There’s a Sleeping Giant That Resides Inside Each One of Us


Tom Corley boats - crop

I’ve been “working” on a research article. This includes about 200 pages of research to read before I complete the article.

The truth is, I’ve been procrastinating.

For two weeks I’ve been been lugging this research around with me inside my car, rationalizing that lugging it around will spur me on to get through the reading.

This morning, finally, I got fed up and decided to commit to five minutes of reading. Nearly two hours later, I had most of the reading done and was even able to start writing my article.

As human beings, we have a tendency to overestimate the difficulty and time commitment of challenging tasks. As a result, we procrastinate.

I knew this from my research, yet despite my knowledge, I still procrastinated. Once I realized what was going on, I immediately leaned on one of my favorite anti-procrastination tools. I’ve come to refer to it as the Small Start Strategy.

This strategy really works in overcoming procrastination. It gives you permission to start small on any project, say five minutes, and then quit. The interesting thing is that every time I’ve used this strategy to get started on some project, I always go way beyond the five minutes.

Starting small is a powerful way to overcome procrastination. Why does it work?

It’s neurological. Once your prefrontal cortex gets going it’s hard to turn that engine off. Our brains, believe it or not, like challenging tasks. They like being used and especially like working on challenging projects.

So why do our brains fight us so, forcing us to procrastinate?

Well, our brains are also lazy. It’s like having a Jekyll and Hyde living inside your skull. Part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, loves to work while another part of the brain, the Basal Ganglia, is obsessed with conserving brain fuel, or keeping our brains from going to work.

So, these two brain areas are constantly in a tug of war, competing with one another to get their way.

The Small Start Strategy works because the Basal Ganglia is not threatened by five minutes of thinking – five minutes will not use up that much brain fuel. As a result, it does not fight us during those first five minutes.

But once we get started, the prefrontal cortex, like a sleeping giant who has been awakened, overpowers the Basal Ganglia and takes over. This “flow” will last until our willpower reserves begin to run dry. We have about 2-3 hours of willpower reserves.

So, start small on any project you have been procrastinating on. You will awaken the sleeping giant that resides inside each one of us, our prefrontal cortex, and soon you will find yourself happily working away, getting the project completed.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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    There’s a Sleeping Giant That Resides Inside Each One of
    Us – The latest addition to my weekly read!

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