Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. Nido Qubein
Let’s just take a gamble on the chance that if we just make a start, that we might actually get to where we want to go.
Life is forever unfolding before us and as time passes it not only turns our hair grey but it also takes us away from ourselves. That sounds strange, I know, but from the moment I was aware of my greying strands of hair, I became acutely aware of time beginning to run out. My ambitions seeming bigger than the limited time left to achieve them.
Sometimes, when this thought comes to me, I feel paralyzed. Kind of like, well what’s the point of starting if there’s not enough time left to see it through? But the reality is that’s it’s not about the time I have left, but how purposefully I will use that time.
The worst thing I could imagine is looking back over my life and thinking ‘what if…?’. I doubt I’m unique in this thought, but thinking about the future-me as someone who laments the things that I didn’t do is strangely disturbing. Instead, I have this wonderful vision of my future which is alive with exciting activities, brimming with accomplishments and built on happiness.
Does that sound familiar to you?
That somewhere, out there in the future, your life provides everything exactly as you imagine it will? And yet, somehow, we still live with doubt about our abilities and procrastinate over taking action… which could ultimately result in the deathbed regret scenario.
Of course, life is for the living right now, not some place in the future. So what causes this disconnect between end-of-life regret and our vision of the ‘perfect’ life?
Clearly it’s what we’re doing or not doing in the here-and-now to implement our future vision that’s creating this rift. The faith we need to have in ourselves to make that vision a reality is often weakened by our daily habits of not taking the actions we know we need to take. How often have you looked back over your day with regret, frustration of even anger that you didn’t do the important stuff? The things that tend to fall into the category of ‘important but not urgent’?
Instead your day was full of little emergencies, or worse, other peoples’ emergencies. It’s incredibly hard to manage these situations, particularly if we’re the helpful type. But, there’s also a cop-out in helping others. It gives us a legitimate excuse to avoid the ‘hard work’ of making our own lives the place we want to live.
Consider these questions:
• Living in a town/city you love?
• In the home of your dreams?
• Working a job that fulfils you?
• Driving the vehicle of your choice?
• Wearing the clothes you love?
• Eating food that is equally nutritious and fulfilling?
• With your soul partner and friends you love?
How many can you emphatically answer ‘YES!’ to?
The Lure of Mediocrity
You are condemned to a life of mediocrity — unless you get into action. Don’t delay; do it today!
It’s a great quote, but isn’t quite complete, in my opinion. In most cases, we don’t see our whole life as one of mediocrity, instead there are likely to be just some areas that need a little (or a lot!) of attention. We love our partner, but our finances are a mess, or the house we live in is great, but the town is on the wane etc. So a lot of the time we just put up and shut up, because, for the most part, things are ‘okay’. But what we often fail to realise is that in addressing the less-than-great areas of our lives, it usually results in improvement of the whole!
- If we sort out our finances, our (already) great love life will improve further as stress is lifted from the relationship.
- If we make the effort to move to a preferred area, we are likely to be re-energised to do and try all those outdoorsy things we’ve been avoiding in our current town, enhancing our health and wellbeing.
But all this comes down to just one thing – we must start. Ideas and imagination are great, but without taking action, nothing changes, and in fact, things usually slide backwards.
- If we avoid dealing with our messy finances, things will probably get worse which could put a strain on our relationship.
- If we choose to stay in the declining town, the value of our property will probably decline making it harder to move in the future.
Check this out for yourself – think of a problem or life circumstance that you’re currently choosing to put up with. Now think back to this issue a year ago. Have things improved, stayed the same or got worse? To make this little exercise more effective, try projecting it forward: if you were to continue to ignore the issue, will it go away, get better or be worse a year from now?
Hopefully that’s got you thinking! But not just thinking…but making plans to take action. Because it really doesn’t matter which goal, project or problem you choose to tackle, but, it’s a sure thing that you’ll not finish if you don’t start.
And indeed, some things may never be finished, but does that really matter? The joy is in the enthusiastic striving for the life we want. We must grow to enjoy our lives and avoid stagnation at all costs or pay the ultimate price.
So, don’t let anything hold you back any longer. Take action, get moving and build motivation and enthusiasm for the life you really want. Time waits for no one, especially you and me!