Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Choosing as a strategy against procrastination

Getting the life you want to live and more

When you procrastinate something, ask yourself if this idea(l) is really so important for you. If it isn’t, then who cares? If it is, apply the following:


1. Make it a priority. Don’t wait until it will become a top priority or finally will feel nice. That might never happen. Also, don’t wait for last-minute stress or panic — that’s so unpleasant — and unnecessary.

2. Just do it. Because you choose so.

3. This way, you will become more self-disciplined and better at choosing. These are good talents and character traits to have. And, with them, nothing and nobody can stop you from just doing what you choose.

4. While doing it or afterward, pay attention to the feelings you have. Because if you don’t, they will stealthily distract you so that mysteriously, you don’t get to do what you want — which is unacceptable.

5. You also have a choice, to see the opposition against your priorities as the universe going against you, or as helpful hints about hurts from the past that need your attention to heal for continued optimal functioning.

6. When you always do as you truly want, any shoulds, musts, and have-tos remain with little value. At best, these are recommendations for ideas to possibly make your own, but then from a wish and a priority, not must.

7. Feeling obligated or guilty becomes obsolete and irrelevant.

8. Doing so, you get a lot of good:

  • You get the life you want.
  • You will have will-power and feel powerful.
  • You will be optimistic.
  • You will be cleaning up the past.
  • You will be cleaning up a lot of confusion.

9. Get a friend to remind you periodically. It’s hard to remember the things you easily forget. Eventually, you’ll remember, every time you feel hurried, forced, obligated, guilty, powerless, pessimistic, confused, or stuck: Oh, I forgot to choose. Later on, you will remember to choose, any time an opportunity presents itself. In the end, you will feel great all the time.

For more, click my posts here, and: here, and: here, and: here, and: here.


‘There are no Shoulds in the Universe’

My friend and teacher Harvey Jackins used to say: “If I ever die, which I have no intention of doing, I would like you to call ‘There are no Shoulds in the Universe’ the First Law of Jackins.”

Did he mean, that without oughts everybody can do as they want? That evil does not exist? That morality should be considered dead? No.

He meant that morality is built-in. We don’t need to externalize it:

  • Instead of teaching our kids that they shall not steal, say to them: Stealing doesn’t fit you. You’re not a thief. And if you ever took something without permission, you’ll be so glad to give it back.
  • You don’t have to respect me. Of course, you would love to.
  • Of course, you’ll be generous. Because that’s such a good expression of who you are.

My religion, Judaism, is rife with shoulds and should-nots. But when I do the Commandments because I want to, the have-tos fall by the wayside.

Free Will doesn’t mean that we are completely free to choose anything we want. Rather, the Oughts tell us what to choose if we want to set ourselves free! And we are always free to begin heading in their direction.

That’s how I understand it.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX among the over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon, and search: "zuiden, XXX". * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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