Want to do Great Things Stop Waiting for the Perfect Conditions

Craving for your own adventure? It might be best to start anyway and stop waiting for the perfect moment.

Many of us have dreams and aspirations – changing the world, making a difference, helping the poor, starting a business, writing a book, travelling the globe, speaking in front of a large audience, learning a new language, etc. And we will not hesitate to tell the whole world about it.

However, not everyone makes the move to turn words into action and intention into execution.

I’ve spoken to many and the one common thread which pops up is that they are waiting for the “right” moment before they take action.

While I do agree that preparation is key for success, many suffer analysis paralysis – myself included – in which they are too obsessed with planning and preparing that they miss some of the best opportunities that come by.

There will be a point of time where we just have to stop thinking about it and start to make it happen.

These are 4 thoughts which helped me kick start things especially when I’m tempted to do a little more research so that I can “feel more prepared” before taking the shot:

1. The best way to learn is to do

There’s only so much you can read about driving a car or riding a bike or playing an instrument. After a certain point, you’ll just have to get your hands dirty to get things going.

Want to help the poor? Just spend 1 and only 1 hour to research the charities and not-for-profits in your area and head down to volunteer with them this evening/afternoon/weekend. Be specific and set deadlines for yourself. Even better, allow someone to hold you accountable to it.

2. Failure isn’t final

Failure is the incident, not the person. And failure is feedback – it provides information on what went wrong and sheds light on how things can be improved.

Also, the great thing about failure is that the things you learn from it can’t be learnt if you didn’t take the leap of faith in the first place.

Want to improve your networking skills? Stop waiting until you feel confident. Just head out to the closest upcoming event, take initiative to say hi and go with the flow. Even if you stumble and encounter socially awkward moments, at least you now know what works and what doesn’t, so you know what to do and what not to do next time.

Sometimes, building up confidence is about acting as if you are confident even before you feel confident.

3. It’s not as bad or as hard as it seems

The greatest barriers we face are not those which we encounter externally, but those which we put up for ourselves.

It’s so easy to dismiss our aspirations or ourselves just because we feel that “we are not good enough” or our dreams are “too big to be achieved”.

Whenever those thoughts come to mind, challege them straightaway, and start to ask leading questions.

“Is learning a new language as difficult as it seems?”

“If I’m not apt at writing, can I take up some courses to improve on it before starting on my book?”

“I might not have enough money to go on that holiday but what are some ways which I can save up more quickly?”

“Is there someone (who has been there and done that) who I can chat with to learn a thing or two?”

Instead of focusing on the challenge/obstacle, start to shift your eyes to the possibilities to make it happen.

4. Break it down

It’s one thing to proclaim a lofty ambition, it’s another to work on it day after day after day. The journey isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. And to survive and sustain yourself through it, break down the goal into smaller and more digestible bits.

Want to start a business?

How about reading your first article or book on business and entrepreneurship? How about taking some of your old clothes and having a go at selling them at a flea market?

Take the big dream and break it down into smaller parts, and work on it one step at a time.

Back to you. What are your dreams and aspirations? And seriously, what’s stopping you? Go for it!


Image courtesy of Amanda Sandlin.
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