Stop Waiting For the Right Moment

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a great start!

I was thinking the other day of a tee shirt slogan from back in the 70s … “When this crisis is over, I’m gonna have a nervous breakdown!” Social media is loaded with memes about what we’ll all do when this ends. One was particularly funny. It said, “We’ll all come out of this one of three ways – hunk, chunk, or drunk.” That pretty well sums it up.

I don’t drink much these days, but I do have a workout bench literally two feet behind me all day. So, I guess it goes without saying that I won’t come out hunk or drunk. That weight bench is loaded with papers, old mail, and printer supplies. You know, like the treadmill that used to be there. Around here, a treadmill is just a really expensive clothes hanger.

Oh, I had good intentions. I always do. But if you take your intentions into Starbucks with $3.95, they’ll give you a free cup of coffee. I took mine to the dinner table instead. And now I’m paying for it. But I don’t want to talk about weight again. Seems we just did that a couple of days ago.

I always had a set of criteria that would magically drive me into action. “That’s it! If my weight goes up another five pounds, I’m going on a diet!” “If it ever warms up, I’m cleaning the garage!” “If it ever cools off, I’m cleaning the garage!” “If that grass gets a foot taller …” Well, you get the idea. We always seem to let fate decide whether we do the things we need to do.

My post from last year popped up on my feed yesterday, and it was on this very topic. When there’s something we need to do that’ll bring us closer to our goals, we always seem to wait for the perfect moment to get started. It doesn’t really matter if those goals are grand or mundane, getting started is left to some twist of fate over which we have little or no control.

And that twist of fate doesn’t always have to be something good. It’s like sitting on the porch as the river is overflowing into your yard. You’ve got sandbags and a shovel, but you’re waiting for things to get bad enough before you put them to use. “If that water gets a foot higher, we’re shoring up!” No, if that water gets a foot higher, you’re swimming.

A friend confided to me once that he needed more money. The roof was leaking, the car needed repairs, and the bills were falling behind. I suggested he start a side business to supplement his income and he said, “Yeah, I guess if things get bad enough, I may have to consider that.” Excuse me? How bad do they have to get? Would foreclosure do the trick?

It’s easy to make plans when we really don’t intend to do anything about them. And it’s even easier when you put those plans at the mercy of something you can’t control. And then the water rises another foot. “Well, it’s kinda late for sandbags now.”

And the problem is, we do this whether it’s something we really need to do, or just something we’d like to do. “Oh, that’s just a dream. I’ve lived without it this long.” Well, how important was the dream? Was it something you just thought about once or twice? Because that’s not really a dream. It’s a brain fart.

Not taking action on our dreams is no different than not taking action on our needs. The consequences are a little different, but in the end we’re left to wonder what might have been. And friends, that’s one of the worst feelings in the world – knowing you could have at least tried to change the situation, but never did. And for what? Because things never got bad enough?

I’ve heard people say if they lose their job, they’ll change careers. I’ve heard them say if the car breaks down one more time, they’ll fix it. I’ve even heard sick people say if they get any sicker, they’ll do something about their health. Seriously? How bad do things need to get in order for us to do what we should have done in the first place? “Well, it’s kinda late for vitamins now.”

We all know the things we need to be doing. But if we wait for the perfect set of circumstances, we’ll never do it. Instead of waiting for things to get better or worse, forget the circumstances and just do it. Life on the other end may be completely different than anything you’d imagined. You may never get back to where you were. And isn’t that pretty much the idea?

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Windows of Opportunity are the Keys to Your Success

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

We talked a couple of days ago about the problem of doing the work that needs to be done and not seeing any visible results. It happens to all of us, and it’s frustrating when it does. Especially when there’s a limited window of opportunity, and if you miss that window, you have to sit around and wait for the next one.

My grandson sometimes cuts our grass. He’s got a full-time job and lives in a neighboring town, so it’s not like he can just walk across the street and do it. And, with a schedule that changes from week to week, I never know when to expect him. Factor in the weather, and there are very few opportunities for me to get my grass cut without doing it myself.

Yet, when the grass needs to be cut and we have a day without rain, you don’t blow the opportunity. With the season we’ve had, it could rain for the next four days in a row and by then the grass will be so high it’ll need to be cut twice – once to lower the height, and another to chop up the clippings. So, when that window of opportunity comes along, I get out there and mow the lawn myself.

Sometimes windows of opportunity come along a few times each day. If there was something you needed to do on your morning coffee break and just didn’t get around to it, you’ll have another break coming later in the day. Or maybe you can do it over lunch. If all else fails, you can set aside some time right after work. And if that doesn’t pan out, there’s always tomorrow.

But other times, the window of opportunity may last several weeks or even a few months, and then it’s gone. You had the best of intentions, but life just gets in the way.  Your health isn’t up to par, there’s a new project at work, the ball team needs a coach, an unexpected bill comes along, and there’s that room you’ve been meaning to paint. Meanwhile, the window just keeps shrinking.

It happens to all of us. Maybe you’ve got an outdoor project you wanted to tackle, but the weather just isn’t cooperating. Maybe you wanted to qualify for a business challenge that only comes around once a year. Maybe you were hoping to take the kids on a special vacation before school starts again. And no matter how hard you try, things just don’t seem to work out. You’re not alone.

I read yesterday that only a third of the farmers in my state have been able to plant their fields this year, because of historically heavy rainfall. The fields have been so wet they can’t even drive a tractor across them, much less plow the fields for planting. By now, their crops should be almost half-grown. Time is running out, and a good number of them have already given up for the year.

Those farmers would have given just about anything for a brief window of opportunity, and they’d have dropped everything to take advantage of it. They’ve learned, through bitter experience, that when the fields are ready to plant, you plant. It doesn’t matter what else you’d planned to do that day or that week. You do what needs to be done before that window closes again.

Thankfully, for most of us, the situation isn’t quite so dire. There may be something we need to do, or maybe even just want to do, and if we miss our chance today, there’s always tomorrow. Or next month, or next year. Keep that up and you’ll forget what you wanted to do in the first place. The consequence may be that nothing changes. But is that what you really want?

If there’s something you want to change, find those windows of opportunity and don’t let another one slip by. There will be a day when you can look back at this point in your life and celebrate opportunities taken or lament the ones you missed. Do the things you need to do today. Your tomorrow depends on it.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved