Why wait?

Mike Rowe gives some fantastic advice to a fan.

I like Mike Rowe. I don’t agree with the guy on everything, but I think he’s made some very, very valid points about some deep and troubling problems with American culture with regard to work and expectations. So I wasn’t at all surprised by this pretty great bit of advice about work, and life in general, that he provides in the letter linked above. (And yes, I’ve already gone through the trouble of verifying that Mike did, in fact, write this.)

I know several versions of the woman Mike describes in his example to this fan, and the fan himself (and not all of them are female). She/he has approached romance, friendships, work, school, fitness,… you name it, as if she/he is shopping for a car or a piece of furniture. The list of minimum specifications and requirements this prospective career, date, field of study or exercise program must fulfill is a mile long, super-specific and exceptionally detailed.

On the one hand I go, “well done, you’ve got high expectations and aim for big goals.” But on further examination it’s plain to see that the target is so high and so distant that there is just no real possibility of ever hitting it, and because the qualifications are so rigid no one is taking any shots at it anyway.

Doing is way more important than most people realize. Like Mike says, stop looking for a career and go get a job. You have no way of knowing where just getting out there and doing something will lead you. Stop looking for your soul mate and just go on a date. It’s just a date. If it doesn’t turn into anything else it will probably still be fun, or at least furnish you with some good stories. Instead of trying to time out your fitness program to suit your biorhythms or that will accommodate all of your quirks and ailments, just move.

There is only one absolute certainty in life – that it will end. You have received a ticket to the show, my friends, but no promise on what the show’s duration will be. If you are waiting around for the perfect moment to act and get involved in that life you could very easily find yourself facing an early exit having done nothing worth doing.

On the other hand, you might be looking at a very, very long life. Wait too long to start minding the vessel that contains your being and you may be sentencing yourself to a long, slow, miserable set of autumn years in which everything is something of an ordeal.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: