The Eventually Mantra

We have all met someone with the eventually mantra.  You know, that person that keeps putting things off and making excuses.  They are masters of disguise and rationalization.  They are oblivious to realize that they are hiding behind a mountain of insecurity.

Wearing a constant mask, they talk themselves out of everything.  A demoralizing shadow follows everywhere they go.  They exert so much energy at making these excuses, they become experts at it.  It becomes their skill.  Their craft.  And they’re creative at it.  Their rationalization is the pretext to mediocrity.

I’ll start after I pay off debt.  I will once the kids move out.  Once I retire.  I’ll look for a new job after bonus.  After the renovation is complete.  After the trip.  Next year.  It’s my new years resolution.  When the mortgage is paid off.  I don’t have enough money.  I don’t have the time.  I’m not smart enough.  My friends won’t approve.  What if my family doesn’t approve?  When the kids are through school.  What if it fails?  What if I get criticized?  What if I can’t support myself?  I will when I’m 40.  I don’t have the experience.  I haven’t studied that yet.  I’m too old now.  I’m too young at this point.  After the wedding.  There’s too much on my plate.

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But truth be told, these folks are change rejecters.  They can elude any thought of a purposeful life because of their fear.  Afraid they won’t succeed.  Their self-doubt supersedes the desire to overcome.

It’s quite astonishing.  They spend their entire life exercising the skill to not do something.  And become talented at it.  But when it comes to convincing themselves to chase their dreams, they can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

However, try asking them a question about the news, a sports team or favourite TV show and they’ll proceed to talk your face off.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having those past times.  We all need to unwind and include relaxation in our lives.  And I too love my current affairs.  I’m an avid basketball fan and have definitely be known to partake in my fair share of binge watching.

But it’s about moderation.  It’s about more than money.  You have to do something that you find fulfilling.  Something worth failing for.  Something that’s worth more than what other people think about you.  Something that gives your life meaning.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs

So how do you overcome the eventually mantra?

There’s a few things you can do to dig yourself out of the rut and spark change.  It’s starts with the recognition that there is no great time to really do something.  Once you get past 25, life is full of immense challenges and tough decisions.  So that’s the first step.  You need to accept that the time is now.

Next, you need to really take some time to decide on your values.  What matters to you?  Is it a shiny new BMW parked in your garage?  Is it a big house and family?  Is it a job title or about status?  Is it starting a business and succeeding at self-employment?  Is it travelling the world?  Is it to give back and create change?  Once you decide your ambitions you can begin to look at the steps required to get there.

Part three is about making sacrifices.  What could you stand to rid yourself of that is making it more difficult to reach your goals?  For me, it was the hopeless emptiness that stemmed from unfulfilling work.  It was the car insurance, gas, and maintenance that made my life too expensive.  It was the long commute disrupting my time.  I had to eliminate things I didn’t need to free up my resources.  These things were easy to give up because of my intense lust for financial independence.  I had a desire to work for myself.  I’ve always wanted to create a life with more time and freedom.

Once you sacrifice, you can be decisive and take action.  There’s no need to worry about what others think.  By the way, it’s incredibly liberating to think this way.  Furthermore during this stage, you can assure yourself that failing is ok.  You can accept that it wont be easy.  But also that success is a possibility.

It’s the time to take a chance.  It’s the opportunity to open yourself up to risk and be prepared to change.  It’s now about personal growth.  About more than just a big house or showing up the neighbours down the road.

You really just have to go for it.  Yes, there will be many difficult steps you encounter.  Yes, it could take years for it to pay off.  Of course it’s easier said than done.

But instead of asking those doubtful questions, try asking the ones that matter.  Why the hell not?  Are a few more zeros in the bank really worth it?  Is that over indulgent life really making you happy?  Is that new car still improving the commute or has the nostalgia worn off?  What’s the worst that could happen?

The bottom line is that you do have a choice.  Obviously I’m not oblivious to the fact that we are all different.  It’s possible that you’re fine with being just another cog.  And that’s perfectly ok for some.  However, if you’re not ok with continuing to say eventually, the time is now.

  • Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds

    I love this post, it’s very inspiring!

    1. Graham

      Hi Francesca,
      I’m really glad you enjoyed it and appreciate the comment!
      Thank you 🙂

  • Derek Syme

    Amazing post! One of my favourites! You inspired me to save money again. I haven’t been because I’ve been purposely working less to have more time and work on my site. But I could be smarter and more effecient with my money for saving purposes. The time thing is so true. My girlfriend always says we’re not going to do this now. I always say. “So what day do you have in mind?” She never has an answer. I always say,” that day isn’t just going to come and smack you in the face.” You have to create it. Might as well be today. The smartest thing I ever heard my uncle say was, “Yeah, if you waited for the perfect time to do something, you’d never do nothing.” Great post man.

    1. Graham

      Thanks for commenting Derek!
      It’s cool I was able to inspire because you’re such an individual thinker. Thanks for sharing the story. I thought this post might have been a good fit for your site since you have a lot of motivational posts as well. And your uncle sounds like a smart man. Thanks again brother!

  • 4 Reasons Why it's Worth It to Fail As an Entrepreneur

    […] But I urge you to take extra consideration before entering into a business with someone just because they happen to be a friend or relative.  You have to avoid partnering with a person that has the “eventually” mantra. […]

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