Start Now

bonsaiAn ancient Chinese proverb reads, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”

There never seems to be a shortage of reasons to put off enacting change:  I’m too busy.  I’m too old to change.  It will take forever and I want results now.

There is a harmful way of thinking that tries to (among other things) convince people that if there is a possibility of not succeeding, or not seeing desired results in a timely fashion, then choosing to do nothing is the better way to go.  In essence, it whispers, “If you can’t have it all and have it now, then you might as well do nothing”.  And that is what most people end up doing: nothing.

But here’s the thing: that thought is trying to rob you of something.  Two significant somethings, in fact.  It tries to rob you of satisfaction and growth in the present and satisfaction and growth in the future.

If you plan a seed today, you will not enjoy the shade of a 20-year-old tree today from it.  But, you will feel satisfaction in knowing that you planted something, that you took part in a creative process, and that you invested in the future.  As you observe a plant sprouting through the soil, you won’t be eating fruit from the tree, but you will notice growth and have greater hope for the future.  Further, in 20 years, not only will you be enjoying fruit and shade, but you will find that you will have beautified a space and created something amazing that has benefited you and others.

The same goes with personal changes.  You won’t see big results immediately, but you will feel satisfaction in knowing that you are growing, and someday those results will benefit you and many others.

There will always be reasons to procrastinate.  But, the best time to start acting is now.  Unless, of course, you have a time machine.

So start doing something now.  You’ll be glad that you did!

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