How many times have we decided to do something great today, only to silently promise to begin next week instead? We’re talking about everything from starting a business, exercising or just calling a distant friend. Don’t get us wrong, as thirty-somethings, we have plenty of time to get stuff done. But a small part of us regrets not doing something sooner. That part of us realizes how much farther along we could have been if we started back in 2012… Don’t worry, this post isn’t about procrastination or regret. It’s about recognizing the power of action right this minute. It’s understanding that today can be Day 1 of _____ (fill in the blank with something cool). This Chinese Proverb describes it accurately; The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. #deep
“Doing” is the New Black. Imagine you’ve finished that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off, (finally) tried that new hair color or started saving more money. How does it feel to be on the other side of that moment? Probably exhilarating, like you can conquer the world. Maybe you even feel a little silly for making an easy task such a big deal in the first place. Use these feelings as your inspiration to get something going. Most of our actions will strengthen, not weaken us. The success that comes with being a doer is worth the risk. As thirty-somethings, we can see evidence of our fading invincibility on our bodies and minds. That’s fancy talk for we’re getting older. So instead of saying, “It’s already November?! What have I done all year?!”, we get to feel content with how far we’ve come.
Another benefit that we’ve found is that each completed activity creates mind space in our minds for the next one. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see beyond what’s unfinished or even not started. And sometimes we leave things undone because we aren’t sure what will keep us busy afterward or that the subsequent task will be scary and difficult. But keeping our minds clear and free gives us new ideas, or, at the very least, the feeling of relief. We can ask God or the Universe for our next best step if we begin to feel stuck and uninspired.
What Are We Waiting for Anyway? We’re waiting for the fear to subside. It could be fear of failure, fear of success, or just knowing that Mom would nag us to death if we did it. These feelings may never go away until the task is done. We’re better off pushing through and going for it anyway. How, you ask? We take the fear with us and carry it in our bag while we start that new boot camp or book that crazy trip. It dissipates eventually. Plus, we thirty-somethings have a secret weapon on our side. Not caring. We already use it to keep from stalking our former flame. Grab that feeling and run with it. Trust the process and more importantly, trust yourself.
When we started the Lessons project, we were both looking for a creative outlet that would connect us to ourselves and others. For over a year, we joked and seriously discussed writing a book. It seemed weird and complicated to sit down and start writing. Would we call ourselves writers? Did we have enough to say? Did we care if anyone else cared? Barriers were quickly built to keep our minds filled with doubt and fear. Did we mention this went on for over a year? We had to clear the space in our minds by realizing that yes, we could be writers and that we talk all the time. Lastly, we would do this whether anyone read it or not. Those that wanted to hear us would find us. Our only job was to make the decision to write...right now. Not “now” as in later today but at this very minute.
Challenge: Write down your action items today. And no television before 7:00pm this weekend. We would just ask that you start that thing you’ve been meaning to do. But turning off the tv is a great way to open your mind not only to “that thing” but others. Besides, Netflix could still distract you at any given moment. It’s always lurking, waiting to pounce. So, with this challenge in hand, go forth and set the world on fire, starting...now.