Tiny Wisdom: On Living

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” -Eckhart Tolle

You might not think to compare beloved children’s writer Dr. Seuss to spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, but there’s a common message about happiness in both their works: We can only experience joy through action in the now, not by waiting to get it some day, when everything works out and makes sense.

From Seuss’ Oh the Places You Will Go:

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

He then writes: No! That’s not for you!

But I’m going to alter that slightly since we’re all adults now. That very well might be you. I know that it’s been me. I’ve waited for the right time to make a change, the ideal time to tell someone how I feel, the safest time to try something new, and the easiest time to take care of myself.

The only problem is that it rarely feels right, ideal, safe, or easy. Those words are merely excuses to let the moment slip away. And it does. Over and over again until they have run out.

This moment is a chance to do something differently, no matter how small it may seem. Every big change starts with one small choice.

The best way to stop waiting and start living is to decide that life happens now, and to ask yourself: If you knew time was running out, what would you stop waiting to do?

Photo by scion_cho

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, and Tiny Buddha's Inner Strength Journal and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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