Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hiring a Nag

Apropos of today's subject, a few weeks ago, on a family antique shop trek, my Mom picked up one of those clever little signs we plaster our refrigerators and table tops with.  The one she couldn't resist said "I'm not a nag.  I'm a motivational speaker!"  Now a mom myself, I'm more inclined to agree with that outlook.  Plus, my mom doesn't do much of either these days, where I'm concerned.  I'm not sure if she's just tired; if I don't require any guidance, as far as she can see; or if I'm too challenging a case to deal with.

But I've advanced to that place in life where I can be more or less self-nagging, errr motivating.  And if I lack stamina, or motivation to motivate my slacking-prone self, or the wisdom to know what to advise, I can now arrange for someone else to deliver the necessary prods and encouragements.  For an interesting discussion of  "How nagging text messages can make you healthier and richer," see's article "A Jewish Mother in Your Cell Phone," from last November.

Taking this approach one step beyond the pills and bills reminders, and abandoning my Twitter virgin status, I just signed up to follow Timothy Pychyl's nearly unpronounceable Procrastwitate on Twitter.  Roughly eleven minutes ago, my cell phone vibrated to alert me to this bulletin:
Knowledge is power. Personal power. Learn to recognize when & how you are rationalizing the voluntary, unnecessary delays in your life.
Wow!  It's like he's here looking over my shoulder.  How did he know I was sitting here "rationalizing the voluntary, unnecessary delays in [my] life?"

I don't know if I'm going to profit from this innovation or not.  I'll keep you posted, but probably not tweeted.  And I will try to refrain from cluttering my phone, and my head, with all the other enticing nudges for twits that I'm learning about.  I will try to resist, for example, following "the Buddha" on Twitter, despite the promised doses of dharma; or ClutterAway2, even though I'll miss such pearls as this from Oct. 24th:  
If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house, 
and its companion tweet on the same day:
If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
(Just as I suspected, I am the cause of war and destruction in the world.  If I could just get this placed cleaned up!)

As for my own motivational speeches, I will continue to deliver them mostly in person, or by phone--where volume, tone and inflection can be modified to fit the occasion.  With or without rationalization.

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