Carrot or Stick?

How do you treat yourself when you are going towards reaching a tricky point in a project? I have been thinking about this lately. When I am procrastinating I often promise myself a “carrot” upon completion or reaching a certain benchmark. Some day’s however I pull out the stick “in my head” and give myself a mental caning of sorts.  The mental caning is not productive or very pleasant but it does sometimes make me move on towards the destination.

So what are your thoughts on your personal self management using carrots or the stick?


1 Comment

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One response to “Carrot or Stick?

  1. Fred

    Terry identifies the heart of what is a difficult proposition, and that is how to overcome a roadblock. The mental caning can work for a while, but then it can become a matter of beating a dead or dying horse. For me the answer is really the opposite. Here are some steps or strategies to try, not necessarily in this order: 1) Write in a confidential journal your true feelings, in a style redolent to a stream of conciousness – let it all hang out; 2) Accept your situation as it is, per the Serenity Prayer, but take it to the extreme – say that you are glad everything in your life is – as it is – right now. You accept your situation completely and fully as having been meant to be. There is great comfort in accepting your situation as it really it is. It frees you to live in the moment. 3) Accept the consequences of your situation or of not having acted more decisively in the past. Per Andrew Carnegie’s book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, this acceptance of the worst outcome frees us from our paralyzing mental fears or failure fantasies, which are often crippling. I call these fantasies of failure “dream dragons”. If we face our fears, the fantastic dragons dissipate, because they are like dreams. 4) Praise yourself and think lightheartedly; moreover, praise yourself effusively even for the smallest action. This defuses the tension. 5) Take baby steps. These baby steps – no matter how small – get the ball rollng or establish some precedent for momentum. Momentum builds on previous momentum and pretty soon you are rolling along swimmingly well. 6) Imagine you are loved unconditionally by angels, who hug you lovingly in their arms; they love you completely and utterly no matter what happens, for they love you for who you are and not what you do. This puts the whole affair on a higher spiritual plane and allows you to operate from a platform of unconditional love, which always trumps the powerful but often detrimental forces of fear. 7) Try a different activity, especially a walk or some kind of physical acitivity. This relaxes the muscles and tension; or, no matter what kind of alternate activity it may be, diverts the concious mind to some other track, allowing the subconcious mind to continue operating without any impediment or interference from the nagging ego or concious mind, which often caused the roadblock in the first place.

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