Just this past Wednesday, three short days ago, I had a moment of panic. I was doing something mundane (making a snack, in this case) and just as I was about to sit down to eat my random assortment of pistachios, almond biscotti, and bhakri (an Indian flatbread that is addictively delicious) I literally almost choked.
Out of nowhere, a cascade of doubts and anxiety and nervous what-ifs started to attack me. Holy shit, I thought to myself, I’m never going to get invited to Necker Island. Never!
Why was I so consumed with Necker Island, you ask? Well, earlier this week, I had gotten not one, but two emails from two different women who have created amazing businesses that have global reach and soul-deep impact, telling me all about their time at Necker. These are two women who have done great things, and one is someone who is a distant stranger in Australia, but who I quote with alarming frequency (so we’re basically friends as far as I’m concerned).
And as I’m trying to remember how to chew and swallow, I am panicking because I literally can’t imagine how they did it. And that well-worn soundtrack that comes up automatically whenever I am not vigilant started to play a loop: “Who do you think you are? Why would you be able to do something big? Why would Oprah ever want to talk to you?” (That’s another fear I have: that I’ll never be interviewed by Oprah!)
And as these thoughts are literally bringing me close to tears (they’re doing so a little bit now too), I remembered a quote that always brings me back from the brink: “Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
The time will pass anyway…
Sigh… (and phew!) The time will pass anyway…
The reason I love this quote is because it is just so obviously true. There are so many things that I think “Oh, it would take FOREVER to do that (or build that or achieve that). What’s the point?” and then I think, “Well, the time is going to pass anyway, so screw it, I may as well just try. Here we go…”
Ladies, the time WILL pass anyway. So why not fill it with trying, fill it with failing (because that shows you are trying), fill it with taking mini, terrifying steps towards a big dream or a big goal. Sure, you might not get there. Sure, I might never get to Necker Island or be interviewed by Oprah. But you know what? The time is going to pass whether I sit on my ass and agonize about the things that won’t happen or whether I get out there and make things happen in whatever way I can.
And you know what else? Even if we don’t get “there” (wherever “there” is for each of us), at least we will have great stories to share and battle wounds to show off. Life would be so boring if we played it safe all the time, so why not just get out there and see what MIGHT be possible? (I’m telling this to myself as much as I am to you.)
Everyone starts off as a no one. Even Oprah started out as “just some girl from Mississippi.” And how much sadder and worse off would the world be if she had held herself back by thinking “who am I to be someone” (and given where she was starting from, she had a lot more social and personal and economic reasons to think that way than many of us do).
I’m not saying we all need to go out there and be Oprah. All I’m saying is that the time will pass anyway, so we should go out there and do our own thing. Make stuff happen. Build our businesses. Send that first (or fiftieth) email. Ask for what we want. Put ourselves on stage. Whatever it is. Why not you? Why not me? Why not us?
The time will pass anyway.
And there’s plenty of room on Necker Island for all of us