There is Never a Right Time…
Are you waiting? Are you waiting for that perfect moment when everything is just how it’s supposed to be before you take that action, complete that project, pursue that goal, or take that chance? Have you considered that just maybe there is never a right time?
Imagine for a moment waking up tomorrow morning. You get out of bed, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed for work and get into your car all ready to drive to the office. But then you wait… and wait… and wait for all the traffic lights to turn green before starting the engine. And so you wait… and wait… and wait… until the work day passes you by.
“Oh well. I guess I can try again tomorrow morning.”
You step out of your vehicle, walk back inside, eat dinner, watch some television, and go to bed ready to give it another shot in the morning.
This sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Who in their right mind would wait until all the lights turned green before heading off to work? Unless you live in the outback or around the corner from your office, the chances are that at least one red light will halt your progress along the way. Expecting that all the lights will be green and that you will breeze past them, especially during peak hour traffic is absolutely insane. And yet this is how most of us approach our goals.
We set a goal and then we wait. We wait for that perfect moment to take action. We wait for all the stars in the universe to align in an ideal way. Yes, we essentially wait until all the lights turn green before moving forward. All the lights must of course be green before taking action. Things must be certain. God forbid you get stuck at a red light for an extended period of time. This would completely derail your efforts. Right?
We fear the red light because it brings about uncertainty. What if the light never goes green? What if I don’t pay attention and miss the moment the light turns green? What if the light turns green for only a few seconds and I’m stuck behind traffic and can’t get through? Or what if ALL the lights turn red? That would completely derail my plans.
Your journey toward that goal is never a sure thing. It’s inevitable that you will come across red lights. These red lights are obstacles along your path that slow you down and give you time to think about where you’re heading and how you’re getting there. Therefore when a red light stops you, it’s no time to sit there moaning and complaining about it. It’s time to reflect. Sometimes you may very well need to just wait-out the red light, however other times it might be of value to take a detour — to travel along a path that you might not have planned for.
The path towards your goal is rarely if ever a straight line. And it’s almost never how you expect it to be. You will come across red lights and traffic jams that delay your journey. God forbid you might even fall prey to a flat tyre. You will also come across roadblocks that force you to take a different path then the one you originally planned for. You can of course turn around and go back home, but then you’ll never get to the office, and you won’t get paid.
Yes, we must be very careful of those detours. Those detours might not only delay our journey, but they may also take us the long way around. We might even get lost, and then what if we run out of fuel? What if we have no cash? What if there is no fuel station near by? What if… what if… what if?
There are many things that might go wrong along your journey. But you will never get anywhere unless you start where you are with what you have. You must just trust that you will work things out as you move along. In the end, there is never a right time. You just need to take that first step and trust that you will work things out as you move along.
The next time you catch yourself waiting for that perfect moment to take action, ask yourself:
- If there is never a right time, then what is it specifically that I am waiting for?
- What’s the probability that all these things will line up perfectly?
- What if I had taken action on this three weeks ago? Where would things be right now? Would I be further along?
- What if I started right here right now? What progress could I make by next week, next month?
- So what if things go wrong? How will I handle them?
All you need to do is just start your journey. Even if you don’t know what to do, you will work things out as you move along. There is never a right time. Just trust the process.
IQ Matrix Maps
Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:
- Overcoming Procrastination: Examines how to overcome the debilitating habit of procrastination.
- Dare to Risk it All: Provides you with insights to help you shift how you think about risk-taking.
- Risk-Taking: Presents step-by-step instructions to help you make peace with taking intelligent risks.
- Living with Urgency: Breaks down the missing ingredient or urgency you need to move forward.
- Getting Unstuck: Explores ways to help you get unstuck and moving forward towards your goals.