Life is short, but the days are long, and it’s easy to justify putting things off.
Or rather, to feel like you’re justified in putting things off.
Boxes of junk accumulate in the corners of rooms. Paperwork stacks up. Nooks and crannies become dusty, and stay that way.
We neglect our dreams too.
Aspirations stay locked in our heads. We’re afraid to show them to the world. And we say things like “It might not work”, “Maybe next year” or “I’ll do that when I’m retired”.
Make it real
I’ve always had this dream of building a house up on the West Coast of the Scottish Highlands, nestled into a hillside overlooking a stretch of water. I know there should be floor-to-ceiling windows, and possibly a piano too. Aside from a scrapbook collection of images, it was just an idea though.
But I realised last month that I don’t need to own a house to make the dream come true… I can simply rent one.
Instead of waiting for years—or more probably—decades, I can try my idea on for size right now, and at a fraction of the cost.
So that’s what I’m doing this summer (combined with another week of hiking in Scotland).
Now that the house is booked, I can’t work out why I didn’t do it sooner. It’s not like there was really anything stopping me. (Apart from my less stable income when I first started freelancing).
Choose one thing you’ve always wanted to do.
Then find a way to make it happen in the present, instead of the future.
Often what seems like a blocker is just an excuse.
- If budget is an issue, maybe there’s a cheaper way to do it. Or maybe you can trade like-for-like. (For example, I once designed and built a website in return for a custom-built bicycle).
- If time is an issue, maybe you can compress the experience down to its core component, or negotiate a sabbatical from work so you can do it justice.
- If you don’t know where or what to start with, pick any option that sets you in motion, and then adjust as you go. As the saying goes: you can't steer a parked car.
I’m not saying there’s a magic wand for everything, but many “obstacles” can be sidestepped if you put your mind to it.
It doesn’t have to be a big thing
“If you can do it, do it now” works for the small stuff too.
If there’s a stack of dishes next to the sink, do some of them now, while the kettle is boiling.
If you’ve just received an email that needs a response, and it will take you less than two minutes, do it now. (This is a classic “get things done” tip).
If you feel like you need the perfect business card or website before you can launch your business or blog, ignore the feeling and find a way to start now instead.
There’s never going to be a “right” time.
Whatever it is that you’ve been dreaming of, try the idea on for size right now, instead of deferring it until the “right” time. Most likely there isn’t going to be one.
And you’re—most probably—never going to win the lottery.
This isn’t about money, though.
The finite resource here is time. And the clock is ticking.
What are you going to do today/this month/this year/this lifetime?
Tick one of your dreams off the list.
Posted to life in 2016.