When the Stakes Are High, and the Moment is Brief
Everyone struggles with resistance. The task ahead may look too hard, too risky, or lacks a big enough payoff to motivate you into action.
Everyone struggles with some level of procrastination. We say, "I'll get to it tomorrow" and "when I find the time." Or the most nebulous of all... "maybe someday."
But what if circumstances change? What if we have no choice but to act?
Moving is a pain in the ass, but not if you discover your house is perched on a foundation that is about to experience a landslide.
And what if tomorrow isn't guaranteed? What if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and have days instead of decades?
10 years ago, I heard a quote that I can't get out of my head. It was a statement by Joel Roberts as he addressed a room full of entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses to the next level. The question was, what do you do "when the stakes are high, and the moment is brief."
The stakes are always high because we've been given this miracle we call life. No matter how bad our current situation or how unfair life may have been, we live on this statistical improbability called Earth. We live at the pinnacle of our creation or evolution (whichever you believe). We live in a time of infinity, where virtually anyone reading this article can access the internet and, therefore, learn any new skill or start any new career. The stakes are high because we can fulfill our potential to the degree we want and live a great story.
The moment is brief because we have one life. ONE LIFE. And while the average lifespan maybe 80 years old, any one of us may die tomorrow.
The business that we started may have X months of financial runway, but X months will blink by and become tomorrow. Will we have achieved our goals, or will we have pissed the time away?
The projects and dreams we wish to start "someday" will soon become the regrets of yesterday. Are we willing to live our tomorrows in that regret?
I have many regrets, most of them because I'm overly ambitious. No. That's a cop-out. The reality is that I acted like I had all the time in the world and pretended like the goal wasn't enticing enough to take action. The fact is that neither was true.
The stakes of life are high, and our moment on Earth is brief.
This is why that quote rings in my ears and why I've developed a bias toward action. Netflix will always be waiting for me when I can no longer get out of my chair. But, even then, there is still so much to experience in one's final days... if you have something that moves you.
Where are you holding back when you need to act now?