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What Are You Waiting For?

• My dad, at 84, moved a thousand miles away and started a brand new chapter in his life.

• A family friend, at 73, got her first kitten and fell so in love with her that she started a non-profit rescue.

• Another friend left his high stress, high profile career in Manhattan’s finance district, got his real estate license at 50, and started a whole new career selling luxury real estate in a beautiful southern resort town.

Maybe you’re 23 or 33, not 73. It doesn’t matter how old or young we are. As long as we are alive and able, it’s never too early or too late to make progress.

Joe, my brother-in-law, always wanted to play the guitar. With a family and a full-time job, he didn’t have a lot of extra time. But, at 57, he went for it. He signed up for weekly lessons and committed to practicing for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Eventually he got so good he started performing at open mike nights to rousing applause. And not just from his family; from strangers too. That small, consistent, daily commitment added up to big progress over time.

When contemplating something new, there are two different ways to focus:

Option 1: To Talk Yourself Out of It:

Focus on the obstacles in your way.

Option 2: To Make Progress

Focus on the next step towards your goal.

Having personally researched and experimented extensively with Option #1,

I wholeheartedly endorse Option #2.

You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward, just take the first step.

Do you know what finally made me decide that I could write this book? When I took the first step and gave myself permission to write just one page a day. Writing a Whole Entire Book seemed overwhelming. But a page a day? Now that, I can do. And, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, a small commitment to progress - whether it’s a page a day, a 15-minute walk, 20 minutes to uncluttered the garage, 30 minutes to tackle that business project - can often very willingly turn into more time once we Decide, act, and start to pick up some momentum.

  • Julia Child published her first cookbook at 50.

  • Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature when she was 62.

  • Writer Harry Bernstein authored countless rejected books before getting his first hit at age 96.

  • Ray Kroc bought McDonald's at age 52 and grew it into the world's biggest fast-food franchise.

  • Betty White didn't join the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" until she was 51. (I know, right?!)

  • And my friend Eileen did her first dog-sled race in the Arctic when she was 56!

As far as any of us know, we get one life. What are you waiting for?

Decide Happy Practice

Decide - What’s something in your life that you've always wanted to try?

Act - What’s one small step you can take to make progress in this area?

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

-Lao Tzu

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