Mickey in black T-shirt with thoughtful finger against face looking at text overlay: "Grab the Time."

Grab the Time

View from Mt Osceola summit in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA
View from Mt Osceola summit in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA

When I get around to it.

Just as soon as I can.

Someday… One day. One of these days.

Won’t that be something! You’ll see!

When I get the…


Tim Urban did a Ted talk on procrastination—it’s really good; I recommend it—but at the end, taking up just a few seconds, he showed what he called a “Life Calendar” with one box for every week we are alive, and many of those are already checked off. Worse, we can only approximate how many we have, because we have no idea when our number is up.

Grid with 4,000 squares, representing the number of weeks most people can expect to live. About half are filled in as black.
Here’s what mine looks like. (Credit to Ben Simon who wrote a web app based upon Urban’s talk.)

Dark, maybe, but true.

There is no “get the time.” Grab onto it.
Time is always there for the taking (and yet there’s never as much as you think there is).

You will never “get around to it.” Get to it.
Action is the only plan that delivers results (though it’s good to have a plan to act on).

Set goals. Commit to them. Deliver on them. When you achieve commitments—when you keep your word to yourself—this builds mental fortitude and conditions you to believe in the words that you say—and in turn, over time, in yourself.

You’ll never “get the time,” because spare time does not “just happen”—especially when and where you need it to.

So Grab It! Carve it out! You are important, and so are your dreams. In a sense, we are our aspirations, and moving toward them is bringing forward our truer, better selves. Start out by making small, attainable, reachable goals, and commit to achieving them. With every small success, you are encouraged to continue and to set ever higher goals. Once you find yourself moving, you generate momentum, and once you build enough of it, your drive becomes powerful enough to run right over obstacles that inevitably arise.

But take care—and this is important: As vital as it is to begin taking actual steps toward your goals—towards your heart’s desire—there is danger in making goals that you cannot achieve, because with failure—especially in the beginning, when you haven’t established your habits, routines, and record of successes—where over-committing and under-delivering can cause you to founder before you even begin. You may lose faith in yourself and find yourself back at the start or worse: chalking up this failure as evidence that you’re not meant for what you believed you were. Even this is a hole you can climb out of—every failure is a milestone on the road to success. It’s just that an early failure in your trust in yourself makes it that much harder to put yourself out there the next time.

That’s not to say you should not set big goals and have a high bar—definitely do—but take care that you are also cultivating an environment where you can flourish and continue. Think of your unawakened self as a baby or a seedling: The mighty oak was most vulnerable when it first germinated from an acorn.

Want to write book? Start with an hour every Sunday. If you succeed with that three or four Sundays in a row, you’ll likely find your appetite whetted, wanting to increase how much time you’re devoting. If your first goal is four hours every day, and at the end of the week, all you’ve done is one hour on Monday, then mentally you’ve already checked out, accepting that “I just can’t do it,” in spite of the fact that you absolutely can. And: You. Will.

Do what you can, first: Grab the Time. Then you will find that you won’t be able to stop, because you will be on your mission and loving every minute of it.

Every step you take to improve yourself accelerates your growth.

As you begin working toward something you love, the things you merely endure will grow intolerable.

You have three tasks, if you want to begin:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Define the action
  3. Grab the time

For example:

  1. I’m going to lose 5 pounds, so I will
  2. Walk after dinner, for
  3. 20 minutes a night, at least four night a week.

Aim higher if you want, but honor the commitments you make to yourself. In the beginning, it is so much more important to achieve something small. Big things will follow.

In time.

Watch the video:

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