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Most people are just observers of their lives. Although they invest time into planning their retirements, their holidays and even their careers, not many people think about creating a serious plan to map out the rest of their lives.
I was just a spectator of my life up until my 30th birthday. For years, I made daft choices about how I’d spend my time, and would base my decisions upon how I felt each day. I was an indecisive, inconsistent, and unreliable man when I didn’t have a plan for my life. You could say that I was ignorant to the idea of life planning!
In 2008, while living in New Zealand, I was made redundant by my employer at the time. His reasons were that I was irresponsible and unreliable. Back then, he was right. I was these things.
While I had made decisions to change in the past, none of them had stuck, and none of my decisions was backed up with action. My best intentions were nothing more than mere nice ideas. It was at this time that I hit rock bottom hard enough.
I was no longer willing to be blown around like a leaf in the wind, by the whims, opinions and the worldviews cast upon me by other people.
It was at this stage of my life’s journey that I realised it was time to take the bull by horns and begin counting my days to live with greater intentionality, focus and more purpose.
In the past, I had never taken my future seriously. I was commonly more concerned about how I felt on a day-to-day basis. As I focussed more on temporary happiness and short-term pleasures, I failed to realise the direction in which my life was heading. I was on the downward spiral and picking up speed fast.
I’ve learned that life is a journey. And like any other journey, our life has a start point, a middle and it has an end. For some people, life can end suddenly and unexpectantly, or even after years of declining health – but eventually, the end will come for all of us. We have no choice about this.
We could ignore this truth, or even laugh at it, but either way, the inevitability of this fact will not change. An unnamed poet once wrote; “Death comes equally to us all and makes us all completely equal when it comes.” I find this a sobering thought.
While this idea might seem morbid to some people, the good news is that our journey has a middle section, and this is our real journey, the part where we make all of our decisions, the part between where we start and where we end.
For some people, this middle section can be tragically brief. For most of us, though, our journey can last for seventy or eighty years.
As we progress our way through life, it can be easy to get caught up in the ‘rat race’ of mundane existence. It’s true that most people put more planning into their evening meal than what they do into their ultimate legacy.
Napoleon Hill once said, “Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
There is never a right time to take action. There is seldom a ‘right’ time to launch a new project. There is never a good time to prioritise our relationships, to write a book, to change our habits, embrace some new habits or change the world.
Most people live their best life inside of their head. Most people never pursue their dreams or fulfil the goals they set throughout their youth. At times, we can all be guilty of spending more time focussed on our problems, than what we do on those things that matter the most.
Other than God, no one in the world has a plan for your life. If you don’t create a plan for your future, you might spend the rest of your days helping someone else to fulfil the plan that they have for theirs.
There isn’t a right time for anything, and there’s no such thing as perfect timing. If you know that something in your life needs to change, get started now. Don’t wait until you feel ready; you never will. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can commit to today.
Tomorrow might never come.
If you don’t have a plan or a vision for your future, I’d like to help you with this.