There will always be reasons for you not to do something big in your life.
I was a grad student at Yale at the time and was happily married to my wonderful wife when one day she said, “let’s have a baby.” This was not out of the blue. We had been talking about this but had never decided on when. My immediate reaction was to think about all the difficulties, what was going on in our lives at the time, and why it was not the right time.
I was thinking about how it would be very hard to have a baby at the time. I was so busy trying to get my Ph.D. and was still a student. The list of reasons was long, and the reasons all made sense. My mind was spiraling into a kaleidoscope of problems, where the number and size of problems were growing due to the mirrors in my mind. From within this problem kaleidoscope, there was nothing but problems and difficulties with no apparent way out. As I took a pause from listing the issues and reasons why not to have a baby so I could gasp for air and avoid passing out, my wife calmly replied with a counter-argument.
The response was simple yet fantastic. My wife said, “There will always be something going on in our lives that is important and consumes our time. After your Ph.D., you will be new at your first job. Next maybe trying to buy a house, then a promotion… We will never be at a time when there is nothing happening and having a baby will be easy. Having a baby will always be hard no matter when we choose to do so, and there will always be excuses not to.”
This was such a wonderful and powerful argument. Needless to say not much more than nine months later we had our first child. If you take a look at my article about arguments, you will see that this was one of those moments.
The argument struck a chord with me. It was simple and so powerful that it has positively impacted my conscious effort towards looking at risk and opportunity to this day. I will write an article about when I decided to start Ople, and you will see how this played a role there as well.
It is easy to come up with excuses to avoid doing difficult things, and there will always be excuses. Stop preventing yourself from doing things that are challenging with excuses. Stop serving only those that appease your mind and make you feel ok. Stop being paralyzed with fear and not getting things done. If it is something worth doing, then do it.