Despite having studied the works of, and being certified as an instructor in his martial arts style, this quote by Bruce Lee hit me like a Mack truck. For over a decade I’ve been working to become a writer and a martial arts professional, but in that time I’ve put very little work in, to be perfectly honest.
Are you wasting your time spinning wheels of hope? For me, it was a combination of having too much arrogance and self-importance – if you were born between the late 1970′s and mid 1990′s you need to read this, which will hopefully make you analyze your approach to your work situation, it certainly opened my eyes.
This today, the twelfth installment of John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series was announced for preorder. It then occurred to me that I started reading that series very early on (around the time that book three was released). But I’ve been trying to be a writer since before that time, producing very little work. In that time, Mr. Flanagan has published ten books (including other series he works on).
Often, I would say things like, “if I write this, it’ll take me several months to finish. Then I have to send it to an agent, which could take a year or more to land (assuming I land at all). Then we’ll have to shop it around to a publisher, who will take another year or so to get it out, once we land them. That’s too long!”
It certainly is a long time to break into the industry that way – the ramifications of that is another conversation entirely. But if I started when I first picked up Flanagan’s series, and assuming I would have landed an agent within the first three novels I wrote, I could very well be into my fifth or sixth book of my own series!
Similar procrastination has occurred with my martial arts career.
The point of all this is to not waste your time dreaming of where you could be. Do you want to get in shape? Go back to school? Write a book? You don’t have enough time to waste on tomorrow, the storehouse of all human achievement and motivation. Don’t wait. You don’t have the time. Whatever it is you need to get done, do it today!