There is no perfect time to start following your dreams — but there’s sure as hell a definite end date.
“There is never a magical time in which you will be in the perfect position to give something your all.”
Let’s start out with the heavy hit: There is a definite point in time after which anything you’ve ever wanted to accomplish in your life is no longer a possibility.
That day, of course, is the day you die.
Luckily, from this somewhat morbid and well-known train of thought comes a slightly lesser-known truth: While there may be a definite, ultimate ending point to all of our ambitions, there is not a perfect starting point.
As someone with a love of the creative arts, there is no shortage of people in my life who I know will never be happy behind a desk, or who to one extent or another will always have an itch telling them to take a leap of faith and pursue whatever it is that really makes them tick.
So what’s stopping them? What’s stopping you?
“Money,” one will argue. Another might say “I don’t have enough time!” or, for the very self-aware participant of our hypothetical conversarion: “fear of failure” might come up.
But virtually everything blocking us from pursuing our dreams gets condensed into one answer when confronted directly:
“Why aren’t you making music like you always talk about?”
“Why don’t you make a real go of it as an artist?”
“Why don’t you start that travel blog you’ve always wanted to do?”
“Why have you never opened that small business you’ve always wanted to own?”
“The timing isn’t right.”
If some magical, safe dream-chasing life stage existed, every single person would hit that moment and then — hey! Off I go to follow my dreams and be forever satisfied!
But we know that’s not what happens. We can look around us at the world and see droves of miserable people doing things they don’t like doing for years, and often decades on end.
That’s because the following pretty much never pan out:
- Pursuing your dreams ‘once you save up just a little bit more money.’
- Pursuing your dreams ‘once you live in the right place/meet the right person.’
- Pursuing your dreams ‘once the kids are all grown up.’
- Pursuing your dreams ‘once you’re more confident/no longer worry about what others think.’
- Pursuing your dreams ‘when you have a fallback plan in place so it doesn’t matter if you fail.’
- Pursuing your dreams ‘once I can afford that professional paintbrush set/professional microphone/new camera/new laptop/<insert new gadget that in no profession ever will replace hard work and consistency>.’
But there’s good news.
The good news is that the tools available to us today (hint hint, the internet and all that came with it) allow virtually endless ways for people to live off of their passions, if they only ever took the time to get started.
Now, I’m a big fan of inspiration that comes with some evidence and backing; we require academic and political arguments (Trump aside) to be backed by facts and citations, so why should I be able to just RAH RAH! you into getting a jump on your goals RIGHT NOW without providing evidence that it actually works?
I shouldn’t, so heres proof that the first steps on your journey don’t need to be perfect and supported by the perfect timing/equipment/practicality:
If you want to be a videographer
Here’s a dope music video shot exclusively on an iPhone 6
If you want to start your own small business
Here’s a great article on how one of the biggest vinyl subscription box type companies grew in the founders’ garage and the steps they took to grow their dream/vision to profitability.
If you want to make music
If you want to be a visual artist
You have a thing called Instagram! Designers, photographers, and fine artists of all kinds are skyrocketing their followings on a platform literally made to help people discover and follow visually creative images and the people who make them.
If you want to make a business out of an idea or combination of passions that you’re unsure of because it hasn’t been done before
Here’s a good friend of mine who decided he wanted to start a personal training business, but also wanted to stand out by theming everything to his nerdy roots.
Here’s an app that’s like tinder but for matching you with dogs to adopt.
Here are the guys who started “Bacon Salt” and have based their entire business off of making everything taste like bacon.
People who take risks on the things they believe in are the reason we have companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and a number of other gamechangers who, at the time of their inception, were majorly challenging the status quo and had no guarantees of success.
And if you want to be anything else
Anything you could want to accomplish is probably more feasible than you think, but it will still start with your own incremental actions, not the aligning of stars and the universe around you.
The point is…
The point is that it absolutely crushes me when I hear from friends and family how much they wish they could do a certain thing, but then just accept their own excuses for why that thing is out of reach.
So maybe you can’t quit your job today, but you can trade out an hour of Netflix in your evenings for finally putting together your business plan and then putting it into action.
Maybe you can’t up and travel the world today, but you can keep an eye out for amazing travel deals and cut out some of your optional monthly subscriptions and in a few months, wow! You’ve got money for a ticket halfway across the world.
Maybe you can’t instantly support yourself selling art, but you can cut out 30 minutes of browsing Instagram and instead use that time to make and upload one doodle to the platform every evening, and then go follow and talk to people who might be interested in what you do.
You might not be able to afford studio time to make the song ideas you always have in your head, but you can buy a cheap USB microphone and start showing the world your talent on Youtube and Soundcloud.
Maybe you’re not a videogame journalist/esports player/ Twitch celebrity yet, but you can start streaming your favorite games and building a following each weekend and work to make the connections you’ll need to succeed.
There are an infinite number of things you could want to do with your life, but if whatever you’re doing right now is not that one amazing thing that fills you with joy and satisfaction, then you need to take steps to make it happen right now…
…not when the ‘timing is right’.
Heck, I’ll even take my own advice and publish this post right now because 10:13PM on a Sunday is probably not the perfect posting time for viewcounts.
But it’s not about perfect timing, it’s about taking the time to do something in the first place.
Enjoy this? Share it with someone who needs to see it. 💚