Believe me when I say I am guilty of putting the things I want to do (especially the ones for fun) on the back burner all the time because I always feel like things need to be perfect first. That or I’ll find something else that is “more important” at the moment. My brain turns into chaos. The setting needs to be perfect; the timing needs to be right. I need this new notebook, better clothes, better physique, the top of the line art materials, or this other specific equipment. The laundry needs to get done first; I haven’t cleaned the house in, well, 12 hours, so why not do that first? And maybe tomorrow or Monday next week will be a better day to start because there’s this entire whole other list of things that require my attention first.
I’m learning though that all that – the things we tell ourselves as to why we can’t just do something — is more than just excuses and reasons. Sometimes they’re just lies. And the more we welcome these lies and allow them to sit in our brains, the more they get comfortable staying until they are no longer temporary visitors but permanent barriers to living a meaningful life. To having fun. To doing things that ignite happiness in our souls and provide us with a sense of purpose. To just doing the dang thing, whatever that may be for you and me.
The truth is today is as great a day as any to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
Today is a great day to pick up the guitar, whether it’s something you just want to learn so you can finally channel your inner Taylor Swift (sans the air guitar) or it’s a passion that serves as an outlet that you’ve cased up and put in the back of your closet, collecting dust, because you decided your professional identity lies elsewhere instead of on stage with screaming fans, groupies, and billowing smoke effects. You don’t have to suddenly change your life and become a Rockstar. Today, just grab that guitar, warm up your fingers, strum and hum, and let the music take you to places you’ve been yearning to visit or haven’t been to in a long, long time.
Today is a great day to pluck a book out of your shelf. it’s been ages since you sat down to read for pleasure, but you’ve been longing to do it for months now. You’ve been daydreaming of how relaxing it would be to just kick your feet up or curl up in bed or sink into the depths of your tub while escaping reality even for just a few hours. Today, pick a book, crack it open, start reading, and just let your mind wander. I promise reality will still be there even if you make it past the epilogue.
Today is a great day to power up your computer, open your favorite word processing software, and pour out all the ideas you’ve been storing in that creative brain of yours. You’ve been aching to tell a story, to fill pages upon pages with words, to share how you perceive the world, to create all the inspiring, quotable metaphors. Writing them down and letting them out is just one step—a step that is more for you than anybody else. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you get to control what happens to these words. They’re yours and yours alone. So today, write it all down. Write it down until your hand aches or let your fingers fly off the keyboard, pounding keys after keys, until the story – your story – is out of you, immortalized and forged in ink.
Whatever else it is – walking more, running longer, lifting heavier, bringing your artistic vision to life, starting an Etsy shop, launching a website, creating a blog, trying a new recipe, asking for a promotion you and everyone else know you’ve earned – today is a great day to do it.
By all means, conduct a risk assessment, stay within your budget and means, do what you have to do to stay out of trouble (physically, mentally, emotionally, and even financially). But please don’t let the fear of starting something, of being a beginner, of things not being perfect enough, of all the lies stop you from doing what you’ve always wanted to do and achieving the joy that results from it.
Yes, there are plenty of things in the world that require time, thinking, hesitance, and thorough preparation. Yes, there are things that warrant fear sometimes. But there are also so many things that just require you to say yes and start. You don’t have to sacrifice your livelihood and compromise your routines and responsibilities. It only takes very little to begin some of the things you want to do. In most cases, you’ll find that what you need to start is already around and/or within you. Don’t make the enjoyable things – your dreams and passions and interests and hopes – be the reason you can’t sleep at night or the reason you can’t sit still or feel like you have no purpose, no life, no calling.
Our time in this magnificent world is way too short for that. Dig deep, carve out time intentionally, enjoy the process, and just do the dang thing.