The Difference Between Finishing and Finishing Well, is in the Timing

“An inch of time is an inch of gold, but we cannot purchase an inch of time for an inch of gold.”

–Ancient Chinese Proverb

 

Timing is everything. Pull the cake out of the oven too soon and it’s ruined. Call the girl too late and she is already seeing someone else. Tell opportunity to wait a second while you get ready, and it passes you by. It’s all in the timing.

Too many people wait for the perfect or right time to do things or to make the right decisions. Far too often that causes us to miss out on some of our greatest opportunities. It’s called analysis paralysis. We wait to figure things out first, but by the time we do, it’s too late.

In my life I took part in the Ironman series of triathlons, a lot. A triathlon race is of varying distances depending on the training level of the participants. For beginners there is a Sprint distance. Next would be an International or Olympic distance. Next would be a Half distance. Next would be a Full distance.

A triathlon comprises an ocean swim of varying distances, anywhere from nine hundred yards to two point four miles, a bike ride of varying distances, anywhere from nine miles to one hundred and twelve miles, followed up by a run of varying distances, anywhere from three miles to twenty-six point two miles which is a marathon distance.

You decide the different distances you take part in based on your level of training. The shorter distances are for the beginner. The longer distances are for the more experienced athlete.

Endurance sports is all about timing. Go to hard at the wrong time and you will burn far too much energy and won’t be able to complete the race. Go to easy and you won’t finish in the time you are aiming for.

An endurance athlete trains a lot. There is a set pre-race training plan each athlete decides for themselves that will determine if they are prepared enough for the race (s) they have entered. Start training too soon, you stand the chance of over-training which leads to injury. Start too late and you possibly don’t finish your race or hurt yourself trying to force your way to the end. It’s a delicate balance between having a life and training for the sport you love. Its all in the timing.

The thing about making training as part of my lifestyle allowed me to be ready and prepared for other races that I might discover. Being ready allowed me to explore other opportunities when they arrived. If a friend asked me to run a half marathon with them because a training partner injured themselves or became sick it was easy for me to say yes to them. Since I was already in shape and had been training already, I could easily take advantage of the opportunity to join my friend and share the experience. Its all in the timing.

Life is like that. It’s a race that you are in and how you finish is actually decided by how you prepare. How well you finish is dictated by how much effort you put into it and if you have a plan or not. It’s all in the timing.

So many times, opportunity presents itself to you by knocking at your door. If you are prepared for it, you answer the door and away you go. But often, people ask opportunity to “wait just a second” while you get ready, only to answer the door and find that it has passed you by because the timing wasn’t “just right”. Its all in the timing.

The best time to plant a tree was years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today. It’s in the timing. Stop waiting. Stop analyzing. Stop looking for the perfect moment. Make the moment perfect by answering the door.

Life is like a market, and you are like a farmer. What you bring to the market determines the worth of your bounty. Don’t get upset and say life isn’t fair for bringing beans to the market and not getting the price of the prime beef for it. Instead, raise the beef.

A farmer doesn’t wake up and have a bounty. They plant and groom it. They nurture it. They protect it. They sacrifice for it. They sweat over it and when the timing is right and the opportunity presents itself; they are ready, prepared, and rewarded for the effort. Its all in the timing.

Raise your standards. Train harder. Read more. Listen more and talk less. Increase your value and you increase your net worth.  Learn more and grow your value in life’s market. No one ever completed a triathlon by watching one on the television, or analyzing what equipment was perfect before they started. No one raised a crop without tilling the field, planting it, watering it regularly, nurturing it, protecting it, and then, and only then, when the timing is right, they harvest it.

Start now. Sacrifice some “free time” which is not free. Every moment you spend not developing and preparing your bounty is lessening the value of it. Like I said, it’s All in the timing. Don’t you think it’s about time? For you?

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