We've all heard that phrase many times before and I'll bet every person reading this will substitute a different age!
Life begins at 40, or 50, or is it 60, 65, or even 70?
What's your view? It probably depends on how old you now are as to what answer you gave.
Well, whatever your answer is, I'm afraid you have it wrong!
Because life doesn't begin at a set age, it begins NOW!
Yes, life begins this very moment.
The only time that really exists is now, the very moment you are reading this.
Anything else has either gone or is yet to arrive!
There's no point making excuses that you'll set forth on some new aspect of your life when you hit a certain date or milestone age. It may never arrive!
There's equally no point in bemoaning lost deadlines either.
"Oh, I would have done it when I hit 40" or 50 or whatever.
Just accept that what has gone has gone! There is nothing you can do about it now. Whatever decisions you made, whatever steps you took (or perhaps didn't take) have been and gone. You have no control over what has gone. Unless you happen to be Dr Who of course!
Equally, we can plan for the future but, in reality, we are simply gambling on the future. We are using our knowledge and experience to bet on what it may bring and how we can deal with it. But it's all in the mind! It may happen. It may not happen. And who knows what else may have changed in the meantime?
Think back to where you were in your life six months ago. Consider how much has changed in those six months. This can be within your family, your friends, work situations, perhaps even health matters.
Now look forward because that is how much your life is likely to change in the next six months!
That's a simple exercise I set for individuals or groups that have to deal with change situations.
What prompted me to think about this was realising I have a big birthday number coming up later in the year and wondered whether it was worth celebrating or whether I should spend my birthday year doing something specific.
I'd not really done much to celebrate past big number birthdays, so why should I bother this time?
I asked myself the question - why wait until then?
After all, I took a big step in my life in November last year and then over Christmas realised I needed to take action and make things happen rather than wait for stuff to come my way.
In January I started writing e-books for a publisher in New York, I've had stuff published in books and magazines in the past couple of months, and a whole host of other positive things too.
I didn't wait until 'life begins at...' and I didn't moan about it not having started at a certain time in the past. I accepted the past is gone, and the future is still to arrive, and focused instead in the NOW!
Now is such a fleeting moment in time, unless you grab hold of it with both hands and do something, your time may have gone.
You need to be present today.
You need to be active today.
You must make your decisions based on today.
Anything else and you are wasting time and allowing opportunities to pass you by. And you won't even realise you've missed them.
Think of life like being in a motor car. Things happen around you but if you are in the driving seat you have total control over where you go and when. Others may try to influence you but you have the control.
So please ensure you have full control of your life, take 100% responsibility for the NOW.
You will find it so much more empowering when you take full control of your life and activities. You will find a greater sense of achievement and you'll even get to the point where you are ticking off achievements as each day unwraps.
Instead of waiting for a key date to arrive (Jan 1 and New Year resolutions springs to mind!), just get on and do things today. Don't put stuff off. Equally, don't set yourself goals that are too big at the outset. Make sure you carry out a full sanity check and can achieve what you set out to.
I've used a tagline for a couple of years now - Believe in the future by creating it first.
The essence of this is that whatever you seek for your future, you must start the journey now, immediately. If not then you risk missing opportunities.
You have to start out on that journey now and waste no more time.