There is one simple reason why you should be following your passion right now: You don't have much time. It isn't "time" in a philosophical sense, but time in a scientific context. Physically, there isn't much time for you, or any of us, to make an impact in the world.

Artist Tim Urban has a brief, thoughtful post on how little time each of us have. It's worth visiting Wait But Why for the visuals, but here's the gist of his article:

I'm 34, so let's be super optimistic and say I'll be hanging around drawing stick figures till I'm 90. 

If so, I have a little under 60 winters left... I read about five books a year, so even though it feels like I'll read an endless number of books in the future, I actually have to choose only 300 of all the books out there to read and accept that I'll sign off for eternity without knowing what goes on in all the rest.

He goes on to visually illustrate how rare commonplace experiences really are.

Here's my take:

  • If you are waiting to turn a leaf in the new year, then you are potentially wasting those weeks or even months between now and then.
  • If you are looking for the perfect platform to launch your new idea, then you are losing time working on your market fit, creating an audience or, worse, actually making an impact.
  • If you are delaying writing that book only you have the experience to write, then you may be robbing your insight from people today, and some of those people won't be around if and when you actually finish your book. 

All this, of course, is assuming that you yourself will be around for the new year, in time for the perfect platform or when you finally stop delaying. Time is arguably going faster as you get older anyway.

Procrastination has its place, but not when you know where your passion already lies. To paraphrase uber-artist Elizabeth Gilbert, that's an insult to your given gift.

Like many entrepreneurs, I wouldn't have my career today without recognizing the risk and beauty in knowing my time on Earth is going to end. I encourage you to read Wait But Why's post and ask yourself what, exactly, you should be focusing on and creating today.

 

Published on: Jan 18, 2016
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