I love serendipity. I was drafting this post and read Dean Wesley Smith’s post about Starting Late.
I’m practicing my fiction writing. Nothing to publish yet, still working. And then I thought about all the other things I started in 2015:
- Online workshops
- More non-fiction writing, including 2 books
- Pair-writing with several new-to-me authors
- Walking 5,000 steps each day
In 2016, I’m offering new online workshops. I have plans for several non-fiction books, and maybe I will finish some short fiction or even a novel. We will see how much client work I have.
There are things I am not going to start. I am not going to start playing volleyball, skiing, or anything else that requires balance. Just not. I challenge my balance enough with walking.
On the other hand, I will continue to try new approaches in my business, teaching, consulting, and writing. Why not? What have I got to lose?
Often, when I think it’s too late to start, I realize I’m afraid of failing, or of being mediocre, or any number of other risks. I’m afraid to be vulnerable.
I try to modify that fear of failure by calling it practice.
We practice all the time. Some things we know how to do already. We practice them by doing them more often, with intention, measuring our results and/or retrospecting on the results. We practice working as part of a team, finding (and then preventing) more of our defects/problems. We practice our relationships.
If you think it’s too late to start something new, you allow fear into your life. I don’t know about you, but fear paralyzes me. I do want to be reasonable with my new experiments. I don’t want to do something that will physically hurt me, because the costs are too high.
But learning something, regardless of my age? I love that. I often ask, What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen? When it comes to intellectual pursuits, I might look like a fool. Oh well. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt.
When it comes to relationships, I might be more fearful. I don’t want to screw up any of the relationships that work. On the other hand, if I’m not honest with the other person, what kind of relationship can I have? I’ve tried that, and my relationship degrades over time, to the point where I don’t have a relationship any longer.
Jerry Weinberg taught me that fear is an acronym: Future Experienced As Reality. I learned that I could create another future, by not letting fear rule me.
It might be too late for me to start new physical pursuits other than walking, because of my deficits. On the other hand, it’s not too late for me to start on my best life. Not too late at all.
Dear adaptable and resilient friends, the question this week is: When is it too late to start? I hope you agree with me that tomorrow is too late. Start today.