The Self-Development Journey: Overcome Procrastination With Visualization

The more I think about oyster glue, the more captivated I become. I first heard of it in a radio interview with a scientist at Purdue University.

He said he became awe-smacked one day when he was diving at high tide. As his body bobbed in the tumultuous waves, he looked over at a large undersea boulder and there, covering the face of it were hundreds of oysters. They were solidly glued to the rock and none of them moved even in the highest wave.

He was instantly convinced that oyster glue was the most powerful glue in the world and went back to the lab determined to study and try to reproduce it. He ended up getting the blessing of the head of the science department and he’s been working to discover the secret of oyster glue ever since.


When I first heard this story I was in my car sitting as the light turned green, spellbound until a car’s horn brought me back to reality.

My head was spinning in a metaphor. I saw that oyster glue was like old habits that keep us stuck to the old rocks or old behaviors that no longer fit our goals and dreams. Then I thought of the biggest habit I ever had to change. I was a procrastinator.

Few people believe me when I tell them that. After all I’ve written four books, and co-authored many more with some of the most successful people in the training industry. I’ve been in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and written 13 curriculum books and an anti-bullying program.

Yet I was one of the biggest procrastinators ever. I could find any excuse for avoiding the hard stuff – like sitting down to write. I still have momentary flashbacks. I still love to play and that love can usurp my intention at any moment. At those times I have to remind myself of the training. It’s back to basics to overcome procrastination:

  1. Write a list of everything you need to get done in the coming week or two. (This will get the sidetracks off your mind.)
  2. Set one clear and definite goal, the one that makes your heart sing – Write it down. (I have to write until it is very clear and it is exactly what I want.)
  3. Visualize the end result. See what you want as if you as if it is done, complete and accomplished in vivid color. Imagine that you can turn the dials on your TV. View it in High Definition on a 72″ screen. Then step into it so you are in the vision. You and the vision are one.
  4. Hear it. Turn the audio up and hear people that you admire congratulating you on a job well done.
  5. Feel it. Feel the vibrancy of success. Feel it in your heart and in your entire body. Turn it up (HD) until your whole being feels excited, inspired and joyful at a job well done. (This floods the system with dopamine – the potent pleasure chemical that triggers the motivation and drive to change the habit.)
  6. Taste it. Make the vision so compelling that you can almost taste it. Smile and imagine yourself swallowing the smile till your entire body and mind light up with pleasure.
  7. Smell it. Imagine that you can smell your success. Inhale and breathe it into every pore in your body. Repeat this many times as you’re visualizing.

Don’t ever practice this when you’re driving or doing something that requires focused attention. But there are so many moments in-between when we have a chance to the flash the vision back up on our inner screen. I find that the more that I do this, the more motivated I become. (That’s the dopamine factor – I flood my brain and body with the pleasure chemical and it moves me to action.)

So what oyster stories do you have? What habits have you changed in your process? Or what are you working on now?

Please keep sharing. The stories I’ve heard from some of you so far have inspired me. Have you turned a great weakness around or overcome procrastination, and how did you do it? To leave a comment, simply visit the blog post page and scroll down to leave a message. Your email address will not be displayed.


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