When I talk to people about their lives the most popular concept of time is:
The future will be better. And Now is definitely not a good time to make a change.
There is widespread occurrence of optimistic procrastination. People plan to do many things. Down the road a better future awaits--an Emerald City down a yellow brick road. These include things that they must do, to ambitions and aspirations, to full on bucket list items. Many things get jammed into their time capsule of the future. Funny thing is the amount of time continues to shrink and the amount of things to do grows inversely. Not a great formula for fulfillment. Most dream more than they do. Still others enjoy the momentary pleasure they get from self deception and deceiving others with their fantasies.
It is impossible to argue with somebody’s future plans, isn’t it? Like a 8 year old who tells you he will be an astronaut or President, we never burst those bubbles of the future unless we are cruel. But we act similarly when we hear about the sometimes preposterous and possibly more unlikely scenarios of grown-ups. “I plan to own my own business.” “Head a non-profit.” “Launch a new start-up.”
But the planning required to even consider that path are procrastinated as well. Do they talk to others in their network who already do these things? Do they understand what it takes and more important, would they enjoy the experience? Everyone envisions that their restaurant, their idea for a new app, even their non-profit etc will succeed, get rave reviews and grow like a weed—and of course make them financially well off. Similarly, becoming a VP or CEO is much better than what they have now. Because more is always better. We know there are substantial pluses and minuses to all choices but living ambiguously allows us to avoid the confusion that comes from facts, real plans and the experiences of others.
Do friends let friends drive their lives in a state of ambiguity?
So the seemingly endless time ahead is aided and abetted by a very able co-conspirator--the persistent thought that Now is a terrible time to make any changes. We are all so busy Now to think about the future. Busy with what seems important Now and never getting to what we want. Being busy is never a life strategy.
Time flies and you never get it back. And stuff happens—wonderful and horrible events that throw you off track. Optimistic procrastination ensures that the Emerald City remains an illusion. One thing is certain you never come this way again.
Things do improve with age, your perspective, your maturity, your judgment, your priorities. But the opportunity to evolve and change is always NOW.
Implement your plan. Get on your yellow brick road.
A new friend has aging parents that have dreamed of seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Egyptian Pyramids. His parents physicality is evaporating and they always wanted to see these sights. So he is taking them next month to both Paris and Cairo! Not a convenient time for my friend, but it is not his time that is important. A man I worked with has struggled with his relationship with his daughter. The daughter is in school 3 hours away and my friend now drives every Tuesday to have dinner with her. Shockingly their relationship has improved. :) I met a stay at home mom who has teenage sons and she is trying to recalibrate her career, so she is volunteering at nights and weekends at a non-profit to make a career shift. She could wait until both her sons graduate, but she was compelled to follow her heart and get a head start on her dreams.
If you are doing something to pursue your goals, aspirations etc now, then you will be with others who want that too. You will be talking about what you are doing and we know that links us to others and new connections. So active pursuit of what you want is not just a hollow cry to get motivated and eschew procrastination. It is a process of actions that changes your orbit and puts you into new constellations of support that push you further toward your destination leaving potential regrets in your gulfstream.
What time is it? Time to move! Time to get off the road of self deception, procrastination and ambiguity. Time to help others make and take the time to get where they need to go. Time to find your yellow brick road and join others who support and understand your journey.
Thanks for reading. John