The Myth of the Perfect Circumstances

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” –Karen Lamb

Delicious grapes

Maybe you want to start a side business or even develop a full-on business plan. Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting a novel or a blog. Perhaps you want to go back to school. Or you talk a lot about learning to play the piano.

But you wait and wait. These plans remain vague, things you’ll do ‘one day.’

You tell yourself that you’re waiting on the perfect circumstances. When things in your life change/calm down/align perfectly, you’ll get started on x (insert your really awesome project here), or you’ll stop doing y, or you’ll change your focus to z.

Want to know a secret?

Waiting for the perfect circumstances = waiting for your ship to come in.

Want to know another secret?

There is no ship. Even if there was, it was probably ransacked by pirates.

You’ll always have bills to pay. You’ll always have things to do. You’ll always have responsibilities to yourself and others. These things won’t ever go away.

Yes, your present circumstances might make your journey longer. They might slow you down. They might slash your tires or steal your car. They might jump you in an alley and leave you bloody and broken.

But if you’re reading this, you’re still alive. You’re also curious and intelligent (I’m not above pandering).

You can work on your really amazing project…or not.  You don’t have to (work on it), but it will probably make you happier.

Every day, you have a choice.

You can choose how you spend your hours and your days.

You can choose to wait for the world to change, for the perfect circumstances to arrive. Or you can choose to change how you interact with the world; you can choose to make the most of the circumstances before you.

Which one do you think is more effective?

Even a little action is better than inaction.

Just like regular investments into an interest-bearing account, a little action every day will accumulate into a big, fat stack of goodness. (Yes, I said it: it’s good to have a pile of money in the bank).

Work with what you’ve got

Like a vintner harvesting the last grapes of the season, you’ve got to use what you’ve got. Maybe the grapes are puny and stunted (less-than-ideal circumstances). You have a couple options.

  1. You can bemoan your lack of grapes, do nothing, and leave them on the vine to rot. Or….
  2. 2. You can take the flaccid fruits of that delicious deciduous, extract all the juice that you can, add some sugar and yeast, and still end up with a palatable pinot gris. It might not be a Chateau Lafite 1787 (one bottle costs $160,000), but at least you’ll have something to put in your picnic basket.  Maybe you’ll even end up with a 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

Working with what you’ve got is almost always better than doing nothing and waiting/hoping/wishing for things to change.

Photo credit: marfis75

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