There are many of us who spend our lives waiting to do one thing or another. We are waiting until we have time or money. We wait until we are old enough, fit enough, smart enough. We wait for a friend to have the time, money or motivation to do it with us. The problem lies with waiting for external stimulus to make things happen. In reality, the only one who can make things happen for you is you.
Do you want to get out into nature and go hiking or take up kayaking? Perhaps you’re waiting for the person who always did things like this with you in the past to suddenly find the time and energy to not only motivate themselves, but you. Now what you are doing is doubling the weight of what is holding you back. Not only do you have to get past your own time constraints and motivation issues, but theirs as well.
Perhaps you’d like to take a class or start a new hobby, but you’ve been waiting because it’s something that you and so-and-so have always said you would do together. A class comes up, but that companion has a business trip that week, so you pass it up, and another year goes by and you have still not achieved this personal goal.
Sometimes you find ways to use other people as an outright excuse for not doing something. Maybe you want to go on a diet and get more exercise, but the rest of your household doesn’t. So, you stick to the old, comfortable patterns. Another year goes by and you still feel unfit and overweight.
Now is the time to let go of your dependence on other people to do the things that you want to do. Taking a second person’s wants and desires out of the equation for a few minutes suddenly frees you up and takes away half of the weight that was holding you back. Instead of asking your friend, “Do you want to sign up for this class with me?” just sign up for it! Then, send the information along to your friend and say, “I’m taking this class, feel free to join me!”
If you keep asking your friends or family to go for a hike with you and they keep saying they can’t, they’re too busy, they sprained an ankle - then it’s time to stop asking and just get out there and do it. Enjoying nature in solitude can be even more rewarding. For safety, just let a friend or family member know where and when you will be going and how long you expect to be out. Take along a cell phone, and include an emergency whistle in your gear (in case you lose phone reception). And of course it goes without saying that you should be prepared and fully aware of any risks associated with whatever activity you choose.
If you want to change your eating or exercise habits, don’t wait for anyone to tell you that you can. Just do it. If you are the only one doing the cooking, they’ll eat what you make, or they’ll make something for themselves. If you’re not the one cooking, start making your own meals. Get up early or exercise during your lunch break. You can do it!
In the end, only you have the ultimate responsibility for yourself and the things you want to accomplish. Don’t let other people hold you back, and don’t let them become your excuse. When you start to take the reins of your life, and go boldly forward, you might even inspire the people around you to finally stop making excuses and do the things that they have been waiting a lifetime to do.
Tricia Griffith is an artist, writer and former veterinary assistant living in Maine. She has worked as a psychic and spiritual counselor for more than 20 years and draws much of what she writes about from those experiences. She has written on the arts, virtual worlds, spiritual & metaphysical topics and animal care. She maintains a blog at www.spiritualtea.wordpress.com.