“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon, Sr.
The other day I planned to work out in my apartment community’s fitness center after I finished writing. But when I left the coffee shop, and walked straight into a bright, sunny day, I felt the last thing I wanted to do was stare at a magazine on an elliptical machine.
What I really wanted to do was pull out my bike from where it had been resting for months and do a little exploring.
Immediately, I began making excuses in my head as to why I shouldn’t do this.
I’d get a better work out on the elliptical. That’s what I’d planned to do—and it’s good to stick with plans (a weak argument, I know). It would be hard to get my bike out of the closet under my stairs, where it was wedged in with other stored items.
Suddenly I realized I was talking myself out of doing something I really wanted to do.
This may seem like a little thing, but I believe the little things are the big things.
It’s the tiny choices we make about how we spend our hours that dictate how we spend our lives—whether we get out and enjoy what’s in front of us, or make excuses to do what we always do, or what we planned to do.
And this type of thinking can obviously impact the things we traditionally consider big—the choices we make and the risks we take in our personal and professional lives.
If we’re not self-aware, we can end up making all kinds of excuses to not do what we want. We can tell ourselves it’s unwise, or impractical, or unrealistic, or pointless, or laughable, or risky, or inadequate.
We can tell ourselves we’re unsure, or unprepared, or uncommitted, or untalented, or incompetent, or too busy, or too distracted.
We can rationalize that it’s too late, or we’re too old, or it’s too soon, or we’re too young. And we can convince ourselves it doesn’t really matter.
Except it does. Whether it’s a tiny choice or a big decision, if it’s something we want to do, it matters.
Happiness is when we recognize that, dispute our own defeatist excuses, and then get out there and enjoy instead of holding ourselves back.
Photo by Shadowgate