The Last Year

January 6, 2015 by Olivier Blanchard - 3 Comments

What if 2015 were your last year, your last chance at leaving your mark or doing something great or crossing out every item on your bucket list?

What if you went another year without writing that book you have been thinking about for years?

What if you went another year without taking that trip to Paris or Moscow or Sydney you have been dreaming about your whole life?

What if you went another year waiting to launch your first startup, or your next one?

What if you only had 365 days left and that’s it?

Here’s what I have learned in the last few years: There’s no such thing as the right time.  Now is the right time because now is all we have. Tomorrow is bullshit. Tomorrow just turns into next year and then someday and finally never. Tomorrow and next year will be too late. Whatever needs doing, do it now. Today.

Early in my career, I wasted years – precious years – doing what I was told, trying to fit in and often playing it safe when every instinct in my body told me not to. You have no idea how much I now regret having thrown those years away. I lost so much time waiting for opportunities and “the right time” to do something, it makes me ill just thinking about it. All that time just… waiting for things to happen, sitting in someone else’s little box. What a crock of shit. Never again.

So the lesson here is simply this: Book that flight. Ask her out. Graduate. Take the job. Quit the job. Lose the weight. Write the damn book. Get your funding. Finish that race. Launch your startup. Get off the damned fence.

Just Do It and Carpe Diem aren’t just slogans on a T-shirt. They aren’t abstract philosophies. They are calls to get off your ass and do the thing that needs doing. Today. And if that thing fails, it fails. If it works, it works. So what? Either way, the sooner the better.

What if 2015 was it? What if you only had 365 days? One year left to live. How would you use that time?

And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also this:

“Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.”
Tennessee Williams

“If you want to achieve things in life, you’ve just got to do them.”
Juliana Hatfield

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”
Erma Bombeck

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
M. Scott Peck

“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
Ross Perot

“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”
John Foster Dulles

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”



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