Inspiration | life lessons | Living purposefully | writing

Don’t wait. The perfect time never comes.

pocket watch

What are you waiting for right now?

The right moment, enough money in the bank, for your schedule to free up just a little? That perfect time?

Let me save you a little time, no, a lot of time.

There is no right moment. You will never have enough money in the bank. And you will never have enough time to spare.

In fact, all you will do is waste time.

I was listening to Liz Gilbert’s ‘Magic Lessons’ podcast on my run the other day and I heard the most amazing interview with Brandon Stanton. Although you may not recognize the name, Brandon Stanton is the renowned photographer and creator of Humans of New York. Telling the stories of every day extraordinary people through words and pictures.

So many things Brandon said about creativity, passion, courage, time and fear had me nodding along. Man this guy gets it! And he articulates it beautifully. I really, really encourage you to take some time and listen to the interview, but for now I’ll try and do justice to his words and share three things that I took away.

Confidence and courage can be learned

Brandon didn’t set out approaching people on the streets of New York City with ease. In fact, he was terrified in the first few instances. But he learned to be brave. He learned courage along the way. His advice is not to wait until you have the confidence, but to instead do something when you’re scared of doing it. And do it over and over again. It will eventually become easier, your confidence will increase and your courage will shine through.


By waiting for the perfect time, you are only wasting time

As I mentioned before, we are all waiting for the right time, or the right scenario, or for things to be x, or y, or z. But the problem is, you will be forever making excuses, forever waiting. Brandon suggests you must begin something before you’re ready, otherwise you will simply be wasting time. ‘Time is the most important commodity, and something you can’t buy back.’ – Brandon Stanton

The other thing he mentioned here, is to realise that you can, and should, begin without your idea being fully formed. Your idea will change and evolve along the way into what it is meant to be. You don’t need a fully planned out end goal. Humans of New York is not what he originally envisioned it to be before he began the journey, but is so much better than he could have ever imagined.


Commit yourself

If you wake up each day wishing you were doing something else, you need to make a change. Commit yourself to restructuring your time to enable you to work towards doing what you want to do. Innovate, work hard and figure out a way to fit whatever it may be in your life. You will need to make serious changes, you will need to make sacrifices. Some people in your life won’t understand your choices or reasoning. But, if you commit yourself, you open up the possibility that you will achieve something personally amazing.


So why did Brandon’s words resonate so strongly with me?

Because I recognised myself in his words. I was the one always waiting for the right time. Always wanting to be more financially secure, waiting for a gaping hole of time to appear in my day so I could write. And it never happened. I had to make the leap and be okay with just getting by some weeks. I had to make the time, not find it. Time is not lost to be found. Time is there to be taken.

I’ve had to rearrange things, make sacrifices and commit. I’ve had to sign an agreement with my creative-self, to work hard without knowing what will come of it. And, that is the hardest thing. Not only for myself, but for those around me.

Choosing something that isn’t rational, that can’t be quantified is incomprehensible to many. They see it as wasted time. And that used to be one of my biggest stumbling blocks.

Was it useless? Was I wasting my time writing when I may never, ever, be published?

My rational self said yes.

My anxious self said yes.

But to choose the rational path in this instance only made my stomach twist in knots. It made my days heavy and long. That was when I knew I had to push past. I had to take the irrational road that leads straight into the dark tunnel, not knowing if I’ll ever see the light at the other end. I’ve made peace with that, because each day I wake up with a lightness and joy that only I will ever understand. And that is a beautiful thing.


Even if you’re calling isn’t a creative one, I think you’ll take something away from Brandon’s words. So please, find make the time to listen to Liz’s interview (it runs from about the 25.08 minute mark of Ep: 202 of Magic Lessons, through to about the 46.45 minute mark).


Linking with Kylie over at for IBOT