This little phrase can help you in the smallest tasks throughout your day, or in very large decisions that will affect your future. What is it that you are wondering about doing today, or wishing you were on the other side of?
I’ve become extremely skilled and proficient at putting the thought of clearing out my garage shelves the farthest out of my mind as possible. Each time I pull my car into the garage, I see the stuff and it taunts me. It says, “You’ll never get this part of your life organized.” “Just give up on the idea of organizing this stuff, it’s too much!”
My garage is a catch all for things I’m not sure what to do with. For me, there’s obviously many things that fit in this category. The phrase that helped me begin this looming project is, “If not now, when?” To me, it didn’t mean that I must get the whole thing revamped and done. It did mean that if I don’t start, it won’t get done, and now is better than never.
Starting small on projects is the key for me. I give myself an hour or so, then I quit. If I take on too much, it will overwhelm me and I’ll stop. If that happens to me and my garage, it’s back to pulling in and seeing the mess again. I’ve come too far now to stop!
What’s the project that haunts you? Is it a closet that needs clearing out? A phone call that needs to be made? Cleaning the dishes today? Try asking this question to see if it’s the gentle motivation you need to start.
On a bigger scale, this phrase helped me start my own business. The thought of being an independent lifestyle coach rolled around in my mind for years. I even had the name of the business, Courage Daily Coaching, years before anything began. I was working in the corporate world as a lead to a group of coaches, but I longed for my own style and my own timing.
After retirement, the phrase “If not now, when,” kept popping up. So, I began small by dipping my big toe in the possibilities. Now it’s a rewarding business where I use all I learned through the difficult personal school of hard knocks, my corporate experiences of working with others, and my studies. It took courage to begin, and now I help others find their own courage in their life challenges.
On an even bigger scale was the thought of moving to another country for three months. Some friends and family questioned our sanity. Hey, I questioned the sanity of this. But, as a retiree in my late 60s, if not now, then when? We took the plunge, booked our flights and apartment, spent more money than we expected, and had an experience that rivaled nothing else in our lives.
Do you have a dream that seems so out there, that you stop trying to make it happen? Put the dream to the test. Ask yourself, if not now, then when? Will you look back on this time, where you are able to make it happen, and things are scary yet accomplishable, and will you be glad you started the dream? Or will you be a bit disappointed with yourself that you didn’t at least try?
Some dreams die. They were planted in us by well-meaning parents or friends or spouses. Circumstances beyond our control over time made them impossible to achieve. Maybe they never were our own dreams. Getting to the point where you can say, “Yes, this is what I want,” will help. I often ask myself this question, “What do I really want right now in my life?”
It’s good to sort it out in your 60s. Time is shorter now. Is it what I really want or is it what someone else wanted for me? Once I can answer, I have a definition of my true inner urging and wishes. I’ve found that when I start to take steps toward the dream, the most unusual and interesting things show up! This is true when cleaning the garage as well as the bigger scale dreams. Have you found this to be true, too?
Then a few times nothing clicked, nothing showed up to inspire, and the dream shriveled up and died. It’s ok. That one was left by the wayside, and I have no regrets. The ones that take-off have added untold joy and satisfaction to life.
I challenge you today to ask yourself, “If not now, when?”
Does this little phrase, “If not now, when?” inspire you? Is there an example where this type of phrase helped you get going? Do you have regrets that you didn’t start something when you had the time, energy, and financial strength to do it?