Treat today like it is your last. Reach out and meet people in your industry. Finish that project you’ve been procrastinating on. Stop making excuses for why you’re not ready to be successful. Take risks and chances that you’ve avoided taking out of fear.
Occasionally when I’m writing, I find that some of the topics that I investigate may sound cliche or generically common. I end up rationalizing my intent to write about it when I realize that even though it may be truly obvious or common sense, I witness too many people not applying the knowledge in their lives. In some cases, they are simply forgetting how valuable it might be and just need a nudge. Sometimes, we forget some of the most basic, but important, life lessons that can give us guidance for true success. Cliches are great ways to remind us of some important knowledge gained from our collective history. One of my favorite cliches is: “There’s no time like the present.” It reminds me that now is the best time, and it doesn’t attach any predefined reasoning of why it’s so. It gives me an opportunity to explore, in my own mind, why using today is such a valuable lesson.
I haven’t published an article in a few weeks because I decided to take some time off, having reached yet another rounded decade in age (a.k.a. my 30th birthday). To celebrate such a historic event, I went with a group of close friends and family to jump out of a perfectly good plane; at 15,000 feet. Rightfully so, I had several moments before the actual leap occurred, to reflect on why I’m jumping, things and events in my life, and shake in my boots. To be honest, I wasn’t frightened by the jump or falling portions of skydiving… it was the anticipation of it happening. The climb up to the atmosphere, high above the earth, in an excessively tiny and rickety plane with no straps or supports, also did not help. There were moments of my life that flashed by, reminding me that we only live once. “Take advantage of today” whispered my conscience.
Then I leaped from the cranky plane, flipped through the air, and viewed the Earth in a way that most people only see in videos. Almost instant acceleration towards the ground felt surprisingly comforting, giving me an opportunity to appreciate the opportunity given to me of being alive. My experience couldn’t possibly have been much different than the hundreds of thousands of people who have skydived since the invention of flight, but it certainly reminded me that I’m alive.
Generally, I try not to write much about my personal life, because most people these days are more interested in newsworthy content, and don’t really want to be bothered by the details of people they don’t know. In this case, my experience hurdling through the air (nearly 3 miles above the surface), gave me a swift reminder that I can’t continue to put things off for tomorrow. I wanted to correlate my life jostling event with one of the most important concepts of life and business.
In business, many of us put off our projects until they are perfected. We want the world to see a product worthy of worship in hopes that it translates to higher gross sales (and hopefully higher profitability; but that’s another topic altogether). More of us lack the confidence we need to network or close successful deals absolutely necessary for the survival of our businesses (depending on who you listen to, 70-95% of all businesses started will fail). And even most of us are frightened by the idea of presenting at conferences and general public speaking. Why are we afraid? Is it because our presentation today, may reflect on how people see us tomorrow?
Everyone will interpret the “seizing of today” differently, but it’s important to spend some time identifying what’s important to you and your business. It’s time to start conquering your fears now, and not waiting until your life has passed you by to feel regret. If you died today, would people who knew you be able to say that you’ve done everything you wanted to do?