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Home / Opinion / This 'n' That / OVERCOMING MAJOR CHARACTER FLAWS

OVERCOMING MAJOR CHARACTER FLAWS

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Personal flaws can be so annoying, to both the individual
who has them and the folks who put up with them.
This topic has been on my mind lately because it’s a
new year and a good time to make a fresh start.
I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions. I don’t
make them because they don’t work for me. But selfimprovement
for its own sake is always a good idea.
Here’s how this works – or should work if everything
goes well. (There’s no such thing as a sure thing. I
learned that lesson years ago at the greyhound race
track!)
Anyway, what you do is come up with a mental list
of your personal character flaws. Laziness, being judgmental
and procrastinating are examples from my list.
Pick one that you’ve been fighting for a long time.
It will be a serious challenge for sure, but that’s what
makes it a good choice.
I picked procrastination because this is a character
flaw I’ve had since my childhood. I may have raised it to
an art form by now.
Now comes the big question: how do I overcome
this really ingrained trait? It’s almost like a default in a
computer program. Whatever I’m dealing with in life, my
knee-jerk reaction is to put off dealing with it, hoping it
will just go away.
It won’t. Trust me on this.
I’ve decided to try a new approach to my chronic
problem. First I plan to walk through my house, making
a list of things that need doing but have not been done
because I’ve put them off over and over again.
A few examples of this are clearing off my kitchen
desk, putting away (or dumping) paperwork on tables,
countertops, etc. and clearing out dresser drawers.
Next I plan to categorize them by size: big job, medium
job, small job. That way I can decide which project
to do based on how much time I have available to do it.
For example, making out a grocery list requires time
to check which items I need, make a list and get the
coupons I need to take with me. That’s a small task if
I’m not interrupted.
Cleaning out my junk drawer is more of a medium
job. Just tossing out the twist ties and address stickers
alone is time-consuming. How many twist ties are
enough? How many are TOO many?
Cleaning out closets or loading up the car to make a
charity donation drop off
are big jobs because they require planning as well as
effort.
Procrastinators are not good at these concepts. We
tend to fly by the seat of our pants on our best days.
On our worst days – well, you really don’t want to know.
That’s my self-improvement plan so far. I hope to
improve on it gradually.
“Gradually” is a favorite concept for procrastinators.
So are “eventually,” “when I get a chance,” and my
favorite, “when I can get around to it.”
Well, it’s finally time for me to get around to it! Stay
tuned.

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