There’s a saying based on an old Chinese proverb — “The best time to start doing what you really want was ten years ago. The second best time to start is today.”
We all have some version of this pattern in our lives. We put off what we really want for years. Then, we convince ourselves that it’s been so long, so why bother changing now? And so we continue to live with “good enough.” Hashtag blessed. Right?
I’ve got a better name for it.
What are you putting off?
Picture yourself at 99 years old, comfortable and in your last days. What would you tell your current self? I bet it’s not “keep living in mediocrity because it’s as good as it will get and you’re not made for more.” NO! Your 99-year-old self would tell you to go and do the thing now! Start now! Stop with the bullshit excuses and take action. You only get one shot at life so make the MOST of it! Of course, I’m not suggesting you quit your job, leave your family and live in a van (but if this is doable and you want it, I’m supportive!). Rather, pinpoint what’s not working and stop letting your circumstances dictate your life.
Easier said than done sometimes, I know. We’ve all got that inner critic that says ‘we should have done this or that… we missed our chance… if only we zigged instead of zagged, if only we were smarter, bolder, more confident, and so on. If only…’
Stop “shoulding” on yourself about what could have been. You’re here now. Don’t waste the next however many years traveling further down a road that doesn’t help you live the vibrant and engaging personal and professional life you once dreamed about.
Start working towards the change now. Like the proverb says – the time to start is NOW.
What can you start doing NOW that gets you closer to the promotion/the car/retirement/health/love/balance/joy/meaning?
Stop waiting. Start today. No more shoulding on yourself.