Drop the Wait in 2019: Take Imperfect Action
Don’t wait until you are ready to take action. Instead, take action to be ready.
Jensen Siaw, Motivational Speaker
I remember very clearly when I learned how to ride a bike. For most of my childhood, we lived in a suburban neighborhood of Atlanta. As a child, our neighborhood street seemed to go on forever; it was steep and winding, with a cul-de-sac at the end. I don’t remember anything about the day leading up to the time when I set my bike in motion except that my older brother and father were walking behind me as I waddled on the bike with my feet on the ground. We weren’t at the steepest part of the street but far up enough where any bike or skateboard would get a good amount momentum when let loose. I remember being scared but something that day, either from within or my family, encouraged me to lift my feet from the asphalt and ride. As I picked up speed, the fear left me and I sailed down the street with the wonderful breeze in my face. Unfortunately, in my glee and satisfaction with myself that I could now ride a bike, I somehow forgot to pay attention to my direction and quite quickly hit the curb and flew off my bike, landing in a sad pile on the lawn. Luckily, the lawn belonged to my parents and not a neighbor—the universe spared me a bit of humiliation that day. As my father and brother gingerly walked towards me (I don’t recall any sense of urgency in their stride) I remember being dazed but extremely happy—from that moment forward, I knew how to ride a bike.
I share this embarrassing story for laughs but also for the lesson. Many of the things we do in life will be scary but the fear is often momentary. Will Smith had an interesting video where he talks about fear and how fear is always greatest right before you’re about to do something great or something of consequence. For instance, skydiving. Leading up to the event, you are likely filled with anxiety and butterflies in your stomach even though, at any point, you can simply bail out. You get on the plane, ready to jump and again, you can simply stay safe and let fear keep you from jumping. But as you take the leap, that fear begins to dissipate and all you feel is bliss as you soar. What is that phenomenon? Why is it that the hardest part of waking up in the morning is lifting your body and putting your feet on the ground? Or when giving a speech or presentation, right before you walk up to the podium or front of the room?
We all know those people who month after month, year after year talk about what they want to do and what they’re going to do but month after month, year after year they have nothing to show for the time that has passed. There are plenty of people that woke up this morning that won’t see the end of the day and how sad of a story it would be if they had dreams that they left unfulfilled because of fear.
So if you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument or run a race or travel somewhere new or start a business, just start. Pick your feet off the ground and peddle. You may hit some curbs along the way and end up dazed and confused but that’s fine. When you get up to do it again you’ll be that much wiser.
We all have regrets about the things we didn’t do in our earlier years and I believe that one of the biggest tragedies would be to look back in future years to find that that list has grown. Let’s make 2019 a year to remember for the right reasons!