Jakarta, 12 September 2018 — What is wrong with waiting for the right time for action to come?
Where leaders inspire
“Transformation is not for wimps,” said California governor Jerry Brown as he passionately confronted the existential challenge of our planet with a bill for carbon-free power by 2045.
What made it the right time for action for him?
Two weeks ago I asked myself that same question when I met some of the Ramon Magsaysay laureates as they visited Manila to receive their award. As I listened, Sonam Wangchuk, Vo Thi Hoang Yen, Youk Chhan, and Bharat Vatwani were clear in their response.
Emotion got us started, and emotion is what kept us going, was their unanimous answer.
Leaders like Jerry Brown and the winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award—often called Asia’s Nobel Prize—inspire us by how they overcame serious obstacles to mark milestones on the way to achieving their vision for change in society.
Sonam Wangchuk worked tirelessly to change the education system in Ladakh so that students in his remote region were no longer destined to fail in the national school exams.
Vo Thi Hoang Yen took it upon herself to champion the rights of disabled people like her, to access buildings, including schools and universities, in Viet Nam.
Youk Chhanh chose to devote his life to documenting the atrocities of the Cambodian Genocide for history so that such crimes will never be repeated.
Bharat Vatwani found his passion in rehabilitating mentally ill people who live a life of destitution on the streets and are shunned by society in India.
Power of emotions
Emotions are what drove these leaders to start their projects and to continue on their journey of championing change. Interestingly, they explained that their emotions spanned a vast range, from love and compassion to revenge and rejection.
Somewhere along the way, they explained, they learned how to become an effective part of the solution rather than of the problem.
So how do emotions come into the picture for you to take action on your vision?
The leaders I quoted encountered many circumstances that were challenging and offered them plenty of reasons to slow down or go easy on their commitments. It must have seemed to them over and over that the right time for making more changes happen had simply not yet arrived.
However, they didn’t use such reasons. Instead, their stories are about deciding to live an ‘unreasonable’ life in pursuit of their vision. They followed their plan, they let themselves be driven forward by their feelings, and they kept starting projects with small actions.
Now it’s your turn…
Making time right
When you ask yourself if the right time has come for you to start the ambitious project that you are passionate about, you can take a similar approach, using your head, heart, and hands at the same time.
Will you keep listening to the saboteur voice in your head that warns you about your insufficient confidence to start, the critical feedback you will get when you start championing your project, your lack of knowledge how everything will work, and the lack of resources like time and money at your disposal?
Or will you follow the example of the leaders I mentioned and combine a well-considered plan in your head with the powerful feelings in your heart and the skillful energy in your hands to start out and get on your way?
As illustrated by the Making Time Right model, when you combine your Head, Heart, and Hands you will tap into a transformative power that lets you Make Time Right rather than wait for the right time which—you figured it out, right?—never comes.
Stop waiting for the right time—focus on making time right.