Looking for the perfect time to take action is like looking for a needle in a hay stack, except you’ve been told there’s no needle and you decide to look anyway. Depending on how you look at it, either; the perfect time is never or the perfect time is now. Whichever way you look at it the time to act is now.
A week ago I wrote about how important it is to be patient with everything you’re doing. You need to stick to your passion for a really long time before you see any great results. All while staying incredibly consistent and sticking to any positive habits that you need in order to reach your goals.
Now, I’m going to flip the pancake and tell you to stop waiting.
The Difference Between Patience And Waiting
Before I go any further I think it’s important to outline the difference between having patience and waiting for the perfect time.
- Patience – Doing something consistently for a long period of time in order to reach a goal.
- Waiting -Staying where you are or delaying action until a particular time or event.
How Waiting Ruined Me
Every great lesson starts with a great story and this is no different. It took me a full year but it’s how I got in embedded in my mind that the perfect moment never comes and waiting only leaves you behind.
Back in January 2012, I had just gotten back from my first real overseas holiday to Hong Kong. I had been to New Zealand before but if there wasn’t water between Australia and New Zealand, you could pretty much walk there. So it doesn’t count.
Anyway, I just got back from a 3 week trip to Hong Kong and shortly after the symptoms of Colitis started to show. No one actually knows the cause of Colitis and judging off history it seems to be anything and everything but it’s predicted that a person always has it, it just needs to be triggered. Over the past 7 years I’ve given it some thought and I’ve narrowed it down to the atmosphere and air quality of Hong Kong as it was something that I had never experienced before (it’s really bad).
Over the next few months the symptoms began to very slowly develop. At a speed that you would just think you’re coming down with something, like the flu or an upset stomach. Except it never got any better, just progressively worse. I think it took about 2 and a half months before really serious symptoms started to make an appearance.
So, I’m 2 and a half months in and I haven’t told a soul about what’s going on. I’m still waiting. Putting it off and hoping it just goes away.
But it doesn’t. It gets worse. A lot worse. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
Over the next 6 months shit hits the fan and I start to resemble a stick insect from all the loss of blood and only being able to eat once every couple of days. To say it was hell is an understatement. At one point mum asked if I was a drug addict and still, I didn’t pipe up. I acted like nothing was wrong but when left alone I was just a super sick, super scared kid who didn’t know what to do.
I’ve thought about why I didn’t tell anyone earlier and being the age I am now it’s really easy to pin point. At the age of 18, being different seems like the end of the world. There’s so much insecurity and so much fear that if you’re not exactly like everyone else your whole world will be over. To the point that I would confidently say that every boy reading this has spent countless hours measuring there penis length and then jacking up the length a few inches, so no one picks on you when it’s brought up at school. I can only speak from a boys point of view but I’m sure girls had similar worries.
The point is, at 18, different is weird and everyone is insecure.
I was no different and that’s why I told no one.
So I continued to wait. I continued to hope.
It just got worse. To the point that I weighed 54kg, could not eat without throwing up and could not go to the bathroom without throwing up (at the same time). This was hell on steroids and that was the most I could put up with. I don’t remember the exact time frame but it was about a year before I decided to tell someone and that someone was my dad.
I waited a year before I said anything and when I finally did, I was near fucked.
We went straight to the doctor and after another 2 weeks, I was told to see a specialist except the specialist had a 3 month waiting list. Luckily, we knew someone who was friends with the specialist and managed by some miracle to get me in within a week. I honestly think I wouldn’t be here If I had to wait those 3 months.
Sorry, Is It A Bad Time?
Waiting for the perfect moment to make a move is the worst thing someone can do. Whether it’s a problem that needs fixing or an opportunity, that moment will never come.
The problem will get worse and the opportunity will pass.
I learnt it the hard way. You can learn it from me.
From that year on, I have never stalled on anything. I’ve always made up my mind and I’ve always acted. It’s funny to think back when my Colitis just seemed like a negative and nothing good would ever come from it but now, 6 years on, I can see all the positive lessons I have learnt.
Opportunities don’t linger, problems do.
You need to stop looking for that perfect moment and take the leap. If you’re waiting for the stars to align you may as well quit before you start because that time will never come.
Let me give you a quick example. When I was 19 years old, my dad told me it would be a really good business idea if someone in the local area started a free magazine that covered stories on small local businesses. Within 3 months of him saying that, I released the areas only lifestyle magazine called Wollongong Lifestyle. When I started I had no idea how to write, no idea how to get a magazine printed, no idea how to set up a photo shoot and no idea how to sell advertising space, but I still did it because I had learnt. I learnt that waiting either makes things worse or means you’ll miss the opportunity. We’ll ignore the fact that it failed but I still managed to get 2 editions out. To reinforce the fact that it’s never the perfect time, I did this during a flare up but if I had waited I would have missed the opportunity. I would never have taken that leap if I hadn’t learnt what waiting can do.
You might have people who depend on you or you might be scared of the first step you need to take, whether that be quitting your job or something else, but the fact is:
The longer you wait, the longer it will take.
Every second you spend waiting is adding an extra second onto the end of the journey and it will keep building until you decide to make a move. The second you start, time stops adding and you start chipping away. Before you know it, it will be 5 years down the track and you’ll be able to look back, proud, that you’ve achieved your goals and wonder why it took you so long to start.
But that will never happen until you stop waiting for the perfect time and decide that now is the time.
Now is always the perfect time to start. Now is always the perfect time to speak up. Now is always the perfect time to jump.