Life was always about waiting for the right moment to act. – Paulo Coelho
There is no greater amplification of the critical nature of timing then in a start-up, whether that is an entrepreneurial business or the start of a new relationship or friendship. I believe that we are all capable of instinctively knowing the right time for each and every move we make. However, most of us have become masters at ignoring our instincts, suppressing our gut and attempting to rationalize based on contextual externalities.
After a recent series of unfortunate consequences based in my own instinct ignorance, I began to think through the chapters in life where I have either embraced or suppressed my gut instincts. In essence this list took on a theme of “almost” moments.
I almost worked as a correspondent for CNN. I almost moved to San Francisco. I was almost killed in a drunk driving accident. I almost stayed in an abusive relationship. I almost went to arts school. I almost had a family. I almost walked out on my job. I almost ran a marathon. I almost married a man who loved me more than I could return. I almost gave up my dream. I almost listened when people advised me my path was wrong. I almost lost my passion. I almost missed out on Europe. I almost quit my doctoral studies. I almost settled for mediocre. I almost numbed myself to compassion. I almost wrote off a good friend. I almost lost myself.
We all have our own personal list of almost moments. If you are like me, we spend time basking in the glory of success or struggling to find meaning in epic failure. But what about the almost moments? These are moments we rarely, if ever, choose to think of. As if left unarticulated we can pretend they simply do not exist. It represents a chest of regret associated with narrowly missed opportunities or deep seated relief from narrowly missing tragedy. In a social media culture that inundates us with messages to reveal only our moments of fabulous and omit our struggles, is it not more pleasant to simply bolt that chest closed and focus on the days the sun shined more brightly?
I am proposing a different response to our list of almost moments. Think back on each of your almost moments and send gratitude. Send gratitude to what they taught you. Send gratitude to how they helped to shape who you are today. Are you more brave than you once were? More thoughtful? More in tuned with your inner passions? For me, the almost moments now remind me that timing is everything but also that I am in full control when I tune into myself.
We are shaped by of our triumphs, our defeats and our almost moments. We could not be standing where we are today without those almost moments.
And as always…
What are you InPursuit of?