One of my favourite Chinese proverbs goes as follows, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”
What struck me most is that if one wants to do big and great things, he has to start somewhere in time, and the best time is 5 or 10 years back (so that by now, his dream will be more or less fulfilled). If not, the second best time is now.
The amazing thing about “now” is that it does not require the perfect conditions for you to act. You can just work with whatever you have and whoever you’re with at the moment. Even if the undertaking requires an elaborate plan to work, you can always start working on the plan now.
Got a website to create in mind? Sketch a mock-up on a napkin. Got a skill or a hobby you want to pick up? Start looking for and booking lessons now. Want to save up for the future? Think of your expenditures now. Have someone you really need to talk to? Grab the phone now.
Many times, it is the first step that seems to be the hardest to take, especially when the endeavour lies outside our comfort zones. It’s just plain easy for us to remain comfortable with the familiar and the usual routines which we are so used to.
However, when we decide to do something tangible or practical now, that action itself sets us up for more to come. For example, I found out that whenever I’m reluctant to go for my run, I just have to get myself in my gear and out of the house. And once I’m on the track and moving, I start to build momentum and it gets easier along the way.
Think about your dream or passion. What is the next small, practical step which you can take to bring you closer to making it happen?
Image by khalid almasoud.