“Now is all you’ve got.”
Five words. They’ve been echoing in my head since they were said to me by my Dad.
I’d like to say that this is the sort of article that I would write on my personal blog. Except, it’s not built yet.
I’d also like to say that I have a library of articles that I’ve written on Medium and that this would be a great addition to it. Except, all those articles live as ideas in Evernote. Not yet written.
So, this is my first step in to Medium. Because those 5 words have been screaming louder than any of the others. The message is too important to me… and maybe to you, too.
July was a bit of a bumpy month for me. It started off well enough, though. I spent the last weekend of June in NYC with some friends from all over the world. I leapt into July motivated and inspired from the dose of love and encouragement that my friends always give me. Only July 4th I participated in the world’s largest 10K race, the Peachtree Road Race here in Atlanta. It was hot as hell and it was my slowest 10K ever, but it was worth it. Then, on July 6th I went to Chicago for Podcast Movement, which was an amazing time catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a year.
I got home on July 9th and that week went reasonably well, despite having a project that I expected to be traveling for get postponed.
But by the next Sunday, without really realizing or understanding it, I was in a major funk. The kind that causes you to not sleep, not want to get up the next day, have zero motivation to be productive in any way, not get exercise, and generally not give a fuck about anything.
And I didn’t realize I was there until almost 2 weeks later. Now, to be fair, I knew something wasn’t right, but as I mentioned before, I didn’t understand it.
And on Friday, July 27th, I unloaded on my Dad who was gracious enough to listen to my ramblings. (He always is, by the way, I’m just not always good at sharing.)
The details are a little fuzzy, but I remember certain parts of my bitching, in which I revealed a few interesting things about myself:
“I always said I would be self-employed, but clearly I don’t know how. Somehow I deluded myself into thinking that entrepreneurship would be just as easy as my life has been. And my early entrepreneurial endeavors had quick wins that galvanized that feeling.”
“I’ve never faced any real adversity or challenge. I’ve always had a way out, a backup, or a fallback. I’ve had it easy. I’ve had a great life.”
And then finally,
“I feel like I’ve only made a half-assed commitment to everything I’ve done in my life. I’ve never known the feeling of committing to something 110% and having it fail.”
Throughout my rant, my Dad listened, made comments, and asked questions about some of the things I said. Eventually, I stopped ranting and he offered his take on things.
“Look son, first, I’m not sure who you’re comparing yourself to, but you probably ought to cut that out. Next, I’m not sure where you got this idea that you aren’t worthy and stopped believing in yourself. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past. That’s done, you don’t get it back, you can’t change it. Now is all you’ve got. And you don’t have a family yet, but when you do, you better believe that they’ll be impacted by what you do right now.”
Now. Is. All. You’ve. Got.
The discussion continued a bit. We talked about decision paralysis, business, all sorts of stuff, but those 5 words were echoing loud.
It’s not new. I’ve heard it before. But perhaps I wasn’t ready to receive it previously? I’m still not really sure I understand everything that I’m feeling regarding it. Perhaps I was just sort-of surprised when my Dad said it, as it’s not something I was expecting.
As today is Sunday night and rapidly becoming Monday morning, it has been a little over 2 days since we had the discussion. Forget having a song stuck in your head… try having 5 words bouncing around. It’s not something you can easily ignore. But it’s also an indicator that it’s something important.
Since then I’ve realized at least one thing… that there’s no shortcut on getting out of your own head.
There’s no bailout on making a decision. There’s no backup plan on believing in yourself. There’s no fallback on a 110% commitment.
Nobody can do those things for me. I have to do them.
It’s up to me to make the most of now. I tend to get lost in “what was” and “what could be.” I tend to forget that what I do now determines what “will be.” And there’s a huge difference between “could be” and “will be.”
Now is all I’ve got. Now is the only thing I can control. Now determines tomorrow.
I’m learning to embrace now. I hope you are, too.