Opportunities are like mangoes, while you are waiting for them to be ripe, others are eating them with salt. Some few months back I received mixed sentiments when I once posted that on both my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as my thought for the day. I really enjoyed the discussion and I promised to write an article on why I strongly feel that you should not wait for a perfect time to do something because there isn’t.
Do you have memory of a time in life you were eyeing an opportunity, that may have been a scholarship, job opening, a promotion at work but delayed putting your thoughts and words into action till it was handed over to someone else or there was once a woman you very much liked but then you kept procrastinating till some other man with guts came along and asked her out, she accepted, and was your loss. Ok, guess it is best we just go back to our mango illustration, guessing that I’ve just touched a raw nerve there (ha!ha!ha!). Ok, you spot a mango in a tree and you choose to wait for it to “really” ripe, but one day you’ll wake up just seeing a branch with leaves, with no mango on it, it’s gone. It’s not even surprising that the person enjoyed eating it, probably with an addition of salt just as much as you were to enjoy it when it had gotten ripe to your liking. It hurts, huh, but true.
In this world we are living in, is there a perfect time to do something? No. Stop waiting for the perfect time because there isn’t one. Ok, let me explain.
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”― Napoleon Hill
There is never a perfect time for you to take action. There is never a perfect time for you to launch that project, to spend time with your family, to write a book, change your habit, or embrace a new habit. Once you acknowledge this, you will get a lot more meaningful work done everyday.
Kill the excuses!
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort
I’m too tired. I don’t have the time. I am not capable. Someone else will do it. It’s too late now. Now is not the right time. I am not talented. I am not ready. I’m too scared. Nobody will help me. What if I fail. I don’t feel motivated. I’d rather do nothing. I don’t have the money..yet!
It’s easy to come up with excuses and justify not getting started. The longer you fill your head with rationalizations and empty excuses, the less time you have to take action.
It’s easy to say, “I will start when I have more experience, money, time and resources”. By this time next year, you will have a lot more excuses. It’s a cycle. And once you get caught in the loop, it, can be difficult to break free and do something meaningful you care about.
Many people are living their entire lives without ever standing up and stepping out. But it’s exciting to witness the rare few who dare themselves and step out of their personal bubbles to make a change.
Most of use live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work. We consistently hold on to this belief and keep procrastinating until work becomes a heavy burden.
Left unchecked, we always default toward a more comfortable path. Your comfortable zone provides a state of mental security. You can understand why it’s so hard to kick your brain out of your comfort zone.
It pays to be an outlier!
“Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” — Malcom Gladwell
Outliers are those who seize opportunities and run with them. People who realize how little time they have and are driven to make the absolute most of it. Those are the ones who really live.
Studies consistently show that when we look back on our lives the most common regrets are not the risks we took, but the ones we didn’t. Of the many regrets people describe, regrets of inaction outnumber those of action by nearly two to one.
Some of the most common include not being more assertive, and failing to seize the moment. When people reflect later in life, it is the things they did not do that generate the greatest despair. You can seize the moment today!
Getting past the biggest hurdle!
The biggest hurdle for many of us is simply getting started. Making that important decision to take a step. You can be as big and successful as you can possibly imagine if you build that mindset you need to step outside the safe zone. You just don’t trust yourself enough yet.
You have everything you need to make an impact in the world if you can get past the excuses. You don’t even have to start a new project. What you need is something you can emotionally and deeply connect with.
Don’t think too far into the future. Use what you have right now at where you are and witness the magic of creative work. If you’re thinking about it too much, chances are you’re killing it.
Get started now!
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ― Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita
No matter who you are or what you dream of becoming, remember this: No one ever came to this planet to take a back seat, play second fiddle or make it small.
Stop questioning yourself. Stop listening to everyone else. The world is waiting for you to start something. Waiting to hear what you have to say. Waiting to use your creative product or service. Waiting to share your ideas and original work.
Remember the dream you were too scared to chase? It’s still not too late to give it a try. We tend to think that we’re not good enough, and give up before we even start. The fear of taking risks never goes away but it does become familiar.
The self-criticism and self-doubt will always be present, and the only solution is to just act in spite of them. Your first ebook, article, song, podcast, freelancer work or creative work never will not be satisfying and perfect, and it’s okay.
When we express ourselves in a way that brings out the best in us, we’ve already succeeded. Step by step we improve despite the temporary failures. That’s what matters. It matters that you persist.
“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect.
There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.
So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” — Mark Victor Hansen
Take advantage of the enormous opportunities the information age presents. You have everything you need to go make something meaningful. Something you deeply care about. You don’t have to be right when you start. But it matters that you begin now.
There isn’t a right time for anything. There’s no such thing as perfect timing. If it feels right, just go for it today. Don’t wait until everything is just perfect or right. Get started now.