The best time to start is now
The world around us is changing at a very fast pace, barely giving us a chance to breathe and keep up. As I look around, I watch the children and the youth leading this change. Authors at 8, entrepreneurs at 10, inventors at 12, and heads of start-ups at 19! It’s mighty impressive. One is tempted to look back and wonder what were we doing at that age — getting our hands dirty in the mud as we played in the neighbourhood parks, cutting pictures out of magazines for school projects or preparing for entrance exams to secure a seat in one of the best colleges. Every generation has its boons and so does this one. The adventurous, the young are discovering their passions at an early age and using the available resources to make their dreams come true. They’re erasing the line between careers and dreams, merging the two, beautifully. But, as I look around, I also notice a few adults who are unhappy about the situation. Why one may wonder. There are a few unrealised dreams and then there is the question, ‘If we had what this generation has, back then, we would have fulfilled our dreams sooner?’ True, factually. Maybe, I could have been a DJ, I could have opened my restaurant, I could have authored a book...
But, the times were different.
A couple of weeks ago, I met up with someone, who is taking his baby steps into the world of social media. He was upset how a younger acquaintance was better at it and has more followers! It made me smile. ‘When did we start competing with the younger lot?’ Yes, at work, we have to keep pace with the changing times to save our jobs. Outside work, we need to pull up our socks to be ‘socially’ acceptable. But, why the competition? Wasn’t the generation gap enough for us — why the rivalry?
The millennials are enjoying their share of fame and perhaps even money, much sooner than we could have even dreamt about. True. And perhaps, it is natural for a few of us to get restless, to raise a brow, and to have an opinion. Now, if it were a race, we could have trained longer! But, they’ve had the lead time. Not only were we taught different academic subjects and life lessons, but we were also taught differently.
As I see it, it’s not about experiences, generations or challenges; it’s about simply acknowledging that the months and the years on the calendar are different. It’s also about knowing and believing that it’s never too late to start. I have a bag, with these words inscribed on it in Spanish — el mejor momento para empezar es ahora mismo — the best time to start is now.
It’s also about patience, gratefulness, and faith. It’s about writing our own story — one that begins, now. It’s about remembering that your time is up, only when you put your hands up in the air and say the words. Until then, you can script your tale at your pace, with your experience in tow.
This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.