If you’re waiting for “the perfect time” to begin your life’s work, whether it is a new business, career, or venture, I have some news: you’re waiting on something that simply doesn’t exist. There is no perfect time to succeed. This fallacy paralyzes action, achievement, and advancement leading to one destination: failure. The consequences of believing in the “perfect time” myth are nothing short of devastating, specifically denying yourself and society the benefits of your life’s work.
Why We Wait
Society often promotes the misguided belief that people who successfully achieve their life’s work are lucky: the result of being at “the right place at the right time” or some other falsity. What makes this belief so dangerous is the introduction of luck, a superstition that unfortunately discourages most people from moving forward. Society misses the true driver of success because of its perception: we see the finished product, not the development of the qualities required to create it. This overly simplistic representation makes success look like an accident, but the simple truth is accidents are random—success is not. Success requires creativity, tenacity, resourcefulness, confidence, persistence, and vision. Developing these traits is a process that takes time and experiences, both positive and negative.
How to Begin
When we emphasize the development of successful qualities instead of luck or accident, it has the transformative effect of putting control back in your hands. For some, this control and ultimate ownership may feel unsettling; but don’t despair: you are not alone in your journey. Mentors are powerful resources who can help develop and fine-tune successful character. The mentor’s primary power lies in his own success story: it conveys the knowledge and confidence that someone, with a similar background or circumstance, didn’t wait for the perfect time and overcame many obstacles to successfully realize their life’s work. Mentors have blazed a path, detailed with useful experiences and recommendations that can inspire and be incorporated into your own path.
Throughout history, there are countless examples: Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and hundreds of others who started their life’s work when the timing was far from perfect and went on to achieve their goals. Take the time to do the research to find a mentor that best matches: 1) where you are and 2) where you plan to go. Most importantly, use your mentor throughout the entire process to inspire you to move forward.
When you find yourself delaying your life’s work for the “perfect time”:
- Forgive yourself. You’re overcoming society’s programming.
- List out why you’re delaying. You will find most excuses are unfounded.
- Find mentors and learn from their experiences.
- Determine the qualities you need, obstacles for attaining them, and ways to overcome.
- Set out to learn those qualities. They all can be learned.
Make no mistake, the pursuit of your life’s work will be filled with missteps, doubt, and fear. But, the qualities you innately possess, develop, and discover will give you the foundation to remain steadfast when times get tough.
So, even if there is failure along the way, you will have the confidence to try again.
And every time you try: it’s the perfect time.