don't want it.

I'd love to hear some thoughts regarding this. I can barely get out of bed most mornings.

Maybe passion follows action as well?

I don't have this figured out, but I'm attracted to the idea that passion follows getting good at something.

One place that explains this job is a blog called Study Hacks that I really like:
Particularly this article:

I haven't run into this at my professional life yet (I'm still feeling a bit adrift in graduate school), but I have encountered this in my volunteering life. I started volunteering for a teen drop-in center at my church 5 years ago; initially I wasn't sure how good a fit it was, but I kept helping out. As I've gotten better at relating to teenagers, I've gradually "discovered"/created a passion for helping inner-city teenagers.