I know that inspiration is to be found in the most unlikely of places, but I was still surprised, over the summer holidays, that it came rushing at me in the form of an old episode of LA Ink, the reality show set in a Californian tattoo parlour. And no, it wasn’t that I was suddenly overcome with the realisation that I needed some serious “skin ink” in my life, (although never say never hey?). No, my “ah-ha!” moment came whilst listening to the story of a customer who had visited the shop to have a tattoo of a clock-face with 13 hours.
The woman explained that she had spent a lifetime waiting for the day when she would be thin enough to do the things she dreamed of doing. One day it occurred to her that she was waiting for “13 O’clock”, and that 13 O’clock was a time that would never come. Following this realization, she was determined to live her life to the fullest NOW, whether she was fat, thin or anywhere in-between, and the tattoo of the 13 hour clock would be her permanent reminder of that mind-set.
Her story really resonated with me, and got me thinking of all the ways we wait for 13 O’clock, putting our lives and plans on hold until we find ourselves in some imaginary, miraculous and perfect moment: when I have enough money I’ll set up my own business, when I’m more confident I’ll go networking; when I have more time I’ll sign up for that course, when the children are older, or the weather’s better, when I’m thinner, fitter, happier, when I have more information, when I’m more experienced…….sound familiar?
The list is endless, and, at the end of the day, it’s all just excuses. And while we’re making excuses, we’re WAITING, and while we’re waiting, we’re not making things happen!
Somebody very wise (possibly Henry Ford) once said that “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” And of course this is true! Day after day, week after week, it’s easy to plod on following the same routine, and before you know it those days and weeks have become months and then years and those dreams we had are just well….sitting on the shelf, still waiting for 13 O’clock.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about breaking out of the comfort/routine bubble and thrusting a strong hand in the direction of my dreams, it’s that I can’t allow myself to be scared about reaching up and out. For example, it’d be easy for me to tell myself that the best time to put myself forward for an award is when I’ve achieved more, but I take a different stance: I look at all I’ve achieved so far, taking pride in where I am right now and how far I’ve already come, and I put myself out there, I put myself in the ring, because I know that, whilst I might not win the award, I’m certainly not going to win anything sitting in the wings.
Of course you’re not going to get everything you go for, but it’s a hell of a lot more likely that you and your business will grow and thrive if you just go for it. Accepting that there is no 13 O’clock, that there is no perfect moment can be a life-changing realisation. It can be hugely liberating to open up to the reality that NOW is where it’s ALL at, YOU are enough, and you have everything you need to make a start on your dreams. Phew, what a relief….
Whether you’re waiting for the perfect client or the perfect place to work, whether you’re waiting for someone, or something to change, for the stars to align or for pigs to fly….just stop! Stop waiting and take the first step towards making things happen. It’s truly amazing how things really start to come together once we commit to positive forward movement.
You have all you need right now to start living your dreams….so don’t let them bypass you while you’re waiting for 13 O’clock! If you want to change the end result, you’ll need to change the way you do things. So, before winter comes and then another year passes without anything changing, without you taking steps towards those plans and dreams you held dearly as the year began….make those changes, however small initially….. just do it, you’ll be really glad you did!