You’ve wasted enough of your life. Stop putting it off, making excuses, or avoiding it – it’s time to just do it.
The start of the year is the time when most people receive the most call to action. Everyone starts with new resolutions and dreams for the year. Valentine’s Day in February calls on people to reevaluate their choices and actions in the area of relationships. Businesses, schools and families all get back into the swing of new routines and patterns that will frame the course of the next 365 days. For the first two months at least, it’s the common thing to have people pressuring you into actually following through on the things you said you would do, or taking a hold of the things you’ve said you’ve wanted.
And yet we’re already in February in another year that we said we’d finally do a lot of the things we said we’d do. We’re already in 2017 and doing without a lot of the things we said we wanted. Complaining to everyone else about how sad it is that we don’t have all these things that we wish we had. Well, it’s time to stop blaming everyone else and to start going after what you’ve always wanted. Here are 7 reasons you’ve gotta just do it.
#1: Forget “it’s meant to be” – you’ve actually been missing out
I mentioned how Valentine’s Day is in the start of the year and causes people to reevaluate their relationship choices. I’ve been seeing quite a few people over the last few weeks discontent with that and going out there to find a man or a woman. What’s been sad about it has been the method I’ve seen some people go do it. I saw a few people have their friends trying to set them up with random strangers or going out to the bars and clubs after having a few to drink to try to meet someone. And I just think, man, I know like 14 guys who’ve asked you out, or 7 girls who would say yes if you even tried to ask them, and here you are taking your opportunity to someone else in a situation that likely only ends one way.
The motive is often, “Well, if it was meant to be with these other people, it would’ve happened”.
I just think, “Well, do you think you’re ‘meant to be’ out there getting maggot and trying to meet someone that way?”.
I’m just using this as an example of how “meant to be” never tells enough of the story. It extends beyond relationships, but also includes them. If you’re saying no to every relationship to miss out on potential heartbreak, know that you’ve probably also missed out on potential love and acceptance. People having every single job opportunity and promotion come their way and neglect them because of a fear of responsibility, then wonder why they’re still not where they wanted to be in terms of finances or influence. When we’re given a moment to serve others or give of ourselves spiritually, but withhold it because our platform doesn’t feel big enough, we’re actually costing ourselves an opportunity to grow.
Forget if “it” is meant to be – what are you meant to be? May I suggest that it’s actually possible that the things you’ve watched yourself lose out on have been because you’re more content to miss out than you have been to try.
#2: Others are missing out because of you
This is a sobering thought, but others will miss out because of your inaction. If a parent doesn’t feed a child lunch, the child will unlikely eat lunch. Simple, right? If you miss out on a relationship or friendship with them, they miss out on a relationship or friendship with you, too. Makes sense?
So if you won’t encourage that person…
If you won’t take those bad things you notice and do something to fix them…
If you see someone being exploited but don’t act on it…
If you have the truth and you don’t tell anyone…
You are the reason that others lose out. Without vision, the people perish. Not just the person. That means my lack of vision will affect everyone around me. I’d better make sure I get my act together, and if I won’t do it for myself, I at least need to do it for them.
#3: You’re beginning to accept a life without it
The longer you put something off, the more unlikely you become to do something about it. TD Jakes speaks about how people will use separation as a tool to try to teach people a lesson. The only problem with separation is it actually teaches a person to live without you.
Are you separating from your dreams? “If my dreams were really meant for me, they would happen”. Actually, you’re just teaching yourself how to be okay with mediocrity and living below your potential.
“Oh, I’ll do it when it feels right”.
It’s never, ever felt right. And maybe it never, ever will.
Until you just do it.
#4: Fate, destiny, God and the universe won’t wait for you
Contrary to what we believe, we don’t have as much time as we think. I always think of a young man I knew a few years ago who died in his sleep at the age of 23. So young. His influence lives on in massive ways because he lived his life to the fullest.
But imagine if he didn’t. He would have died at 23 with all those things unrealized.
Les Brown famously said this:
The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.
Life isn’t going to wait for you. People will often blame God for a lack of events occurring. Well, actually, in the parable of the ten bridesmaids, half of them were locked out because they didn’t make themselves ready and they failed to arrive on time. Who’s waiting on who?
More than that, most of our dreams, accomplishments and the things we really want will involve other people. And people certainly aren’t going to wait forever. You can know that because you’re a person who won’t wait, either.
Have you ever heard, “strike while the iron is hot”? There’s a reason it’s still a common expression and a ripe piece of advice.
#5: Your lack of effort and commitment is probably costing you opportunities
Let’s say you have given things a shot, but they haven’t happened. Hey, a lot of the time you can give your absolute best and have things not work out. That does happen.
But in your heart, can you say that you actually gave it your best?
Pastor John Burns always asks, “Is someone actually getting the best of you?”. Are they? Or do your employers, your business partners, your close friends – do they only get half of your effort? Half of your focus? Do they only get you saying “oh yeah I’ll rock up to that and see what happens?”, or do they get someone who is there, present, and willing to give it their all? Does your husband or wife only get a small percentage of your heart? Do your kids only get part of your attention? Do your dreams only ever get you saying that you might check it out quickly and see how you feel about it?
Ask a farmer how many crops grow by only putting in half the effort. Then you’ll quickly see why your life may not be growing, either.
#6: Your regret is screaming at you
Regret can be a terrible thing. It can be a good thing before it happens, as it shows you the decisions that will really matter. But it’s awful when you’ve made a decision you weren’t happy about, and never done anything about it.
Or even worse – it’s now too late to do anything about it. Because someone has died, or you literally have no way of getting in touch with someone, or you’re too old for something that required a physical aptitude that you may no longer be able to have.
For many opportunities, there are windows. And you’ve watched enough of those close due to a lack of action. Use that as fuel that you won’t allow any more opportunities for regret in your life.
#7: Because you still have a chance
Are you dead?
If not, you still have a chance.
Not for everything, maybe. Not for it to look a certain way. But you still have a chance.
You have a chance to start again. Your past may be nothing but ashes, but ashes can be used to cultivate the next season of life.
You have a chance to set it right. If someone isn’t dead and you don’t have a legal document preventing contact, you can still set it right.
You have a chance to sort out your health. It’s not too late to start making small changes that make lasting differences, or to confront the bigger issues and resolve them.
You have a chance to start learning. Education is powerful. What an opportunity we have in our countries to learn something for the first time.
You have a chance to continue in the right direction. Okay, you took a detour, but now you can continue back to where you’re supposed to be.
You have a chance to love with your whole heart. The greatest gift you can give others is your love, and the greatest gift you can receive is also love.
You have a chance.
Just do it.
It’s your time. I was thinking of writing this over the last few days, and after a vision was set in my church this morning that was very much along these lines, I knew I should write it. I just did it. Now it’s up to you.