There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. – Hugh Laurie
What does that mean?
This is a very short version of a longer (but still abbreviated) quote: “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now.” See his Facebook post (link at bottom of post) for full quote.
This quote is a departure from the more usual philosophers, but I felt it when I read it, as I am in a not-so-ready place myself.
It also urges against my usual failing, paralysis by analysis. I often refuse to take action until I feel ready. This quote reminds us that we rarely reach that point, and if we wait, we may lose the opportunity, but always lose time.
Why is not being ready important?
Waiting until you are ready is usually an excuse. How ready do you need to be? That, of course depends largely on what it is you are trying to do. Flying a plane will take just a little more preparation to be ready than it would take to be ready to ride a bicycle.
And some skills have to be tried to learn to do them. How would you prepare all the skills involved in riding a bicycle? Pedaling while steering and using both to help with balancing? How else can you learn all that? Sometimes to become ready, you have to simply do.
Being ready isn’t a bad thing, unless you’re already ready, and are trying to be perfect before even starting. That is just procrastinating, or perhaps giving way to fear. No matter how you label it, you aren’t getting anything done.
Doing will break through the fear and procrastination, and leave you better prepared for the next time you have to do it. Now you know more about it, whatever it may be, and you are more ready for the experience.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I came to the same conclusion as this quote before starting a family. I knew it was a serious undertaking, and I wanted to be ready. I spent three years reading books and magazines, talking to parents, looking for help, clues or ideas on the topic. I came to the conclusion that I would never be ready enough for my own satisfaction.
Where in your life do you tend to think, research, plan, wait or otherwise procrastinate? How well did that work for you? Yes, there is a certain amount of preparation which is useful to give one a better chance of accomplishing the task at hand, how often do you go beyond that? How much time has it cost you? How many opportunities passed you by as you were getting ready?
There are, of course, plenty of fairy tales, parables and stories about those who are still getting ready while opportunity passes them by. And like most people, most of us will have times when we do better and times when we do worse. But if there is a pattern, like always waiting for the ‘right moment’ to ask someone out on a date, you’re not following the quote, are you?
How much did the loss of the opportunity hurt you, either emotionally, financially, or in some other aspect of your life? Can you use that pain or discomfort to your advantage? If you catch yourself waiting until you’re ‘ready’, can you motivate yourself to avoid the same pain again and take action?
Now think of times when you thought you weren’t ready, but took action anyway. How did you fare? How much more time would it have taken to be ready enough, or were you already sufficiently ready? Do you see a pattern to help you determine when you are sufficiently ready and when you are not? What are the clues that you were ready but not acting?
We only get so much time in our lives. We can prepare to some extent, but eventually we must take some chances and use our time wisely, as the quote implies. What will you do, if not right this moment, as soon as you possibly can?
From: Twitter, @clairemawisa
confirmed at : He put it on his Facebook page, does that count? 8)
photo by Mark Harkin