There’s pretty much only one way to die unfulfilled, and never achieve anything you want in life.
It all pretty much comes down to one thing.
It’s not being afraid.
It’s not “making the wrong decision.”
It’s not about not having enough money.
And it’s also not about failing to cross things off your bucket list.
There’s really only ONE habit that will prevent you from getting where you want, and it’s this:
It’s not about making the wrong decision, it’s about NOT making a decision at all.
Not Making a Decision IS Making a Decision
The other day I sat down with one of my perpetually lost friends and he was asking me about ten different life paths he was considering taking.
“Ehhh, I could be a musician, or a biologist, or do charity work. Lots of things.”
“I’m just not quite sure which one I should take, I’m afraid of investing time into the wrong one and getting set back a few years, and I already tried that and screwed myself.”
Me: “So what’s the problem?”
“Eh, not sure about committing to any one thing, maybe I should sit on it a bit longer and try to figure it out.”
But here’s the thing:
My friend and I had this exact conversation two years before, and he was literally in the exact same position in his life. Navel-gazing, thinking about paths to take, “trying out” different things, never committing, bumming around, and not making any progress whatsoever.
Two YEARS had elapsed in the time that he was “figuring it all out.”
Okay. Different story now.
My friend Matt is in a totally different position.
He got a secure, high paying job out of college as an accountant, which gives him the financial stability he wanted even though he’s horribly bored.
No biggie, he figured – he can just coast with his salary for awhile.
However, Matt has been trying to find a career he’s really passionate about – something that’s cool to talk about, that’s fun, that would be a great conversational opener at a party.
Thing is, just like my friend above, Matt has been an accountant for five years and hasn’t even interviewed for any other jobs, he hasn’t started a business or written down any ideas, and he isn’t physically any closer to this “new” Matt than he was five years ago.
And five years ain’t no joke. You can go from idea ==> six figures in a business in 5 years. You can go from 100 pounds overweight ==> fitness model in 5 years. You can go from lost, confused, depressed ==> found, calm, and incredibly happy in less than 5 years.
He was pissing time away.
In fact, I see this sabotaging a lot more 20 somethings than almost anything else. Waiting for “the right time.”
There Is No Right Time, There is No Quantum Leap, There is no Big Break
In the West we have this idea that there’s a right time, or there’s going to be some “big break” or magic perfect time to do something.
Travel the world.
Have a baby.
Start a business.
Take up salsa.
But realistically, we often repeat this exact phrase: “I’m going to do it in a few years” or “I’ll do it someday.”
… And then “someday” never comes.
Our life is made up of today, repeated thousands of times. Tomorrow is just another today. Someday is just another today!
So if you aren’t taking steps TODAY to get where you want to be “someday” – you won’t get there.
There’s also this idea of timing. Waiting for the perfect time.
Sure, some things have good reasons for timing – women have peak fertility in their late 20s, maybe you should wait until you have money to get married and have kids – but other things don’t.
Traveling is a great example. Almost everyone says they want to travel the world, but a lot of people don’t save any money to make that a reality.
When I ask my friends why they don’t save money, they often give super vague responses:
“Don’t have that much money right now.”
“I’ll do it later.”
“Traveling is expensive.”
“Meh, not really so sure.”
But do you see the point of all these responses? They are dodging the question and waiting until some other time later. Which is why most of them never end up traveling, or they manage to get in a trip or two over a decade.
Stop Being Afraid of Making the Wrong Decision
Most of us just die a slow death.
We either wait for things to happen in life because we think they take too much effort, or we’re afraid.
So life evaporates before our eyes – days, months, years all go “poof” – and we wake up 20 years later, in someone else’s life, realizing we never did all the stuff that we wanted to do.
One day we wake up and go “WTF? How did this happen?”
And the easiest way to screw yourself is by waiting or letting life take its course.
Making ANY decision is better than waiting for the right time, or not making a decision.
How to Do, Be, And Achieve Everything You Want
Stop waiting for the right time. Stop trying to figure it all out. Stop waiting for ‘someday’ or next year.
There is no easier way to screw yourself over than by WAITING for some magical pixie dust to be spread all over your life and make it all better.
Most of us sabotage ourselves through being passive.
Complacency IS a decision, whether or not you realize it. Doing nothing IS doing something.
So no matter how confused you are about a certain life path – TAKE ACTION on something, anything, every single day that will push you forward.
The harm of making a bad decision is much less than the harm caused by not making any decision whatsoever.
The “how to get there” is less important than knowing what you want – when you know where you want to end up, you can figure out how to get there. Draw a dot on a map – I’m sure you can find a way there, no matter how long it takes, right? Even without money, resources, connections – you can somehow find a way, right?
Doing nothing is doing something.
And there is no easier way to sabotage your life, than by just letting it “happen” – and saying you want to do things “someday.”
There are only 7 days in a week, and someday is not one of them. It’s not taking the wrong action that messes you up – but not taking action at all.
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Thoughts on this?
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Have you seen this happen with your friends?
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