Guest Column: Why are you waiting? It’s time to get things done now - The Explorer: Columns

Guest Column: Why are you waiting? It’s time to get things done now

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James C. Sandefer

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 4:00 am

Many people spend the bulk of their lives delaying a lot of things because they’re “waiting for the right time.” Baloney! Today’s that time, unless you’ve formulated an exceptional system that can absolutely guarantee tomorrow will actually arrive and offer the ideal setting for whatever it is you’ve been delaying.

any people spend the bulk of their lives delaying a lot of things because they’re “waiting for the right time.” Baloney! Today’s that time, unless you’ve formulated an exceptional system that can absolutely guarantee tomorrow will actually arrive and offer the ideal setting for whatever it is you’ve been delaying.

The list of “things I’m going to do someday” was extensive years ago, but elapsed time tends to reconfigure the circumstances impacting our goals and interests. Label it indecision, procrastination or extended research but the outcome is the same: we tend avoid doing things until the right time, and that time often never arrives or, emerges at an ill-timed moment. Age-related events habitually make unannounced appearances on our priority lists, so delaying something until a better time arrives is a tenuous reason for not doing it now.

When was the last time you considered all the things you needed or wanted to do during your lifetime? Was the list overwhelming, had your interests changed since making the entry, or did you tell yourself it wasn’t deserved yet; the time wasn’t quite right? These are commonplace responses, but are they valid? Maybe we’re afraid that we’ll miss something, whatever that may be, by doing something else today. But just maybe we’ve changed our mind and no longer want to do a particular thing. That’s fine, but recurrently difficult to accept as a rational reason for abandonment of an interest or long-term goal. 

I gave some thought to the premise that my list of “want to do’s” was created during moments of passion or watching a TV program on a particular subject and impulsively decided I wanted to experience it. There’s nothing wrong with adding an item to our list because of an impulse unless we fail to follow up with additional research that may or may not confirm a true interest and a desire to accomplish it. An example of radical things making their way onto our list of priorities is New Year’s resolutions.  

I also contend that “To Do” lists become so burdened with spontaneous items they appear overwhelming, so we stash them until another moment of passionate planning arrives. Not a good habit because there may be a dream written on that sheet of paper having the possibility for changing our life. Then what do we do?

Here’s what you should consider; put your “list” in front of you today and review each entry for current or plausible future interest. If you aren’t immediately impacted one way or the other, scratch it and go to the next one. Ultimately, you’ll have a list of your dreams rather than incompatible impediments and you may perceive another benefit, stress reduction and greater clarity of thought.

What it all boils down to is that we’d better get busy living. Otherwise, all we’re doing is marking time by waiting to live or waiting to die, and that’s not the most pleasurable way to spend our time. What are you waiting for?

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