And yet that’s exactly what we default to when it comes taking on something new or just deciding to get better (from a personal/professional development standpoint). Honestly, I don’t know the psychological reasons behind that response (except that we’re afraid to make mistakes or being judged) but I sure know I’ve spent a significant amount of time getting ready.
What I’ve learned is this: It doesn’t work.
I can spend the rest of my life getting ready and still actually never get ready. Let me give you a weird but true example: for the past 16 months, I’ve been wanting to make time for Brazilian Ju Jutsu classes. I know I don’t have enough to attend 3 sessions a week but I can aim for at least 2 sessions a week! Sure, that’ll pack my schedule up with almost no rest days, but that’s fine. I know exactly how to tweak my existing powerlifting regime to strike that balance with BJJ.
Guess what? I even bought two white belt courses from renowned BJJ practitioners hoping that would speed up my learning. And as of today, I’ve watched the whole series of both the courses at least 4 times each but haven’t taken the first step to actually sign up. Why? I’m still getting ready to find that space in my schedule to do it. Would I ever find the time? Heck, no!
One of my excuses was the school that I like is literally across the city and driving back and forth would be a pain in the butt. A valid concern but that certainly wouldn’t solve my issue. I do have alternatives that I can consider. I can always fall back on the online courses if curriculum (which is almost always a concern with BJJ schools) isn’t up to the mark. But I’m still getting ready.
The Law of Intentionality from the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth states the growth gaps that come in the way of our progress.* One of them is the “Timing Gap,” which is for the “it’s not the right time to begin” mindset. Which speaks volumes about the example above, would there ever be the perfect time to start something new? Absolutely no!
Growth is a process and like all processes, it has to start from somewhere. And despite our efforts, the start can be shaky, imperfect or just painful. But a start is a start nevertheless. It’s beginning of something great because you’re always in control of what you can change once the wheels are in motion.
According to the Law of Diminishing Intent, “the longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.” Truth to be said, nobody ever got ready by waiting, and as John Maxwell says, “they got ready by starting.”
You wouldn’t be reading this post or any of the others had not overcome this gap (at least to some extent, I still need to apply this to my BJJ classes to get started again). I remember how I felt every day — “I don’t think I have enough content” or “I need some more time to “prepare” this blog post” or some variant of that. In hindsight, those were all excuses and lost opportunities that came in the way of posting thoughts that were uniquely mine. And believe me, I’ve had great ideas that may have been lost in the osmosis for good.
Thankfully, since the time I’ve started to blog daily the ideas just pop up. I know some of my peers who still struggle with that or have resorted to posting just one idea a week. Which is great. They know what works for them. This works for me. And that’s totally okay because the big picture is to show up and get started. That’s how you get ready.