“The longer you wait for your future; the shorter it will be.” – slogan on coffee mug
I was at a beach in Kauai over the weekend. A couple next to me said they’d been looking forward to getting into the ocean but it was “too cold.” Meanwhile, a little boy waded in and started splashing around. He was clearly having the time of his life. The couple looked at each other, ditched their cover-ups, and were in the water with him a moment later. The moral of the story? Life’s waiting. Wade in.
This theme of “initiating instead of waiting” has emerged as one of the most important lessons-learned of my travels. I remember meeting someone on the beach in Hilton Head, SC. and walking together for awhile. She was really curious as to what catalyzed My Year by the Water.
I told her my son Andrew had stopped me in my tracks and motivated me to re-think my habits by saying, “Mom, there’s something about you I don’t understand. You’ve created a life where you can do anything you want, and you’re not taking advantage of it.”
He was right. As much as I loved my work of speaking, writing, and consulting, my routines had been pretty much the same thing for 20 years. It was time to switch things up. I realized, the clock is ticking, not in a morbid way, in a motivating way.”
I realized many of us wait for the perfect circumstances to do what we really want. We wait until we retire or until we have more money or time.
The problem with that? We’ll never have more time than we have right now.
Plus, some of us wait to do what we want only to find that when we finally have the time and money, we don’t have our health or we don’t have the person we wanted to spend our time and money with.
I was also motivated by something my mom used tell me when I was procrastinating. She’d say, “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”
All those catalysts were enough to get me off my “but’s” (“But what will happen to my business? But what will I do with my house and all my belongings?”) and set off on my Year by the Water which has been one of THE most rewarding experiences of my life.
How about you? What do you really want to do? Water you waiting for? Are you having the time of your life?
Someday, when you’re looking back at your life, what will you wish you had done? What will you be glad you did? What would put the light on in your eyes?
To add inspiration, I’m sharing a few favorite “Set it in motion TODAY” quotes. Hope these motivate you to put your calendar where your values are and schedule in a date and start time so you stop waiting and start initiating more of what really matters to you.
1. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
2. “If you don’t go; you’ll never know.” – Robert DeNiro
3. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t; you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
4. “Are you doing what you’re doing today because it works; or because it’s what you were doing yesterday?” – Dr. Phil McGraw
5. “Some people never initiate because no one tells them to.” – Sam’s dad
6 “Exhaustion is not a status symbol.” – Brene Brown
7. “I have heard every excuse in the book, except a good one.” – Bob Greene
8. “Life offers a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.” – t-shirt saying
9. “It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.” – M. W. Bonano
10. “You have a life to live. If you’re constantly looking back; you’re going to walk into traffic.” – Jon Hamm
11. “Don’t just follow your dreams; launch them.” – Sam Horn
12. “The trouble is, you think you have time.” -Buddha
13. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
14. “Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into action and put your heart on the line.” – Phil Jackson
15. “The mark of a successful organization (person) isn’t whether it has problems; it’s whether it has the SAME problems as last year.” – John Foster Dulles
16. “What are you going to do?” “I was going to go upstairs.” “No, I mean with your life.” – dialogue from the movie The Graduate
17. “The scariest moment is always right before you start.” – Stephen King
18. “To feel, think, love and learn; surely that is being alive and young in the real sense.”- Freya Stark
19. One day you’re going to wake up, and there won’t be any time left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho
20. “Some people get stuck because they keep telling themselves stories about how stuck they are.” – Pinterest post (unattributed)
21. “If you don’t have a dream; how ya gonna make a dream come true?” South Pacific
22. “When you get a chance to sit it out or dance; I hope you dance.” LeAnn Womack
23. “Life expands or contracts in proportion to our courage.” – Anais Nin
24. “Nothing will work, unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
25. “I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.” – Albert Camus
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Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert and TEDx speaker, is on a mission to help people create respectful, collaborative, one-of-a-kind communications that add value for all involved. Her work – including POP!, Tongue Fu!, and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? – has been featured on NPR and in the New York Times and presented to companies around the world including Boeing, NASA, Intel, ASAE, Cisco and YPO.