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What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for? 

I once heard someone say that “you can’t force a tree out of a seed.”  The point was that it takes patience and sometimes you can’t rush things.  In order for the tree to grow, you can take care of it and water it, but it is going to grow on its own time.  

They also said that goals are the same.  We have to patient when improving in our life.  While I agree that patience is important, the problem that I see is that most people wait to plant the seed, which means that the tree never even has the chance to grow!  

I know many people that have always talked about doing something great.  They say they want to write a book, start a business or learn to play piano.  Somehow they never seem to accomplish their goals.  They always say what they want to do, but there is no action towards achieving the goal.  

I don’t recommend everyone rush into things in their life.  I recommend that people know their tendencies.  Some people tend to jump from one thing to the next and never give themselves the chance to grow.  Others procrastinate until they get to a point where they feel that “it is too late.”  It is too late to start a business because they have a family to support.  They feel it’s too late to write the book because they are no longer inspired.  They decide that they should have learned to play the piano when they were younger and that “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.”  

If you are the type to procrastinate in an attempt to make everything perfect, start to focus more on progress and less on perfection.  Focusing on progress will allow you to move towards your goals systematically.  Understanding that things might not be perfect but they are improving is important if you are the type to wait to “plant the seeds.”

If you are the type to jump from one thing to another and rush into things, learn to develop written, thought-out plans outlining what you are to do.  This will help you become more systematic and less about pure ambition.  Ambition is great but unless you give it time, you will always feel that you fall short of your goals.

When I was earning my MBA, a professor told us that a strength overdone becomes a weakness.  The idea was that we can easily take one of our strengths, such as being outgoing, and overdo it to become someone that has a hard time listening to others.  I agree with this statement but I also think that we need to focus on leveraging our strengths to improve in life.  We can’t just look at our weaknesses because our strengths are what get us hired, help us to achieve our goals, and give us our personal genius.  But it can easily lead to a weakness if we overdo it and don’t learn how to leverage our strength.  

In order to move towards your goals, develop systems which address your tendencies.  If you tend to procrastinate shift your focus from perfection to progress.  If you tend to rush to action, I encourage you to develop written, thought-out plans that detail your next steps.  Only by understanding your tendencies, will you be able to create the best systems to help you achieve your goals.