“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 (ESV)
“The best is the enemy of the good.” Voltaire
How often have we all said something to the effect of, “When X happens, then I will….”? Too often, we find ourselves waiting to begin or fully commit to an activity because we tell ourselves that all the pieces aren’t in place, and all the things we need to succeed aren’t yet available. It’s certainly true that taking risks and trying new things without sufficient resources can turn out very badly. It’s also true, however, that many of us grasp at this excuse because we’re simply afraid.
Fear of failure, the unknown, rejection…there are many things we might be afraid of. And fear can be a very useful emotion when we encounter genuine threats. However, when we allow fear to hold us back from living up to our potential, from moving in productive, beneficial directions, then fear is both useless and counterproductive.
The next time you find yourself continually defining the conditions you believe are necessary before you pursue a goal or dream, remember two things.
First, conditions are never perfect. “My success is now guaranteed because everything is exactly how it needs to be!”, said Nobody Ever. There will always be conditions we would like to be different than they are. Think back on your past achievements…have the conditions ever been perfect before you began pursuing any of those goals? No situation is perfect, and it never will be.
Second, nobody has a crystal ball. The future is always unknown. So, even if you DID find yourself in a situation where everything was exactly how you thought it needed to be to guarantee success, it certainly wouldn’t stay that way. Life would inevitably throw something at you…probably sooner than later…that messed up that perfection in a hurry.
So, stop waiting for perfect conditions. They will never happen. Instead, do your best to create conditions and acquire resources that give you a good chance of success, trust yourself, commit to consistent effort, and jump!