I know my biggest challenge has been with procrastination. I would have a light bulb moment, and then…you guessed it: wait.
You might call this “someday mentality.”
It might be that I’m inspired to call someone and tell them I love them.
I might have an idea for a program I want to create.
Or realize it’s time to clean up my eating and get moving more.
But more often than not, it’s about what I KNOW would make me feel more engaged and alive in my life, yet I wait.
I’m putting off the things I KNOW would make me happier, because I’m too busy (fuck I hate that word, it’s the disease of our generation) with shit that doesn’t really matter.
I’m too busy putting out fires. Putting one foot in front of the other. Keeping on top of things. Putting others needs ahead of my own.
Maybe you can relate to this insanity?
It’s the mentality that we’ll get to it someday. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow, but definitely not right now.
Have I ever told you the myth of why the Buddha went on a quest for enlightenment?
Well, if I have, here’s a refresher for you because it’s a great story with an important message. You’re welcome.
Here it goes:
The Buddha was born of the Brahmin caste and his family was extremely wealthy. His palace was so huge it had a thousand doors, a thousand concubines, and every luxury of that time.
It was so huge that he was protected from ever having to engage with the outside world.
One day though, he became curious and asked his driver to take him out into the city.
As they were driving, the Buddha noticed something unusual and asked the driver, “Driver, what is that?”
The driver responded, “That is a sick person, all of us will eventually get sick. That is the nature of life.”
A while later the Buddha asked the driver, “Driver, what is that?”
The driver responded, “That is an old person, all of us will eventually get old. That is the nature of life.”
(I know, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and asking yourself how he could not possibly know this, but that’s why it’s a myth, right?)
The Buddha then saw something else and asked, “Driver, what is that?”
The driver again responded, “That is a dead person, all of us will eventually die. That is the nature of life.”
The Buddha saw one last person that he was unfamiliar with and asked, “Driver, what is that?”
The driver once again responded, “That is an ascetic.”
The Buddha had never seen anyone so at peace before and it inspired him to leave his palace in search of that kind of freedom.
These four encounters are known as the Heavenly Messengers. They are the moments in our lives that wake us up from our trance. They remind us of the temporary nature of life and bring us back to what matters most.
We’ve all had those moments.
Perhaps it’s the pain of watching someone you love get sick, or your own illness that has brought you back to what’s truly meaningful to you.
Maybe it’s watching your loved one’s age, and realize that your time with them is getting shorter each day so you remember to cherish your time with them.
It might be the pain and loss when someone you love dies, reminding you of your own mortality and to reflect on how you want to be spending your time.
Or perhaps you’ve encountered someone who has ignited the spark for you to live more fully, more engaged, and inspired because of their own freedom and joy.
Each of these messengers are like a reminder from heaven to wake up and connect back to what really matters to us.
So why do we continue to wait?
Why do we keep going back to sleep believing that we can wait until tomorrow or next year to finally get our shit together, to put our happiness first, to get fit, to start a business, to say “I love you”, to forgive, to fully embody our lives, to make a difference?
I know I’ve used every excuse there is, from: I’m too young, too old, not thin enough, not ready yet, don’t know enough, it’s not the right time, I need a plan first, I need to feel it out more, and being scared of being judged.
“The trouble is you think you have time,” is one of my favourite quotes from the Buddha.
We live in the illusion that we are guaranteed more time, and it’s a lie.
It is the most insidious lie because it keeps us from sharing our gifts, keeps us small, and robs us of our happiness.
You have one life, and it passes by faster and faster with each coming year.
Why spend one more moment of your short precious life unfulfilled, unhappy, or uninspired?
Everything you need is already within you, all you need is to shift your focus from later, to now.
There is no “right” time. This is the time.
I want this to be your best year yet.
I want for you to feel that “spark” every day of your life. I want for you to KNOW your purpose and feel courageous to go for it confidently.
I want to hear from you now: what have you been putting off that you are going to start doing now? What have you been too scared to do, so you’ve been waiting for the “right” moment? Share with me in the comments below!