When to begin?


So I’m visiting Cardiff Castle. It’s breath-taking – the best historical experience I’ve had in years. I pass a harassed mother and her harrumphing daughter. In a tone of vicious resentment and with an accomplished withering look, the girl is saying “We’ll have to get out the dictionary and look up what the word ‘fun’ means.”

I spontaneously burst out laughing as I pass – and the girl gives me my own withering look.

But I could empathise – that girl was me 30 years ago. Aged 12, I could never have guessed how desirable an experience Cardiff Castle could be.  I just wasn’t ready for it – all that beauty and history would have just been oppressive and heavy.

Everything has its time. And that time isn’t always now.

That’s true for relationships, the businesses we want to start, and the talks we want to give. Stepping forwards to speak before we’re ready can feel heavy, burdensome, or just plain miserable. It’s as if the mind is saying “you have to do this” but the heart isn’t in it. Everything is harder than it should be, resistant, ineffective. The joy is missing.

But when the time comes, there should be nothing on earth that holds us back. The very moment that time becomes now, we need to allow ourselves to act or to speak up, and not allow our minds to get involved in that worrying, doubtful, unhelpful way they do.

The impulse to act has led me to set up The Speaking Adventure, despite my doubts. I trust that it will all be OK because that impulse just won’t go away. The only time I’ve ever struggled is when I haven’t let that impulse through, when I’ve worried, doubted and prevaricated my way into Absolutely Nothing Useful.

So if there’s something you want to do, or if there’s something you want to say, and it’s the right time (ask your heart), you have to start now.