Some advice that’s put out there can be harmful. We often hear stuff like “it’s never too late” and it’s so common that we just accept it at face value. But is it really never too late? When you’re 90 years old on your deathbed can you still become a professional football player? Well, the answer is no, you can’t. In an ideal world you could put off your dreams out indefinitely and whenever you would be ready you could get to it and still have enough time to get it all done. We’re not living in an ideal world. Things are constantly happening, changing, getting worse or better. There will always be new events that are just waiting to be used as excuses for any purpose one may have for them.
This habit of putting off things we need to do, hoping that the number of tomorrows we still have left will be enough to both pursue and enjoy the fruits of our work is a symptom of the “It’s never too late” mentality and pardon me, frankly bullshit advice. This makes us docile, it’s a blanket statement that just covers all of our excuses at the right spots. Since it “will never be too late” why not start that project “some day”, and that day will be determined by the sisters of fates or some celestial alignment. Right? No. The world rarely conspires to hand us our destinies on a silver platter without any effort on our part. Maybe such cases do occur but the chances of you just stumbling into your dream life are infinitesimally slim.
It is up to us, to choose when to start. And I sincerely believe that if you can start now, you should. We’re all living on borrowed time, and at any point, death could come to collect. The ludicrous idea that we will always have more time, is a cancer that eats away at dreams until nothing is left but the husk of a vision, sustained by a decaying host.
This is it, the only time you have is now. That could be a licence to stop pursuing your goals, but it is the ultimate reason to begin working on your life and your dreams. At least the future will potentially have a scenario in which you succeed and live long enough to do so. Yet the longer you wait the smaller the gap between the current you and death becomes. You end up with less time to work on your dreams.
Think of it another way, deep down there is a purpose that truly animates you. A gift that you can offer the world or a small portion of it. To live a falsehood, drudging away at meaningless work that feels safe is to cheat both you and the world. Now look, I’m not saying that if you take a chance at living your dreams the world will turn rosy and unicorns are going to fart out rainbows everywhere you tread. Chances are you’re going to have to suffer for your dreams. It won’t be an easy ride to the top, you’ll have nights when you just wish you kept marching on the tried and tested road of soul-sucking meaningless living. But I can promise you one thing, at the end of it all, amongst the last thoughts that will flash before your mind’s eye. I sincerely doubt that anyone will be thinking, “I really wish I never followed my dreams”.
Even as a failure, I believe just having the guts to actually try, to start living your dream will always trump sticking to the status quo. If you have a dream, don’t wait for the right time. It usually never comes, you have to make the right time.
And oh….the next time someone has the gull to tell you it’s never too late, just pretend you heard the wind whistle and you were alone. Or if you’re feeling generous send them to this article.
Live your life with a sense of urgency, if you feel like telling someone you love them, do so. If you want to be a writer, painter, sex expert become that. Don’t wait for permission, don’t let your mind or that of others come up with reasons to dissuade you. It will, it always does when you give it space to. There will always be a safer option, but it isn’t always the right choice. What good is there in playing it safe? It won’t make you die any slower.
One day it will be too late, the years of youth will have gone by. The time for an idea’s “best use before” will have expired. The people you needed to settle disputes with, to love, to help, to inspire will have merged with the earth, in the literal sense, and you will be on your way to joining them.