|The Wolf of Wall Street|
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
I’ve posted this before but I’m posting it again because it’s just so important and really gets at the heart of why so much advice about procrastination, much of it targeted at people who have ADHD but are just considered “lazy,” fails. Before you can tell someone to “just do it already,” you need to think about the reasons they’re NOT doing it, like all the meanings they’ve attached to vague terms like “success” and “failure.”
Alexa, and the other guests, and perhaps even Georgina, all understood the fleeing from war, from the kind of poverty that crushed human souls, but they would not understand the need to escape from the oppressive lethargy of choicelessness. They would not understand why people like him, who were raised well fed and watered but mired in dissatisfaction, conditioned from birth to look towards somewhere else, eternally convinced that real lives happened in that somewhere else, were now resolved to do dangerous things, illegal things, so as to leave, none of them starving, or raped, or from burned villages, but merely hungry for choice and certainty.
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I’m pretty sure this paragraph is the entire reason this book exists. Sometimes, you can tell.