Just the other day I was overhearing a conversation between two people in a busy coffee shop.
“These past few years have been really really tough for me, nothing has been working out and lining up – and now with mercury in retrogade I’ve been feeling really off. It just hasn’t been the right time for my life to line up. But thankfully my chart is looking better now – this year is going to look like a fantastic one so I’m looking forward to great things.”
Now, regardless of whether or not you believe in astrology, that’s not the point – the point is that this person genuinely believed that there was a perfect time to begin building her life, and taking control of her health.
But there’s something scary beneath this: almost every successful, healthy person I’ve ever met knows there’s no such thing as the “right time,” that things usually only get harder as we get older, and that today is the best day to start anything – because most things are a process and take time.
At the end of the day, people who wait, thinking there’s a “right time” are missing one huge principle that most successful people understand.
Why The “Right Time” Never Comes
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci
Here’s the thing about life – you’re either one of two people:
Someone who takes responsibility for your life, and acknowledges that almost everything about your current life is the way it is because of choices you’ve made.
Someone who blames the world, forces outside them, or their circumstances for the way their life is.
The first kind of person’s life is filled with personal responsibility, and the latter, blame.
(I’ve talked about these previously and how to stay motivated here).
But there’s another big thing.
People that tend to wait, and wait for “ideal timing” fail to understand what success really looks like. They don’t understand that it’s a process, and it’s driven by the compound effect.
Here’s what that really looks like.
Consider this: people waiting for “the right time” fail to understand the curve of success.
Let’s say losing 20 pounds takes 1000 repetitions of a tiny habit like cooking dinner. You have to repeat it a certain amount of times for maximal benefits, and in order to do it 1000 times takes a certain period of time that is difficult to speed up.
If it really took you 1,000 repetitions of a tiny habit, starting sooner is better than starting later, right?
If you start today, you can clock out 300+ days by the end of the year, before your friend who is waiting for a couple more months or years once they’re working less.
But there’s something else occurring too.
Month 12 – a year into taking little, regular action appears to make little difference between the group taking barely any action, and just waiting for things to happen – but what you can’t tell is that they’re on a flat line, or downward curve. It’s just so subtle and so minute that you don’t realize it until years later. That’s how “the weight creeps up” as we get older.
It isn’t until month 18 do you really see the habit group take off, in an almost exponential growth pattern.
And then finally, at month 36, three years into repeating this simple, daily habit for thousands of repetitions, the tiny habit group is 5 times more successful than the group waiting for proper timing.
So they’ve lost 5x the amount of weight. That’s 5 pounds or 25 pounds.
They’ve saved 5x the money. That’s investing $50,000 instead of $10,000.
And they’ve accomplished 5x as many goals. They’ve excelled at a new hobby, reversed diabetes, taken up a brand new career, and transformed their life.
All because they understood the very simple science of success.
The Critical Mindset That Changes Everything
So imagine this.
Once you fully understand that health is a process, and not a magical event you arrive on when you have more time, money, friends, your kids are at college – you realize this big truth:
Health is just a million tiny things, done over time, and there is NO better time than right now – regardless of the alignment of the planets or the stars. You still have to start some day, and you still have to take 1,000 actions along the path.
Once you shift, you realize you can achieve literally anything you’ve daydreamed about. Life opens up and seems much more like a playground, because you realize that the sooner you start something, the sooner you can achieve it.
Three Things Will Transform Once You Realize This
Like everything I talk about here, the power of tiny habits, and the power of psychology are simply amazing in their ability to transform your entire life once you grasp them.
Three things in particular, unrelated to health, will also improve once you grasp these.
#1 Every goal in your life will seem attainable – with time.
Once you understand this huge mindset shift, all goals seem attainable – with time – no matter how impossible they seem now. When we see an Olympian performing, it seems superhuman, and to most of us, Olympians are superhuman.
But you only see them at their peak, their 5 minutes of fame.
You don’t see 10 years training 6 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When you realize that getting your dream body, losing 30 pounds, boosting your energy, or reversing a chronic health condition is like planting an apple tree – it begins to make sense.
You plant a seed today.
You water it for 30 days. Now you have a sapling.
You water it for 300 days, now you have a shrub.
You want it for 3,000 days, now you have a tree with beautiful, delicious apples.
This is how achieving anything works. The sooner you plant the seed, the sooner you get the life you want.
#2 You’ll become richer and happier
“Whoaaa Alex, you’re becoming a financial coach now?
But here’s the thing: happiness and yes, wealth, also follow this exact same rule!
It’s that whole, save $2 a day for 30 years thing.
Water the seed every day of your bank account, and you accumulate huge wealth.
Or, better yet, you start building a side business just 1-2 hours a day after work, and 3 years later you get to quit your job and do what you love, having replaced your day job income.
What about happiness?
The “secret” to happiness has never been a secret at all.
Researchers consistently support the principles that monks 5,000 years ago already knew:
- Practice gratitude
- Do random acts of kindness
- Write down positive experiences you are thankful for
- Reframe how you see the world
The difference is that once you do it every day for 100 days, magically your depression has lifted and magically you’re much much happier.
The sooner you sow that first seed, the sooner you arrive.
#3 You’ll shift from blaming others for your lack of success… to taking full responsibility for your life.
This is perhaps the best of all.
What would every day be like if you KNEW you were in control?
I mean imagine that – you could change ANYTHING you wanted – your job, your financial status, your health, where you lived, how you lived, your happiness – anything.
Most of us don’t believe these things are possible, but they are.
When you finally commit to being responsible for everything in your life, you feel in control. You are empowered. You decide that yes, there are some things you can’t change, but there’s a lot you can. Most of it you can change.
Imagine what it’d feel like to wake up every day and realize you could live ANY life you wanted, have any health you wanted, financial level, etc?
Once you ditch the idea that there’s a “right time” to begin, you’ll begin the most important psychological shift you could ever make.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.”
– Chinese Proverb
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What reasons have you been telling yourself that it’s “not the right time” to start?
You don’t have enough money? You work too much? You sleep too little? Something else?
Please tell me below!