You can read the first part here.
Maria of Coelho’s Eleven Minutes realized a great truth as she was looking at the floral clock:
She looked around her. People were walking alone, heads down, hurrying off to work, to school, to the employment agency, to Rue de Berne, telling themselves: “I can wait a little longer. I have a dream, but there’s no need to realize it today, besides, I need to earn some money.” She understood that it was all a question of selling her time, like everyone else. Doing things she didn’t want to do, like everyone else. Putting up with horrible people, like everyone else. Handing over her precious body and her precious soul in the name of a future that never arrived, like everyone else. Saying that she still didn’t have enough, like everyone else. Waiting just a little bit longer, like everyone else. Waiting so that she could earn just a little bit more, postponing the realization of her dreams.
Letting life pass her by.
I think that, yes, my father probably met his “someday” and looked away.
Erin Doland of Unclutterer (as quoted in Wisebread) explains why several attempts at business – like my father’s – never took off – because it also happened to her: “My biggest mistake was thinking that I could make a go of my business while working a full time job for someone else. It wasn’t until I quit my other job and jumped into my business with both feet that things took off for me. I wish I would have made the switch much earlier than I did.”
Indeed, our jobs could be our cocoon. It protects us from realizing our true potentials. We go through it, going through the drudgery, watching our lives pass us by, and in the meantime, dreaming.
Yes. For most of us, leaving our employment and starting out on our own is our big “someday”.
Tim Ferris, in his book The 4-Hour Work Week, says: For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If its important to you and you want to do it “eventually”, just do it and correct course along the way.
Matt McGee of Small Business Search Marketing (also quoted in Wisebread) had this to say: “My first mistake was not starting. I was afraid of launching my own consulting business, and spent a few months doing something I didn’t really want to do. My heart wasn’t in it, and it probably showed. The lesson for me was about trusting my instincts and intuition, about having faith in myself to dive into the entrepreneurial waters and JUST DO IT. I haven’t looked back. It’s been the second best decision of my life.”
Coelho is right. People pay us for our time but there is no way for us to buy it back. No way.
Do not get me wrong. Getting to this path of making your dreams come true – starting a business or pursuing an interest or being true to yourself – may not be easy. As a matter of fact, it may take every ounce of you not to go back to “stable” and not to quit realizing your dream. But by God, realizing your potential and living this life is the most wonderful, most satisfying thing in this world.
It is what you were meant to do. It is what you are here for.
We were at a wedding, my father’s last. I heard him tell the groom, wistfully, “While you are young, enjoy life.” It is as if he packed into those words all of his good intentions, all that he will never realize because he knew that he was near the end of his road, that after everything he had gone through, this was the most important conclusion, the secret of life that he utters – to the wind and to the world. He then looked at us, his children, and I knew he meant for us to hear, he meant for us to understand, he meant for us to believe.
And we do.