I am writing this post from 40,000 feet in the air. I am somewhere over the Mediterranean Sea, and in approximately 37 minutes, I will be landing at El Prat International Airport, in Barcelona, Spain. At my business class seat on the upper deck of an Emirates A380 aircraft, I have spent the last six hours marathoning season one of Agent Carter and eating excellent food (if you ever travel on Emirates and happen to see the sautéed prawns on the menu, order them). In between episodes, there is an ad break, and although I usually ignore the ads, there is one in particular that has caught my attention.
|The view from my window. (1) Over the Mediterranean. (2) At El Prat International Airport|
It's an ad for HSBC, and in thirty seconds, tells the story of a girl named Ellie who visits a beautiful, architecturally majestic, museum of procrastination. She is guided on a tour through the museum by an enthusiastic curator, who takes her to various rooms. They include the Room of Wasted Gym Memberships, the Room of Unfinished Novels, the Room of Musical Instruments Only Played Once, and finally, the Room of Abandoned Ideas.
It's not often that an ad manages to make me think. Most are simply mindless plugs for products that we don't really need, but the advertiser is trying to convince us we do (that is, after all, the point of ads). But this one actually makes me sit back in my chair, stare out of my window at the fluffy clouds, and think.
How many novels and ideas have been forgotten? How many things that could have revolutionised the histories of literature, of science, of human existence as we know it have been started, and then forgotten and abandoned because someone kept putting them off, or thought they weren't worth enough to devote time to them? What would our world be like today if they had devoted time to them?
The number of unfinished inventions, books etc. probably outnumbers those that have been finished. Sure, maybe some of those things really aren't fit to see the light of day, but what about those that really could've made a difference? It makes me wonder- what things are on my computer, in my friends notebooks, in my parents minds that could impact the world, if only they were completed?
Now, after thinking, I realize that we shouldn't be dwelling on what might happen if we finish those unfinished ideas, because if we do that, we might never finish them. Instead, we need to motivate ourselves to stop procrastinating.
So to do that, I challenge each and every one of you reading this post to compose your own museum of procrastination. It can manifest in any form: a written list, a visual collage. It doesn't matter if you write it in a diary somewhere, or post it on your blog (if you do, send me a link, because I'd love to see it!) The idea is that when you know what you're capable of, what's inside of you that you're putting off, maybe, just maybe you'll be motivated enough to get a move on, to finish.
If I'm challenging everyone, I might as well complete the challenge myself. So, for this weeks Thursday Journals, I will present, my museum of procrastination.
We are about to land now, so I have to put my tablet away. Maybe I'll finish this post later.
That was a joke. It's actually finished. I'll see you on Thursday.