How often do you find yourself putting something off for later? Not because of priorities but waiting to have a good starting point? Not fixing the fence, waiting for a sunny day? Not doing any creative work but waiting for the right mood, inspiration or simply longing for a new piece of gear?
Starting point is a myth that we create in our minds. It somehow lets us justify idleness and procrastinate. The vast majority of creative work happens in less than ideal circumstances as do business start ups and other things in life in general. It seems that we tend to chase an idea of perfect circumstances. When we go to school, we think that we will have more time and financial stability to do what we love when we actually launch our careers. Then, we put this off till we reach a certain point in our career (management position, CEO’s and what not). Upon reaching that point we find that we are busy with our life as always, if not more, and yet again we put things off. It leaves us with longing for retirement. Picturing time, financial stability/independence, peace of mind etc. to finally sit down and write that book that has been on your bucket list for years now. Yet, that time never comes. Action begins now, even if you haven’t figured everything out yet.
Mudding through work as well as through life is all that there is. Realization that there never will be a perfect scenario to work is one of the most important realizations one can come to. Work against the odds and not being attached to circumstances neither to the outcome. Waiting itself is a total waste of time, just like waiting in the queue, for a bus or in a doctor’s lounge. Reaching for a smartphone just to “kill time”. Waiting for a good starting point even more so. All the opportunities to create pass you by while you wait for better circumstances. Some of them will not appear again…
Let me leave you with one of my favourite Zen koans:
A Zen master has been sitting in a room with two of his students, when rain started and water began dripping from the ceiling. First student got up immediately, brought a basket and positioned it in the spot where the drops were falling. The second student, after a moment of thought, got up and came back with a tub. The first was praised by the master and the second severely reprimanded.