Is there ever a “right” time? I’d argue that this idea is mentally comforting, but the “right time” doesn’t exist. You can wait all you want, but that’s where regret begins to take root in your life and your lack of action begins to define you.
How often do you find yourself reflecting on a day, event, or season of life, wishing you had just a little more time? It probably happens more than any of us wish. What about comparing yourself or your outcomes to others? Physique alone is a never-ending work in progress for me. I often notice someone else’s six-pack abs or water polo shoulders and immediately wish I had the same results. I’m sure you can relate to some degree.
The depressing part? I could easily have similar results if I just took ownership of my time. The same is true for you.
Too often, we mistake “more time” for “easier.” It doesn’t get easier. In fact, it probably only gets harder. Again, let’s just talk physique. The longer I wait to visit the gym routinely and the longer I wait to adjust my diet, the more work I’ll have to put in to see the results I want. There is nothing “easier” about waiting until Jan. 1, or waiting until once that trip is in the past, or waiting until things slow down at work. Our supposed plans around those other things may put our minds and our anxieties to rest. Or, perhaps, that’s just our way of feeding our brain an “excuse” dressed up as a “reason”?
I’m just talking about the things in our control.
Of course, I’m guilty of waiting for easier times in many areas. When I set out to start a new routine or a new habit, my mind loves waiting until Monday, the first of the month, or even Jan. 1. However, I’m starting to believe that in most areas of life, those waiting periods aren’t strategies. Instead, they are excuses.
One of my goals for 2019 is to read 20 books. For me, that’s about 17 more than usual. Although I’m only a few books into my list, one of my favorites thus far is Mel Robbins’ “The 5 Second Rule.” In this book, she presents data and real-life stories that support the notion of just doing something. Just starting helps us achieve more in our lives than the usual, sometimes unconscious, habit of hesitating or procrastinating.
I appreciate her book right now because it’s actually sticking with me; it has a grip on me that I can’t ignore. And because of it, I’ve made better use of my time, and I’ve been getting more done in my personal time than I otherwise would have.
I’m not saying I never wait or that you shouldn’t. However, I believe our “waiting” has to be intentional. Have you ever heard someone say something like, “Oh, I can’t afford that right now,” or “I’ll go to that class reunion when I’m 20 pounds lighter”? There is nothing wrong with needing or wanting to save more money or waiting to be in a stronger financial situation before committing to a significant purchase. Likewise, there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to be 20 pounds lighter.
But what are you doing now, today, to help you save that money or lose that weight? Weight doesn’t shed itself, generally speaking. Start the work and start now. It won’t be easier tomorrow or next year.
There is one area I strongly advocate waiting: When your well-being is at stake, wait for help! In other words, safety first. Friedreich’s ataxia hinders a lot of my mobility, so I don’t try to rearrange my living room without help. Likewise, I don’t want my mother climbing a ladder to install insulation. Whether it’s a health concern, disability, or a thing of age, call a friend or hire a crew!
When you live with a debilitating and progressive disease, you often have to face the reality that tomorrow will almost always be harder. So, I’ve learned the value and importance of starting today. No matter how big or small the effort, some effort is better than no effort.
My effort today may not be perfect, or pretty, or all that significant. However, my effort is required today in order for me to be significant or impactful or achieve my goals tomorrow. To me, doing the work today, so that I can achieve something tomorrow, is the purest form of success.
Henry Ford was known as someone who never stopped trying. He once said, “It is observed that successful people get ahead in the time that other people waste.”
Excuses are just a waste of time dressed in sheep’s wool. Don’t waste time and don’t make excuses. Get after what’s important to you today.
Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.