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Debunking the "If you wait until you're ready..." Myth

You've probably seen it before:

On the surface, the moral lesson seems obvious.

If you keep procrastinating on things you want to do, you will probably never get them started.

It's true that this can be an inspiration for many, and maybe even help some individuals who are dragging their feet at starting that novel, or taking that class, but does it really scale to major life decisions like child-rearing or buying a house?

Being Ready Is Good

The problem I've found with this "inspirational" quote is that it has never been a good idea in my life. As an individual with a solid job, a loving spouse, and as a soon to be father, I can assure everyone reading that I did not tell myself, "I'm not ready, but here I go!"

The potential for this to backfire is MASSIVE.

When I moved to Atlanta and got a new job, it was because I was ready to start looking. If I had tried to jump any sooner, I may well have missed the greatest job I've ever had. 

When I lived in Florida and my job offered to move me to Huntsville, I said yes because I was ready for a change. 

When my wife and I decided it was time to have a child, it was because we had taken the time to get our affairs in order and we were ready to become parents.

In fact, the only great failures of my young adult life came from times when I wasn't ready to invest in something, to create something, to go somewhere, but instead of waiting to be ready, I forced myself to do it because of one reason or another.

In those cases, I wasn't happy, those around me weren't happy, and (spoiler alert!) things didn't end well.

Wanting Something Leads to Being Ready

When we say we "want" something, like a new car, or perhaps even our first child, we should be careful to prevent that want from overriding our concept of being ready. I have wanted a child for several years now, but I knew that I was not ready. I knew that I would be ready eventually, and that desire to have children fueled my efforts to become ready.

This isn't just money we're talking about. This is about maturity, finances, time, and everything else that goes into the calculations of making us who we are. 

It's okay to crunch numbers, work hard, and get yourself from wanting something, to being ready for something. It's okay to get to a position where you can achieve your goals.

It's OKAY to be ready.

In honor of this mindset, I created a new inspirational quote:

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