Don’t Put Your Life On Hold

I thought I had to put my life on hold until I wrote and published a novel. Then I can finally take the job I wanted.

First I need to be something special, I thought. Mistakenly.

I turned down three great jobs. I was more and more miserable. I wrote four novels. Nobody would publish them.

Another time I thought I had to put my life on hold until I sold a business. Then I could “relax” and “get in shape.”

Another time…. and….another time…

And so on.

Eventually, instead of publishing a novel, I took the job I had turned down two years earlier and my life changed forever.

I had put my life on hold for two years.

Another time, instead of first selling the business…actually, I DID put my life on hold then. Unfortunately, the real world is not only filled with positive examples.

But I do know this: if I put my life on hold, then they win. They will destroy me.

There is always a gap (small or large) between where we are and where we would like to be.

The gap is filled with excuses. You don’t have to stop the excuses. It’s hard to do that. Just notice them. Say, “it’s ok. These are just excuses. Eventually I won’t have them.”

Forgive yourself before you choose yourself.

I write this because I dealt with this 25 years ago. I dealt with this last year. I deal with this right now. Every day.

Who wins? Who are “they”?

The people who are sitting in your heart right now. Weighing it down. Killing you. With their judgments about what is “right.”

But really in every case there is ultimately only one person. And I see him. In the mirror.

  • Adil Elias

    I have to say thank you, this resonates with me so much that you wouldn’t believe.

    I know that you are right, I know that I won’t listen, what’s worse I know what’s wrong with me, so I am going to work on this backwards from the finishing project I am in all the way back to this day when I’m writing this, reducing the hours, meeting friends, calling family more, doing something for me, I can delegate, maybe I’ve always known that I can delegate and I have been giving excuses all along.

    This is going to be another me VS me match, and I have won a couple in the past, sometimes there are emotions inside you that will fight change with, I call them the me VS me challenges. I draw a fat, complacent me Vs a healthy happy me, and every time my loser instincts kick in, I ask myself which version of me this would benefit.

    I guess I will revisit this post next year to tell you how it went, today I’m making a decision, and a plan.

    Meanwhile, I have to say thank you.

  • Tanya

    Too many times we wait for the perfect time, or for something to just happen… It just doesnt work like that. Great post.

  • Jibola Sogbein

    The way you use ‘They’ in this article is very reminiscent of DJ Khaled’s ‘Keys to success’. They want us to put our life on hold, so what are we gonna do? We not gonna put our life on hold!

  • Sam Browne

    The brutal truth, succinctly stated. The wonderful thing about this realisation is this: Since there is no day when everything is fantastic and you can finally get in shape and write that book and make a million and get that girl, you can choose yourself today, and do a few little things that will compound (along with the small efforts of many other future days) to something worth having. The hard thing is, you’ll forget this. You’ll have to keep having this realisation over and over through your life.

  • Yeah, those irritating chameleons. They are the heart starters and the heart wreckers.

  • Pieter C.

    Great realization! Thank you!