Procrastination: 3 Solutions

Cover for Secret of Maturity, Fourth Edition

Facing the Discomfort Now Is Easier & Works Better

“Procrastination is used to avoid failure to avoid looking bad.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“More is lost by indecision than by wrong decision.” —Cicero


Two Choices

When you listen to your own inner dialogue, have you ever noticed that choice is more often than not simply an issue of whether to work or not? There really are only two choices:

  1. Do some difficult task.
  2. Take some easy way out.

5 Ways to Avoid Work

It is not surprising then that you have many strategies to take an easy way out such as:

  1. Refuse to choose.
  2. Paralysis by analysis.
  3. Wait for the perfect time.
  4. Wait until you are sure or have all the information.
  5. Procrastinate.

Therefore, your imagined inability to decide, need for more time, need for more information, need for security, fear of risk, insecurity, problem with procrastination, and more are really just excuses to avoid work.

Since you do not want to admit to yourself the plain truth: you are lazy. You make all kinds of excuses. Instead, face the fact of human weakness and work against it. The avoidance of decision making or working is taking an easy way out, is laziness, indolence, or inertia.


Procrastination is just one way you have of acting out your discomfort intolerance or low frustration tolerance (LFT). The work will make you uncomfortable, therefore you avoid doing it by procrastinating.

The work may involve one or both types of pain: (1) physical pain, for example, discomfort, work, effort, or the pain to overcome laziness and inertia; (2) ego pain, for example, the shame of having to face one’s inadequacies or struggles.

Three Solutions for Procrastination

  1. Get to work and get the job done by increasing your physical and ego discomfort tolerance.
    I can stand it and I will do it.”
    This won’t kill me or make me anything bad.”
  2. Get to work and get the job done by remembering and reminding yourself that you will have more discomfort and pain from not doing the work than from doing it.
    I will do this now to avoid more work and pain later for not doing it now.”
  3. Get to work and get the job done by focusing on the goal, not the discomfort.
    I want the results.”
    The pain is worth it to get the goal and results I want.”

Some Quotations from Secret of Maturity, Fourth Edition

Organized Alphabetically

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“As you grow older, you stand for more and fall for less.” —Anonymous

“At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.” —Benjamin Franklin

“By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.” —Marie Dressler

“Education as growth or maturity should be an ever-present process.” —Dewey

“Every calamity severs a string from the heart, until one scene of sorrow on the back of another matures us for eternity.” —W. H. Brown

“From a timid shy girl I had become a woman of resolute character, who could no longer be frightened by the struggle with troubles.” —Anna Dostoevsky

“Having the ability to escape categorization.” —K. Rexroth

“I believe that the sign of maturity is accepting deferred gratification.” —Peggy Cahn

“It takes a mature person to be really young.” —Anonymous

“It takes years and maturity to make the discovery that the power of faith is nobler than the power of doubt; and that there is a celestial wisdom in the ingenuous propensity to trust, which belongs to honest and noble creatures.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Man matures through work which inspires him to difficult good.” —Pope John Paul II

“Mature means neither “too soon” nor “too late,” but something between the two.” —Publilius


“Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself.” —John Maclaren

“Maturity implies otherness . . . The art of living is the art of living with.” —Julius Gordon

“Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty.” —J. Finley

“Not being taken in by oneself.” —K. von Schlaggenberg

“Not the absence of conflict, but knowing how to cope with it.” —Anonymous

“People look with sympathetic eyes only at the blossom and the fruit, and disregard the long period of transition during which the one is ripening into the other.” —B. Auerbach

“Perfection is always found in maturity, whether it be in the animal or in the intellectual world. Reflection is the mother of wisdom, and wisdom the parent of success.” —James Fenimore Cooper

“Sound within silence, struggle within serenity, war within peace–these are the confusions that dissolve as the mind matures.” —Guggenheimer

“Taste is the mark of an educated man, imagination the sign of a productive man, and emotional balance the token of a mature man.” —Philip N. Youtz

“The ability to live in someone else’s world.” —Oren Arnold

“The ability to postpone gratification.” —Sigmund Freud

“The day we don’t need to be lied to about anything.” —Frank Yerby

“The high price of self-ownership.” —Eli J. Schleifer

“The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through.” —Harry A. Overstreet

“The last part of a wise man’s life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.” —Jonathan Swift

“The mark of a mature man is the ability to give love and receive it joyously and without guilt.” —Leo Baeck

“The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth.” —Marya Mannis

“The slowness in which a man believes.” —Baltasar Gracian

“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” —Max Lerner

“To face, and not evade, every fresh crisis that comes.” —Fritz Kunkel

“We allowed you a charade of trivial freedoms in order to avoid making those impositions on you that are in the end both the training ground and proving ground for true independence. We pronounced you strong when you were still weak in order to avoid taking part in the long, slow, slogging effort that is the only route to genuine maturity of mind and feeling. Thus, it was no small anomaly of your growing up that while you were the most indulged generation, you were also in many ways the most abandoned to your own meager devices by those into whose safe-keeping you had been given.” —Midge Decter

“We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice–that is, until we have stopped saying ‘It got lost,’ and say, ‘I lost it.'” —Sydney J. Harris

“What the old chew, the young spit out.” —Yiddish proverb

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” —I Corinthians 13:11

“When keeping a secret gives you more satisfaction than passing it along.” —John M. Henry

“When Moses was grown up, he went unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens” [Exodus 2:11] How do we know that Moses was grown up? Because he went out unto his brethren, and was ready to bear the burdens and share the plight of his people. Maturity is sensitivity to human suffering.” —Julius Gordon

“When we can treat ourselves in our own way rather than within the automatic ways of our parents in childhood.” —Hugh Missildine

“When you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself.” —Anonymous

“When you start to check on your illusions.” —Eugene E. Brussell

“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.” —Ethel Barrymore

“Youth condemns; maturity condones.” —Amy Lowell

 Quotations from Various Sources

“Be the change you seek.” —Mahatma Gandhi

“Maturity begins the day you take responsibility for your own feelings.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” —I Peter 2:20

“Maturity is doing good for evil.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” —Cicero

“Love is a verb.” —Sister Mary Tricky