Quote of the Week – The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today. Chinese Proverb
I am not sure how old this quote is, but it is safe to say that it has been around longer than anyone who is reading this post! At first glance, it reminds me of trees that I did plant years ago in my yard. Some are flourishing. Some are no longer standing. But one thing is for sure: I cannot go back in time! If I still want another tree in my yard, the best time to plant it is today!
We all hear variations of this principle nearly every day. Someone may talk about wanting to quit smoking cigarettes and then exclaim, “I really wish I had quit ten years ago!” Perhaps that person believes that it is “too late” to do what they wish they had done years ago.
A former boss told me a story about a young woman who said, “I’m in my early 30’s. It’s too late to fulfill my dream of going to medical school. I’ll be 40 years old before I finish all my education and training.” His reply to her was, “So, you’ll be 40 years old when you finish medical school. How old will you be at that time if you don’t go to medical school?”
My wife went to graduate school when she turned 40. In her 20’s and 30’s, she was busy starting a non-profit organization and raising two children. For her, 40 was the best time to go back to school! A few of her classmates were in their 50’s and 60’s!
People have different perspectives on whether it is too late to take a big step in their lives. However, nearly everyone has something that they wish they had done earlier in life. It might be spending more time with their family, learning to play a musical instrument, taking up a new sport, etc.
Today just may be the best time to take action on something you really want to do!
Questions for Reflection
- What are two or three things that you WISH you had done in the past – possibly years ago?
- If you regret one of these missed opportunities, is it too late to start?
- What is the best time to start moving on just one thing you really want to do?
- In what ways would your life be richer if you take action now?