The following is an excerpt from our upcoming book, Prepare For Rain; The Ten Essential Steps for Creating the Life You Want.
it’s your time
Often, we’re so busy making mistakes we don’t have time to notice them.
Other times, we’re so afraid of making a mistake we freeze. We play it safe. We convince our self that “It’s not the right time. Not yet. I’ll get to that later. You know, when (something undefined and vague) happens.”
That’s our story, too. So you won’t get any judgment from us.
We waited far longer than we should have to begin pursuing our dreams.
And the problem with that is something you already know about.
We all face it.
We all get the same amount of it.
It makes absolutely no difference if you are rich or poor, tall or short, smart or not. It cares not at all what color your skin is. It’s as strong as gravity and its consequences are far more impactful, good or bad.
Everyone takes it for granted until something happens. Something big. Something that changes everything.
And too often, by that point, it is too late to do anything.
because time endures when we do not.
Each of us receives 168 hours of time every week. It is ours to use as we please. Even when our choices are limited, because of our circumstance, our place in this world, or what family we were born into.
Time is, oddly enough, changeless. It marches on at the same speed for all of us. And that speed is faster that we admit.
So you have a choice to make. Right now. Whether or not you finish reading this article.
You do not dare not make this choice, however you make it because to deny it or delay it just guarantees you stay on the course you’re on already.
choose to work with time, rather than against it.
It’s simple. Working with time means that you no longer take it for granted. It means that you treat it as priceless and sacred and probably everything you haven’t treated it with before. Like with respect. With trembling. And with gratitude.
Because you just have no idea how much time you get to live with. And you know what? Your dreams are absolutely tied to time. Every moment you are not engaged in pursuing your dreams is time you don’t get back. It’s your life, frittered.
If you ever want to begin making your dent in the universe, as Steve Jobs put it, you better get started on pursuing your dreams. Right now.
Stop wasting time. Embrace it for what it is: yours to lose.
it’s not enough to want it
When you think about it, we should not be surprised by the fact that pursuing your dreams is work for the bold and the brave. It requires courage. Some days, more than you can muster easily. Or at all.
Consider all of the books you loved when you were young (and maybe all the books you love now that you’re older).
They were full of heroes. All kinds of heroes, mind you. Little engines that could. Brave puppies. Elephant’s that risked flight. A wooden doll that became a boy.
At the earliest age, we learned that it takes courage to reach big goals. We understood that what really matters to us rarely comes without a fight.
For many, that foundational understanding about how the world works got lost along their journey. The responsibilities that come with “adulting” can do that. When you’re stressed out about how to cover the rent when the car just blew a water pump, it can seem silly to keep planning for pursuing your dreams. We get it.
isn’t it time?
Still, is it off base to question if that’s what dampened your vision? Isn’t it possible that the water pump, followed by the unexpected medical bill, followed by the ____________, became a handy string of excuses for stalling?
Perhaps your dreams got jettisoned due to circumstance. Maybe someone told you that thinking that way was being “childish.” And maybe you believed them.
But did you ever stop to consider the source of that declaration? Did the (almost certainly adult) person telling you to stop being childish seem to be living out their purpose? Or were they coming from a place of scarcity and disappointment?
This couldn’t be more important.
Read the biographies of famous people—those who “have made it”—and you’ll be struck by how much courage it required for their achievements to be reached.
Too often, we look at those we celebrate and we unconsciously discern the gap between where we are and where they’ve arrived. We typically measure the gap in terms of money, which gets us on the wrong path immediately. Even if we don’t measure ourselves against others by money, we fail to recognize what we do every time we compare ourselves to those we admire, respect and wish we could be like:
We compare our blooper reels to their award-winning performances.
it’s time to get a move on
Maybe in the course of human history, there really is someone who was an overnight success. Stranger things have happened, and there are exceptions to every rule. But the most common rule is this: most of the people that are held up as shining examples of living their purpose were “overnight sensations” that actually took years, even decades, to become.
If that’s how it worked for them, why can’t it work that way just as well for you?
No reason at all. Those celebrated people kept getting after their dreams just the same way we have to. One day at a time.
Wanting it isn’t enough. Working at it like your dream depends on it is the only certain way to make your dream a reality. Luck has nothing to do with the outcome you desire.
God grants you a limited supply of time. God also places the calling inside of you to live a life of purpose. If you aren’t living that way yet, it’s time to start. Today. Not tomorrow, because it may not come.
Joel Lund is a certified master coach and business marketing expert. Are you a business owner? Check out his newest enterprise, PurposeDrivenAcademy.com, an online business accelerator. Owners and entrepreneurs using the academy quickly breakthrough to higher revenues, with less work and more fun. Download his (free) simple 10-step guide for living with more purpose and joy.
[The content above was first published in Christian Living Magazine September/October 2016.]