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“Right Time” Mentality: The Myth of Perfect Timing and Conditions

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Have you ever thought you will eventually get to something, but then you never do? That something, whether signing up for a course or writing your first novel, keeps eluding you? If so then perhaps you have bought into the “right time” mentality:

“When I get my own space, I will write my novel.”

“When I finish applying all the lessons from my previous course I will sign up for another one.”

“When I have time, I will [fill in the blanks].”

The thing is, those things may never come; if your desire is contingent upon the perfect timing or conditions then often times it doesn’t happen. Some of this thinking is good intentions, but more often than not it is an excuse. It’s a way to hide behind your stipulations, because what if you try and you don’t succeed? Or it’s not perfect? These fears are usually the main drivers behind procrastination (of course there is the path of least resistance as well). I know these fears and inclination all too well. There have been many times in my life where I subscribed to a “right time” mentality.

A recent one was a business investment. I thought the following year would be the opportune time but then I realized, with a little help, that I was being passive with my later-on thinking and not proactive. Of course some times and conditions are better than others (within reason), but in my case I could have done it sooner (and did). I was just afraid of the time and financial commitment: the risk. The prospect exceeded my comfort zone, but staying in my comfort zone would only bring me more of the same. It’s true a “right time” mentality can keep you all comfy, but it’s like a warm blanket suffocating your dreams.

Speaking of stifling dreams, I coach clients who at times want to put things off. Some recurring reasons are they want to enjoy whatever is going on now, it will come in due time, or they don’t have the ideal conditions to begin. I have prospective clients who say they want change in their life but are not ready to start now for whatever reason. Again, some times and conditions are more favourable than others (i.e. having children) but buying into start-later thinking can be a dream-killer. Recently, I asked one of my clients what would motivate him to start in September after enjoying his summer. What habit that is not developed today will come about tomorrow, like a switch? It’s all about developing consistent action and habits to realize your goals and vision: the small, incremental steps add up.

This said I invite you to act now, however ill timed or imperfect. I am writing this blog post on the weekend, not my ideal time to write one, however, it’s important to me that the idea be captured when it's fresh. I advise you to stop “getting ready to get ready:” the “right time” sort-of-thinking is mostly wrong.

What’s one thing you have put off, but in light of this blog post, will tackle today? Tip: Don’t just think - do.


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