Recently I had a conversation with a friend. We caught up on what we have done in our lives up till this point. She shared about how mundane and repetitive her life after graduation is and shared with me what she had always wanted to do - to start her own bakery. Our conversation goes like this:
Why don't you start small, do it from your home and build a customer base from there.
"I don't think I can do it."
Never know until you try.
"I don't think I have the skills to manage it."
You will learn and pick up the skills along the way.
"What if it fails?"
Like I said, you will never know until you try.
"Maybe I should wait a couple more years, so I can gain the experience before I start anything."
In my mind, I thought: Even if you wait another year or 5 years or 10 years, you will never ever gain that experience by waiting. You will not be anywhere different from today if you didn't try or take any action. You will still be in the same situation.
Most of us grew up in an environment where we follow a set of rules set by our society. Get good grades to get a good job and live happily ever after. Many of us had many dreams we want to accomplish growing up, but as soon as we start working as an employee, we forgot to dream. We were taught to follow a certain path. If something sounds risky, we would rather take the safe path.
So many times I've heard people wanting to do something but because of their self-limiting beliefs, they are not able to proceed with what they want to achieve.
I'm guilty of that as well. I wanted to run for president of some student organization but... I think there's someone else who is more capable than me, with better leadership qualities etc. That is my excuse.
This is what I learned through reading books and associating myself with successful people. If you want to do something, don't put it off to another year, 10 years, or 20 years. Time will fly by and you will never get it back.
My favorite quote all time:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
All of us have that tree in us that we want to plant. Don't give up yet, you can still plant the tree today. Of course the best time to do anything is 20 years ago, but don't put it off planting today. What you do today will determine where you will be in the future. You might have put off doing something maybe 1, 5, 10, 15 years ago. The second best time to do it is today.
Maybe you want to lose weight?
Maybe you want to fix a relationship?
Maybe you want to start a company?
Maybe you want to write a book?
Maybe you want to travel to a certain country?
Maybe you want to go back to school?
Maybe you want to forgive someone?
Maybe you want to mend a broken relationship?
No matter how much time you think you wasted not doing something, it is not too late to do it now. Maybe it is our personal goals that we want to achieve, some place we want to visit, or some project we want to take on. We might want to get those done earlier but doing those things today. '
We can never go back 20 years ago to plant a tree, but we can always plant a new one today. 20 years from now, you will be happy that you did it today! My challenge to you is to plant a tree, either a real one or a metaphorical one - go and plant it! There is no better time for it.
The point is that we can’t go back and plant a tree in the past – it’s already passed. But we can always plant a new one today. Sure it isn’t going to give us the instant gratification that we want, but 20 years from now we will be so incredibly happy that we did it today! So today’s challenge is to plant a tree, either a real one or a metaphorical one – just plant it!