How much of your life do you spend waiting for a particular time so that something will arrive or you will take an action? In the event that you do not read this article, my simple message is stop waiting and take action. Let’s look at happiness. I often hear people say “I wish I was happy, I wish my life was better” as if happiness was some sort of weather system that now and again passes our skies. For me, happiness is something that should be a priority in your life, something that you should pursue. Spending time with a particular person or taking a particular leisure activity brings you pleasure, do more of it. What are you waiting for?
“It is not death that we should fear, but we should fear not beginning to live “— Marcus Aurelius
A few years ago, a friend gave me a wonderful gift. It was reflections of the famous Roman stoic Marcus Aurelius. I have read this book multiple times because it is set out in diary form. Each day after having breakfast I open the particular diary page and read today’s quotation. The above quotation for Marcus Aurelius is one of my favorites. As we progress in life, the end comes into view and many people worry about dying. They have an understandable fear of the unknown. Marcus tells us that we should focus on living and focus on the actions that we can take today that will change our life. In working as a mentor for business leaders and sportsmen and also as a motivational speaker for conferences and events, I frequently relayed this message. One of the greatest benefits of my video series “Begin your win “ available to buy on www.endaodoherty.ie, people tell me is that they no longer fear change and they no longer sit around waiting but rather take action.
Have you ever sat on the couch and thought about going to the gym? So many times people will wait for the inspiration to strike.”I don’t feel like it, if I wait a little bit longer perhaps I will”. The regrettable fact is that the inspiration often does not come. Very often people ask me how do I train so hard? Why am I motivated to take part in so many activities? How do I drive myself? The truth is that on many occasions I do not have the motivation. I don’t feel like going to the gym. I don’t feel like sitting and writing or recording videos. I do have a clear understanding that the ability to get through, to work hard even when you don’t feel like it is where the magic will occur. I think people often assume that a motivational speaker will be full of unlimited inspirational energy. The truth is I am not always but I will not wait for my mood to change.
I suppose it’s a well-known fact that alcoholism almost took my life. I can remember one day asking my wife why did she not ask me to stop drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. She’s a very clever lady. Her response was this “you are a master of your own destiny and you’re responsible for your happiness, if you had stopped drinking alcohol for me it would have lasted a week or a month. When you realize that this was your future, your life and your destiny, I knew the commitment would be lifelong to stop drinking alcohol“.
If you’re waiting to tell someone you love them or if you’re waiting for the perfect opportunity to launch your business, perhaps you’re waiting for the perfect day to go on that boat trip, perhaps you’re waiting for someone to leave or die so you get a promotional opportunity. My clear advice is do not waste time and be the master of your own future and your own destiny.
Everybody has the ability to dream, everybody has the ability to wait. Not everyone has the ability to take action. As soon as you’ve read this sentence, your mind is filled in with an action that you would like to take. This has been rapidly followed by the thought of failure, embarrassment, shame and disappointment if your action fails. What of it! Fail, fail again, learn, progress and fail some more. When you kook back in months and years from now. You will realise that it was your action and your ability to overcome the failures that got you to where you are.
I feel sometimes that people waiting for the perfect time to carry out an action is a reflection of fear. I’ve often said before that fear for me is like cellophane almost imperceptible but one layer is enough to constrict your emotions and your actions. If we had several layers of fear and doubt negative self-talk you can be certain that you will not fail because you are paralyzed by inaction.
In today’s social media obsessed world, so many of us are obsessing and striving for that perfect body. The body that was created in Photoshop or that was created through starvation. That was created by someone having unique genetic makeup. A unique photograph that existed perhaps for a couple of hours because the person was so dehydrated, covered in makeup with perfect lighting to accentuate the beautiful human form. Stop waiting to love your body and love who you are. Today is the 27th anniversary of my wedding and I looked at the wedding video and photographs today. I’m shocked at how slight, slim and lean I looked. However, I can remember the week before my wedding upping my mileage and upping my visit to the gym because I felt so unattractive and overweight. Enjoy the health that you have now! Make good choices with your food and your exercise. Make choices that will reduce your stress and anxiety in life. Stop waiting for that perfect body.
Stop waiting for the perfect partner. In recent years there has been an explosion of apps and platforms that allow us to find people who would match our ideal as a perfect partner. The truth is for me that we are all imperfect. We all have flaws and we all have negatives. I have been with my wife now for some 30 something years. I am sure at times I have driven her completely crazy with my oddities, habits and energy. I believe the secret to our successful relationship has been to negotiate show tolerance, to have understanding and to understand and accept the perfection in each other is really only that – an imaginary media creation.
Infuse your life with action. Don’t sit there waiting, pondering and frozen. Make that phone call, apply for that job, go on that holiday, climb that mountain, write that book and tell that person you love them. Apologize and let anger go from your life. Dream the craziest dream that comes into your head. Make a plan, take action. Learn from your mistakes. Do not spend the rest of your days waiting for something great to happen in your life. You have the power to change the direction of your life. Just use your passion and your energy. Don’t stand at the top of that diving board looking down at the pool consumed by fear. Lean forward and let the momentum happen. Take action!