JEFFREY TOBIN: The time to act is now
Today the finches died. I don’t know what happened, but the nest of baby birds is empty and they all lie dead on our porch.
As I write this, the mama and papa finches are in a panic, twittering away with calls that sound like questions: “Where? Where? Where?” They dart around — always within a wingspan of each other — searching for their young. But the fledglings are gone. And it is very sad.
The sole purpose of these birds was to create and raise the next generation. But now that purpose has evaporated. Opportunities are like that. One day an opportunity is there, and the next, it’s gone.
I sometimes wonder how many people in Manhattan have never been to the Statue of Liberty. No doubt many of them have had a real desire to visit it, but what’s the rush? It was there yesterday. It is there today. It will be there tomorrow. It can wait another day.
And suddenly the days are gone. Something has changed and the opportunity is lost.
There will be more baby finches. But not these finches. And the Statue of Liberty will probably be there tomorrow. Probably. And hundreds will put off their goal of a visit today. Again.
Do you have a Statue of Liberty of your own? I’m thinking in terms of things you really want or need to accomplish, but have been putting off because there’s no real sense of urgency. I’m talking about matters of real consequence — important opportunities that could disappear at any moment. This is the place where dreams come to a complete stop.
Perhaps your Statue of Liberty is to take your big idea to upper management. Open a new retail location. Take a chance and start your own business. Apply for the other job. Maybe you need to spend quality time with a family member. Run that marathon. Set up the trust fund. Write your book. Pick one. It’s your Statue of Liberty. And the opportunity may well not be there in the morning.
Perhaps it will be gone today.
If this message is to be of any value, you’re going to need to decide what’s really important. You need to identify the matters of real consequence to your life’s purpose. The question isn’t really that hard to answer, because if you’ll take a moment right now, some of the answers will come to you immediately. They really will.
The finches can’t turn back time. The stairs in the Statue of Liberty may one day close to visitors. Your opportunities — your dreams — may vanish as easily. Don’t let your dreams stop dead. Don’t let the day go by without naming them. Write them down. Set your purpose — and your will — to act right now.
Act on your dreams before opportunities fade into stoportunities.