Thursday, April 2, 2015
I used to talk a lot about doing things like spending a week on the beach with no other plans than to stare at the ocean and write, and, taking at least three vacations per year, and, building a cottage by our pond, and… the list goes on… I would talk about these things and think about doing them but something always got in the way. I’d go to the beach but feel compelled to do things other than write. I’d want to explore my surroundings or work on other pending projects that had a more urgent deadline than my need to write. There were always “more important” things to do than to act on what might be tugging at my heart or brewing in my imagination. It was never the right time. I assumed there would be a better time and that ‘better time’ was never the present moment.
Last week I finally spent a week at the beach and wrote every single day, for hours, while staring through a wall of windows at the beautiful ocean. It was blissful. It was everything I always imagined it would be and I wondered why I waited so long to do it. In fact, I’ve got another week of writing time while staring at a body of water planned in the not-so-distant future. What made me finally stop talking about this and make it happen? A simple decision to stop thinking and talking about things like spending a week writing on the beach and to just do them. What the heck was I waiting for?
One of my biggest lessons from witnessing my Dad’s short battle with pancreatic cancer last year, and eventually, watching him pass away was that time waits for no one. My Dad would tell you he did everything he ever wanted (and then some) during his 74 years on earth. But he definitely waited to do a lot of those things: waited until he retired, until his wife retired, or until the time was “better”. And then suddenly he was out of time. Were there things he still wanted to do? Absolutely. And he was 74, which is only a couple of years shy of the average life expectancy for men in the US. What about people whose lives are cut short at a much younger age? I wonder how many of them were waiting for a better time to begin living a more meaningful life and do things they wanted to do?
I work with many clients who desire to make big life changes; who want to stop working in an unfulfilling career or are trying to get out of a bad relationship. Many of them are waiting for the perfect moment, when everything is just right, to take the leap and make the change. Chances are everything will never be just right. What makes the time and space “just right” is your decision to make a change and to do something different.
The experience with my Dad last year has changed me in many ways and one of those primary ways is I’m not waiting anymore. If I want to spend one week writing on the beach, I’m planning it now. If I want to rescue another animal that needs a home, I’m starting the process now. If I feel a tug on my heart to expand my business in a different direction, I’m exploring that tug and potential opportunity now- you get the point. So, what about you? What’s been tugging at your heart? What dream of yours has been trying to come to life? It doesn’t have to be something big – it could be as simple as one week writing on the beach. The idea is to stop putting your dreams on hold and stop ignoring the tugs on your heart. Start moving in the direction of them. Take one small step towards the change you want to make. One step will lead to the next and so on.
Don’t wait. The time is now and your decision to move in the direction of what’s pulling at your heart will be exactly what’s required to make it the perfect time. The only time you have is now. What are you waiting for?